Through the Eyes of a Survivor
Topcat, 2007 (2007)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
he complete title of this book is
Through the Eyes of a Survivor: A Living History of Nina Morecki from Pre-WWII Poland to Modern America
. Nina Morecki lost her entire family – mother, father, two sisters and their husbands, and a four-year-old niece. How she survived – or even wanted to – is still a mystery to her. Being proficient in various languages helped with authorities, and the fact that she didn't resemble what the populations of Poland, Russia and Germany thought of as Jews saved her life on many occasions.
he was not in a death camp but did survive time in a labor camp. She walked away from a death squad. Fearing for her life every day wrought insecurities that still plague her at times today. She lived on the streets, in woods, cabins, farmhouses and barns – wherever she could find shelter and the vague hope of some food. That she survived malnutrition is a miracle in itself. Nina's search for any possible surviving relatives kept her on her feet. After the war, starting a new life seemed almost insurmountable. A reunion with a man she had met during the war gave her life new meaning.
s Nina tells her story to Colette Waddell, the author at times interrupts the narrative to make explanations of conditions at that particular time. This often broke up the flow of the account and put me off my reading stride. However, this account deserves to be read. To even try to summarize the ordeal Nina Morecki's life became does her an injustice. In her words, she doesn't '
consider this a book on history, or even particularly a memoir. It's more a lesson ... on how to live ... to embrace life.
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