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Halina: Growing up in Occupied Poland During World War II

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by Halina Bratkowna Johnson
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Halina: Growing up in Occupied Poland During World War II by Halina Bratkowna Johnson

In this gripping first-person account of the Nazi occupation of Poland, Halina Johnson describes her personal experiences of those historical events. In a way, Halina tells two stories in this book: one, the diary-like account of a child growing to womanhood, and another, the inspirational chronicle of a small country's bravery. Her own story is so interweaved with Poland's that it becomes a single narrative told from several perspectives. It is Halina's ability to wind these accounts seamlessly into a single narrative that gives the book epic quality. Halina is not the central character of the book; Poland is. She is merely the witness. History books, for example, report that Poles were exiled; Halina transforms exile from a word into a cruel reality. History reports the deportation of Jews to the extermination camps; Halina writes about saying good-bye to her Jewish friend. Through the eyes of a sensitive child, history comes alive. Halina's narration not only celebrates the courage of Poland's young men and women, but also the religious fervor found in the Polish soul. This devotion, as well as Halina's personal faith, winds through the story like a golden thread. With neither apology nor embarrassment, for example, she describes the time an entire group of Poles fell to their knees in the street, bursting into a spontaneous and prayerful hymn. The story of the Poles' selfless struggle for freedom and personal dignity also inspired Pope John Paul II, himself a Pole. He writes: "I think of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944---the desperate revolt of my contemporaries who sacrificed everything. They laid down their young lives. They wanted to demonstrate that they could live up to their great and demanding heritage." --- Judith Tate O'Brien, poet

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Ebook Details
Size: 6.7 MB
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Date published:   2014
ISBN: 9781634187213 (DRM-EPUB)

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Nonfiction > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs

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