Lalinka is a ten-year old girl who lives in Vilna, Poland with her family, in 1939. They have a nice house and garden and are incredibly happy. She adores school which is a smart woman. But 1 day, the Russians, still at peacefulness with the Germans, invade her boundary town and arrest her family. Lalinka loses all her photographs and must load up her carriers with only her clothes. Her grandmother, grandfather, father, mother and her are captured.
When her uncle involves the entranceway, her grandmother explains to the Russian troops, "I've never seen him before. " This is so he will not also be captured. The family is used a truck and then lined up in the train station. A soldier instructs the grandfather to enter a different series than the family. The family is segregated and the grandfather gets on a different coach.
The family is touring by teach very little by little. The train is good for cattle, but it is currently their prison. Lalinka says goodbye to Vilna, Poland and the train will take them across Russia. The folks on the coach are crying. There is merely a hole for your bathroom, and the cattle car stinks which is very hot. They can only eat potato and cabbage soup and should never be discrete of the cattle car. While they visit a train station, they find out that Germany has invaded and the Russians and Germans are in warfare. After weeks of vacationing, the family occurs in Rubtsovsk, Siberia, Soviet Union.
The town of Rubtsovsk is in the Siberian steppe. The steppe can be an endless treeless plain. The city is a village in the middle of nowhere. Military take the family with the other prisoners, largely wealthy Jewish households, and they're sent to a mine to be capitalists. Together they all live in packed schoolhouse, surrounded by endless toned land with lifeless turf onto it.
The mine is gypsum, a gray white natural powder used to make casts for wounded troops in the battle. About 150 prisoners live in the buildings. There's a mean soldier that gives them their careers. His name is Popravka. The daddy works together with horses. The mother uses dynamite in the mine. And Lalinka works on a plantation. They work from dawn, and Lalinka pulls weeds from the potatoes. They miss their lacking grandfather and their life back Poland. Here they work all day long, sleep on to the floor, and live with the dynamite explosions from the mine. Lalinka never gets to wash her hair.
Lalinka gets a fever and is sleeping on the straw mattress when Popravka wakes her up and brings everyone out to see a storm coming. Siberian electrical power storms are dark skies with violent thunder and lightning. It scares everybody, but Poprovka says them very good news, two people can go directly to the village to operate at the marketplace. Lalinka and her grandmother are chosen and Lalinka is very fired up to go. They have a silk clothing and a French slide to trade. First the two of them have to walk kilometers on the steppe to the community. At the community market they operate the clothes for food. Lanlinka is happy to get some good sunflower seeds for a treat for the long walk home.
Fall involves Siberia and the elements is soon cold. Poland and Russia make peace with each other and the family is set free. They are able to proceed to the village nevertheless they cannot get back to Poland due to war. But the family goes to the village and they get jobs where they can make a few rubles, Russian dollars. Initially, the family cannot stay in the village and they live outside of town. They are doing have a bed for the four of them and the mother works in the city bakery. The daddy works as a bookkeeper at a constuction job. Lalinka cannot go to the village institution because they don't live in the village yet. She is bored and manages a five year old son and looks for small lost potatoes left at the marketplace. The family must find a location to stay in the community so Lalinka can go to school. They find an agreeable Russian few in the village with a clear room plus they move in alongside one another.
The first snow comes to Rubtsovsk. Lalinka doesn't have any boots but is thrilled to go to school anyway. She and her mother visit the principal's office and Lalinka joins the fifth quality. She will learn another terms, French or German, but there are no literature on her behalf so she'll have to talk about. Around the first day of college the classroom is cold and the children are very serious. Likely to school in Siberia is a privilege, but she does indeed meet another gal, Svetlana, who shares her literature with Lalinka.
The warfare in Russia is getting worse. Lalinka gets sick and has to stay home from university. The family gets bad media. Lalinka's grandfather, Solomin, has passed on in a labor camp in Siberia. The grandmother is very unhappy and leaves their small house and cries in the daytime. Big winter storms come and the snow piles up on everything, within the house, and poor Lalinka has nothing at all to do or play with except a few literature from the collection.
More and more people are approaching to Siberian villages, escaping the war. The Russian family that Lalinka's family lives with is going to have a newborn, so Lalinka and her daddy, mother, and grandmother have to move. It's hard to find a home, however they move in with two sisters. All seven of these show one room and two bedrooms. One day the daddy doesn't get back from work because he's found by the trick police force and questioned all night, but he didn't want to become a spy which is sent home.
Lalinka recovers from her disorder and goes back to university. Lalinka makes friends with some Russian children. Each goes to see an American movie together. It is the first-time Lalinka has seen electricity since she still left Vilna. Lalinka's review spouse, Svetlana, is jealous of Lalinka's long blonde braided wild hair, so Lalinka slices it off and Svetlana becomes her closest friend.
Spring involves Siberia, and the rain and melted snow create dirt, covering everything. Lalinka is enjoying playing with her new friends. When college ends for the summertime she would go to work growing potatoes for another winter. The area they are residing in becomes too crowded and hot in the summertime, so the family searches for a fresh home again. This time they find a hut, an extremely small house, with no home windows and a dirt floor. But they move around in and fix it up.
The summer time becomes scorching and kills the potatoes in their garden. Typhus, a deadly disease, was getting rid of many villagers, however the warmer summer months wasn't all bad. Lalinka would go to see an American movie again and learns all the parts and sings all the tunes. Lalinka spends the summer working on farms and engineering sites. In September the family gets a letter from their uncle in the us. He delivers them $50, which they exchange and purchase food for the arriving winter. Then the daddy gets another notice. This one orders him to join a work team in the war against Germany. Your day her dad leaves to go back to Europe and work is the most detrimental day of Lalinka's life.
The next winter is very difficult for the family with out a father. Lalinka starts stealing hardwood for petrol and looking for small potatoes left behind by others. There is a dangerous flu epidemic and Lalinka's mot
her almost runs crazy when Lalinka provides the flu. But, thankfully, it isn't too serious. It is soon her birthday and her mother throws a birthday party to cheer her up. She gets some gift ideas, which are food. She likes the meals. Her mother says, "We laughed today. We were happy over an apple and a piece of meat. . . Life continues on. Someday it'll be better. "
They get no phrase from the daddy for calendar months. Finally, he writes a letter revealing them that he's ok. The battle media is very bad. The Russians are enduring, but the rumors about the Jews are a whole lot worse. One day, when food products are incredibly low, Lalinka requires a 30 ruble charge to school to pay for school lunches and loses the costs. She doesn't want to go back home and face her mother but cannot think it is and has to go back home and notify her. A couple of days later she determines to work doing knitting and embroidery. Her mom doesn't want her to, but Lalinka insists. She explains to everyone she knows that she will be employed by potatoes or a cup of flour o
r a little bit of milk. She knits a sweater for a woman's baby which is very pleased with the milk and potatoes she earns. Still, the winter is hard and the family has to burn up any extra wall surfaces in their hut to remain warm.
Lalinka asks a wealthy female, Marya, for work. The woman hires her to produce a sweater using an old machine-made skirt for wool that is soiled and torn. She knits on a regular basis, while studying, while reading, while cooking, and in the dark. Finally it is finished and Marya comes to pick it up. But Marya has become fatter through the winter no longer will fit the same size as before, so poor Lalinka must spend a supplementary two months concluding the sweater.
In the wintertime it is so wintry that the kids walk to class holding the other person in a collection to protect the other person from the wind flow. But there is certainly one place where she escapes Siberia, the library. She produces a love for Russian novelists and poetry. The hut becomes too chilly and the family must move again. This time they move in with one of the directors of the tractor manufacturer, and they take care of him and are paid in food. His name is Yosif, and he has a radio to allow them to listen to media and music.
Lalinka joins a conversation contest at institution. She memorizes a poem by Pushkin and asks her teacher, a cold female, to let her sign up for the competition. She procedures constantly, before her friends and family and friends and neighbors. That warmer summer months, Yosif's wife comes home and the family must move again. This time around they live with a young couple and a child. The baby is Lalinka's best audience. On the day of the competition Lalinka picks out her best dress and goes to college, but at college her teacher tells her she must also wear shoes. So by the time Lalinka works home and back to university in her mother's shoes, she is sweaty and exhausted and hot, but nonetheless has to get right up on stage and perform. She works badly, what is there but she actually is too tired to provide them feeling. She earns her teacher's value b
ut another female wins the contest.
Lalinka would go to a rich man's house requesting a set of shoes until he finally sells her a couple. There is a new university in the town for individuals working at the factory and Lalinka enters it and starts off studying Russian culture from some very good instructors. She makes some nice friends. Winter is approaching again and, again, the family doesn't have enough food. The mother's job is altered from the bakery to a structure site where she actually is paid less for harder work, so Lalinka starts off working in a dressmaking shop. One day Lalinka is walking home from the shop and is also trapped in a violent storm. The sky is dark-colored and the breeze blows her sideways. Many people die in these kind of storms but she hears her mother calling on her behalf and can follow her tone to basic safety.
That winter Lalinka is thirteen yrs. old. She becomes more and more Russian and less and less Polish Jew. Her job at the dressmaker's is inadequate so she works in the market selling things. She is selling books, which is difficult because she is in love with them very much, and realizes the folks only want them to roll tobacco into. She can't believe that. She loves literature and university. She needs to be the editor of the institution newspaper.
Even in this land of misery, Lalinka falls deeply in love with a boy known as Yuri, but he already has a sweetheart and everyone is jealous of her. Lalinka works at the school newspaper and strolls by Yuri's house, but while she is running after Yuri, another son, Shurik, is running after her. There is a costume get together at institution but she doesn't have a outfit. She requests a costume at a theater but nobody helps her. Finally she borrows a dress and Shurik can take her to the get together. Yuri's partner is the queen of the ball, using the same
costume that Lalinka wished to borrow from the theatre.
German prisoners start arriving from the warfare. The prisons are over-filled and the prisoners are dying like flies, but everyone still hates them. ON, MAY 8, 1945, Germany surrenders. But the news from European countries was still bad. The Germans possessed killed an incredible number of Jews in focus camps. The family gets reports that everything in their house has been taken. In August, when the conflict with japan is over, they receive information from her dad, saying that he'd not go back to the village, and that they should meet him in Poland. He had visited their house in Vilna and says that another man, the principle of the trick law enforcement in Vilna, is residing in it. Lalinka needs to stay in Siberia. She has neglected her Polish former, but her mom has only 1 need, to return to Poland. Soon they obtain orders to go back to Poland.
There will be another talk contest at university, but this time Lalinka can't enter because she must return back. She says good-bye to all her friends. She needs to cry but does not. The people from Poland who have survived through days gone by five years meet in the town for the trip back to Poland. They need to again travel by cattle car but it is not a sad quest like the first. But when they get to Poland they find many Polish people at the train station throwing stones at the cattle autos and yelling, "Go back to Siberia! You grubby Jews!" Almost all their dreams of heading home were unique of the reality. In the station in Vilna, they meet their father and hug and kiss and cry. Within their whole family, only the four of these have survived the warfare.
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