Monday, August 20, 2012

Between Shades of Gray

A Lithuanian family torn from their home and sent to the Russian Steppes during WWII is the basic story.  I enjoyed reading the book but it was eerily similar the The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig.
Both books describe the horrific treatment of Jews and political prisoners by both Germans and Russians.  Both of the main characters are young girls who are from wealthy families and 'almost' understand what is happening.
Soldiers beat on the door and give the family five minutes to pack what they can. Then they are taken and crammed with other 'criminals' onto waiting cattle cars where they wait. And wait.  The conditions are beyond belief with no provision for any privacy for even the most basic bodily functions.  Eventually the train leaves and they travel days upon days without knowing where they are going.
When the train finally stops they are in the Russian steppes.
Based on true stories, Between Shades of Gray was an educational read. Because I had read the autobiographical The Endless Steppe some of it seemed hauntingly familiar even though one family is Polish and the other Lithuanian.  Both are worth reading.  The Endless Steppe is probably hard to come by these days but if you ever see it, pick it up.  Meanwhile, read Between Shades of Gray and appreciate the country and freedoms you have in America.  I hope we don't forget the past and the lessons we learned.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

That sounds really good! I'll have to look for this one. I so enjoy your blog. I always find fun things to add to my reading list!