CRATER’S EDGE – A family’s epic journey through wartime Russia
By Michaeł Giedroyć
In September 1939, as a ten-year-old boy, Michaeł Giedroyć watched the Russian security police seize his family’s ancestral home in Poland. His distinguished father was imprisoned – never to see his children again. His mother, with Michaeł and his two sisters, were left on the streets to fend for themselves.
What followed was a remarkable odyssey – even by the standards of those unsettled wartime years. They were transported in cattle trucks to the wastes of Soviet Siberia, and more than two years of hard labour and hunger brought them to the brink of extinction.
When hope was all but gone, they grabbed the opportunity to join up with a newly formed Polish army.
Exhausted, half starved, and ill, the Giedroyć family embarked on another perilous journey that would take them across Central Asia to Iran, the Middle East and finally England.
This powerful and dramatic tale of survival is punctuated with moments of humour and optimism. Woven into the narrative are memories of a gentler pre-war period when the family enjoyed an idyllic way of life that vanished forever in 1939.
Michaeł Giedroyć’s experiences were shared by countless other displaced people, but few have had the opportunity to tell their story, or to tell it so well.
Extent: 208 pages
Size: 198 x 129mm
Images: 8 pages of photographs & maps