Escaping war and communism – an inside view
My rating: 5 out of 5
A strong and moving story of the author’s parents’ lives, which went from an everyday normal life in Romania, to extreme hardship during WWII and finally living in the USA.
Using documentation from his parents’ lives, together with memories from family and friends, the author has written this memoir about how WWII impacted the lives of an everyday Romanian family. His father fought for 3 different countries, due to border changes, whilst his mother fled their home with her toddler and baby (the author), using all her strength and courage to keep her family alive. When the country she settled in became communist, she fled again. Finally in the USA, with hard work and determination they start a new life. In the midst of the tale Gerhard Maroscher and his brother’s life story is naturally included, but for me this book is about their parents.
Each chapter in the book is divided into small anecdotes and memories, with sections also describing relevant episodes in history. It is a very readable book, and the inclusion of many photos and copies of original documents add to the interest. There is a massive Appendix at the end, with source references, further documentation and photographs.
Though the writing is an easy read, what happened to this family is a tough, and riveting, read. There are many images from this book I will carry with me for a long time – some positive, some of the struggle to survive. There are times of hope, strength and always the belief that the hard times will pass.
I have given this a 5* rating as it includes such fascinating everyday details of the lives of this family, that I felt completely involved in the story. There were also many interesting historical facts that I was not aware of. A book that provides plenty to think about and discuss with others – not least of all, how lucky we that have never had to flee war, or fight in a war, are.
I do hope this book becomes very widely read, so that current generations understand what went before, and appreciate the importance of a life lived in peace. It is suitable reading for all the family.