I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri as a first generation American born into a Belarusian family. My family immigrated to St. Louis in 1979 through the Jewish Federation. Ten years later, after many hardworking days and nights, my parents sponsored the rest of the family still living in Belarus and brought all 18 of them to St. Louis.
Among them was my great-grandmother, Raisa. I was only a little girl when she arrived, and ten years old when she passed, but I remember her well. I see her smile, her soft shining eyes and frail petite body. Back then, I didn’t know her story or what she and the rest of my family had endured, but I am glad that I took the time to find out as an adult.
As a young girl, I could be often found evading bedtime by reading historical novels and memoirs from WWII under the covers with a flashlight. This fascination didn’t stop in adulthood. After a conversation with my mother about my own family’s history during the war, I was inspired. I never intended to write a novel, but after years of research and uncovering their story, the words flowed out with ease, as if it was meant-to-be. I knew then that this story needed to be passed down to my children and shared with the world.
I hope you enjoy it!
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