In Search of Staszewski
This is a fascinating look in to the struggles and suffering that took place in Poland before, during, and after WWII. It begins with the author’s desire to find out more of his family’s history following the death of his father. He begins his search by visiting family members in Poland, where he gradually uncovers a brutal history of invasion (by both Germany and Russia), imprisonment, starvation, torture, and, for many, death. It becomes clear why his father was so reluctant to talk about his early life.
Along the way, the author discovers family members he didn’t even know he had, and he make some wonderful new friends. Though this book is non-fiction, it reads like fiction. It is written in such a compelling way, it draws you in to this family’s life and struggles. I enjoyed following Mr. Fedzin on his journeys in to the past.
The only thing I didn’t like about the book is that he gets in to a lot of the historical details of the war itself – military strategies, government manipulations, etc. I much prefer to read the personal stories of any war, rather than strategic details. For a war/history buff, though, there is much information that would be of interest.
All in all, it is a powerfully moving story about the plight of Poland at the hands of the Germans and Russians, and a wonderful history of one family’s struggle to survive and overcome adversity. Well done!