(The Ice Road) PDF DOWNLOAD Ò Stefan Waydenfeld

  • Hardcover
  • 406
  • The Ice Road
  • Stefan Waydenfeld
  • English
  • 01 June 2019
  • 9781607720027

Stefan Waydenfeld º 1 CHARACTERS

CHARACTERS ´ The Ice Road N of Poland in September 1939 were deported to slave labor camps throughout the most inhospitable forests and steppes of the Soviet Union The Ice. An Epic Journey from the Stalinist Labor Camps to FreedomSticking with the apparent theme of Stalinist Russia and its aftermath I found this memoir fascinating It s always interesting to read a historical event in the voice of someone who experienced it and the author Stefan Waydenfeld describes his experiences with detail and yet without bitternessWaydenfeld was the son of a doctor and a biologist and their small town life south of Warsaw was pleasant and fulfilling He expected to live as most teenagers with a future at university perhaps following in his father s path as a physician While they d heard grumblings of the war they were taken by surprise when Germany and the Soviets invaded Poland in 1939 Previously Poland had a non aggression pact with the USSR which was ignored as the USSR felt the need to support Germany s war machine as it had yet to turn on them A bombing campaign started over Warsaw on September 17 1939 one that introduced Warsaw as well as some of the smaller towns outside to the reality of warAt first Waydenfeld at 14 served as a volunteer who worked in shifts with others to stay up at night and warn of the Luftwaffe planes that would randomly attack They d use whatever means they could to wake up their neighbors Then there was the fires to deal with started by the bombs At one point he describes the people fleeing the cities on open rural roads being specially targeted by German pilots who strafed the area with bullets for no apparent reason other than to kill randomlyFor a small time there was a bit of calm and then suddenly his family received deportation orders to return to Warsaw A kindly officer took them aside assured them that this short train ride would be their chance to return They were loaded like cattle into a train with their neighbors and what goods they could carry but he discovered on the train at dawn that they were heading east not west Never trust a kindly enemy They were being sent to SiberiaIn Siberia the Russian officers seemed to stress to them that their new life in Kvasha was going to be a privilege and that they would never leave Work in this camp was part of Stalin s famous Five Year plan A major component of this plan was the installation and maintenance of the Ice Road a timber transport road made out of sheets of ice Waydenfeld and his father worked to build this road by digging holes retrieving water and then spreading it in sheets in 40 C temperaturesFrom here we see how his family coped and how they were able to exist in this environment and maintain hope and unity Additionally while at times he admits anger and disappointment his tone is one of bravery and acceptancehe was not going to give in Not knowing about the atrocities that had already taken place in Germany may have helped these people keep their positive outlookIt s a great story and well told I was particularly impressed by the effort he employed to acknowledge certain families and people that assisted in their journey to help them in various ways He never implies that it was his bravery alone but credits those people who were sympathetic and willing to risk their own lives to help them in various circumstances This is an excellent text for information about the time period and it would be amazing if high school students had the opportunity to read this first person account

READ & DOWNLOAD The Ice RoadThe Ice Road

CHARACTERS ´ The Ice Road In a forgotten chapter of history 15 million Polish civilians arbitrarily arrested by Stalin as enemies of the people following the Soviet invasio. The Ice Road is a tour de force that takes the reader into a history that is not well known in the US It is the first person account of Stefan Waydenfeld a Pole whose family the Wajdenfelds is deported to the Soviet Union simply because they were Poles educated and hence in need of Soviet re education It takes place from the first days of the Nazi invasion of Poland through the family s deportation to the steppes of Soviet central Asia through their final journey to join with thousand of others in Iran Persia and General Wadyslaw Anders army Stefan later fought with the Polish army at Monte Cassino Stefan s family was part of the Polish intelligentsia his mother was a bacteriologist and his father was a physician and because they found themselves on the east side of the Molotov Ribbentrop line they managed to escape the Scylla of the Nazis but not the Charybdis of Uncle Joe and his NKVD In one sense he and his family were very fortunate to be only deported as Dr Wajdenfeld a Polish army reserve officer could well have found himself a victim of the Katyn atrocities Of course this is not to diminish the suffering that the Wajdenfeld family experienced and the fact that at any time they could have died as did thousands of other Poles including my own grandparentsI found myself thinking throughout this tale about what manner of resilience characterized this family that they survived and that Stefan went on to realize his dream of becoming a physician after the war Perhaps it was a collective intelligence that lifted them repeatedly out of the well of despair into which our Soviet allies were forever dunking them an apt metaphor considering a vignette during which Stefan decides to take a dive into a subarctic river and is nearly paralyzed by its iciness Perhaps it was the bond of family lack of rancor and the power of tenacity and perseverance to overcome whatever challenges a person faces Perhaps it was the fact that no matter how horrible enraging and frustrating their situation Stefan was able to find within it some morsel of wonder and life lessons from which he could learn The writing style is fluent spare and articulate Waydenfeld s story unfolds with a pure voice no judgment or bitterness clouds his telling of the journey into hell and back It s amazing how little self pity there is in these pages The few flashes of strong affect that we see is when the family is denied their Polish nationality because they do not have a traditional Polish surname The Wajdenfeld family were assimilated Jews and considered themselves Poles yet the documents reproduced in the book which were issued by the Soviets repeatedly have the family s nationality recorded as Jewish The fact that Jewish is not a nationality speaks to the pervasiveness of anti Semitism and the less than subtle attempts at destruction of Jews by declaring them repeatedly as the other when outright slaughtering them was not an optionWaydenfeld never is anything but perfectly honest In the early part of his narrative he talks frankly about the intense suffering of ethnic Poles under the Nazis a fact that has been under recognized in many narratives of World War II As the child of families that suffered both at the hand of the Nazis and the Soviets I appreciated his calling attention to their suffering and the best that it brought out in the tenacious Poles I also appreciated the acknowledgement of the betrayal of Poland and Eastern Europe by their allies at Iran and Yalta To paraphrase one of the participants these events should forever live in infamy Too often they are portrayed not as a betrayal but as realpolitik and the unavoidable cost of warWaydenfeld sprinkles his narrative with slices of humor which relieves any pall of grayness that might overwhelm his story This description of the linguistically gifted Andropova s virtuoso performance when cursing out the NKVD colonel was a delight that made me laugh aloud First she told the colonel what she thought about him in general and about the intimate parts of his anatomy in particular My knowledge of Russian proved inadeuate to comprehend it all Then she invoked his parents his grandparents and the generations preceding them their anatomy and their physiology with special attention to their body prominences and orifices not to mention their involvement with other zoological species How wonderful is thatWaydenfeld finds humanity among the enemy and treachery among friends but rather than enmity toward the latter his attitude is always one of sorrow that these comrades saw fit to betray their fellow humans Indeed the entire book is infused with a kind of ineffable sadness about war in general and its inhumane seuelae in particularPeople may read this and see one glaring weakness but that weakness is also its greatest strength It is that Waydenfeld avoids harsh judgments Time and again I would read passages that made me want to throttle the obtuse or cruel perpetrator of some behavior I wanted Stefan to tear into them for their inhumanity But he doesn t and this of course leaves readers free to form their own judgments without being told what to think Waydenfeld has enough respect for his readers to expect that they will draw their own conclusions This respect makes for a stronger book than if he had beat his readers over the head with snide asides about the workers paradise or such that I have read in the memoirs of others During Stefan s description of medicine I was reminded a bit of Abraham Verghese s see Cutting for Stone love of his chosen profession Both of them have a deep feeling for the power of healing and are unashamed to tell us what a gift it is that they have been privileged to be given The fact that Stefan overcame many obstacles language logistics temporal bureaucratic to follow in his father s footsteps and finish medical school is inspiring An old truism has to do with the idea that what does not kill you makes you stronger This maxim is exemplified in this story of coming of age and survival despite all odds Stefan and his family often went for days without proper nourishment clothing and shelter They became nomads and rootless but still formed enduring friendships They relied on one another and made plans for the future This book is a beautifully written and unforgettable testament to the strength and resilience of the human spiritI recommend this without reservation Buried Mountain Secrets zoological species How wonderful is thatWaydenfeld finds humanity among the enemy and treachery among friends but rather than enmity toward the latter his attitude is always one of sorrow that these comrades saw fit to betray their fellow humans Indeed the entire book is infused with a kind of ineffable sadness about war in general and its inhumane seuelae in particularPeople may read this and see one glaring weakness but that weakness is also its greatest strength It is that Waydenfeld avoids harsh judgments Time and again I would read passages that made me want to throttle the obtuse or cruel perpetrator of some behavior I wanted Stefan to tear into them for their inhumanity But he doesn t and this of course leaves readers free to form their own judgments without being told what to think Waydenfeld has enough respect for his readers to expect that they will draw their own conclusions This respect makes for a stronger book than if he had beat his readers over the head with snide asides about the workers paradise or such that I have read in the memoirs of others During Stefan s description of medicine I was reminded a bit of Abraham Verghese s see Cutting for Stone love of his chosen profession Both of them have a deep feeling for the power of healing and are unashamed to tell us what a gift it is that they have been privileged to be given The fact that Stefan overcame many obstacles language logistics temporal bureaucratic to follow in his father s footsteps and finish medical school is inspiring An old truism has to do with the idea that what does not kill you makes you stronger This maxim is exemplified in this story of coming of age and survival despite all odds Stefan and his family often went for days without proper nourishment clothing and shelter They became nomads and rootless but still formed enduring friendships They relied on one another and made plans for the future This book is a beautifully written and unforgettable testament to the strength and resilience of the human spiritI recommend this without reservation

REVIEW ß JFKMONTREAL.CO º Stefan Waydenfeld

CHARACTERS ´ The Ice Road Road is the gripping story of young Stefan Waydenfeld and his family deported by cattle car in 1940 to the frozen wastes of the Russian arctic nor. This is a sleeper book that gives a vivid personal account of the Waydenfeld family s courageous survival through a Stalinst labor camp in Siberia to their eventual freedom from a divided Poland Keep an old Atlas handy to follow their path