My Sister's Mother--A Memoir of War, Exile and Stalin's Siberia

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Author: Mary Ann Furno
Date: Autumn 2017
From: Polish American Studies(Vol. 74, Issue 2)
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Document Type: Book review
Length: 639 words

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Donna Solecka Urbikas, My Sister's Mother--A Memoir of War, Exile and Stalin's Siberia (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2016). 312 pp. Cloth. ISBN 978-0-299-30850-6.

On a winter's night in 1940, outside their farmhouse in Grosno, a twenty-eight-year-old woman, Janina, and her five-year-old daughter, Mira, were "arrested for crimes against the state" and sentenced to "forced labor" in Stalin's Siberia. In My Sister's Mother--A Memoir of War, Exile and Stalin's Siberia, set against the background of Polish history, Donna Solecka Urbikas recounts her mother and sister's plight of deportation, liberation, and journey through Central Asia to England and, finally, the United States. Urbikas seeks to shed light on unknown Soviet atrocities in the prison war camps, chillingly distilled in the singular of Janina's voice that she painstakingly captured on audiotapes. The narrative movingly portrays the reaches of exile in the particular: a seemingly endless deportation in boxcars; innumerable hours on a sled; survival tasks of hauling rocks, stealing hay for...

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Source Citation
Furno, Mary Ann. "My Sister's Mother--A Memoir of War, Exile and Stalin's Siberia." Polish American Studies, vol. 74, no. 2, autumn 2017, pp. 103+. Accessed 26 Sept. 2021.
  

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