Historical Family Memoirs
When you read “In the Web of History,”
You virtually live with real people
In another country,
at different time and place.
You taste their food and drink,
Go with them for daily work,
Learn their customs and traditions.
You witness how they live.
And… suddenly history is alive!
Historical Family Memoirs is a monumental work of memoir – from the Russian revolutionary convulsions of 1905 and 1917, the savage bitterness of civil war, Stalin’s dictatorship and the cataclysm of World War Two that created the DPs, the Displaced Persons, the desperate dispossessed. They assuredly could be counted in the scores of many millions. They were the quick and the dead. Historical Family Memoirs tell their tragedies and their triumphs.
The saga-like memoirs are consistently fascinating, frequently riveting. They derive from scores of writings and documents translated to English from five languages by Olga Gladky Verro, author memoirist, translator and editor. All, along with original photos, were added to Verro’s own writings to achieve Historical Family Memoirs. The memoirs speak with verifiable historical accuracy and its events evoke novel-like response in the reader.
The Gladky family – the new Russian intelligentsia – were pawns of history in a tumultuous odyssey in which they were relentlessly hounded from place to place in their native Ukraine by the Soviet State watchdogs.
When the Nazi juggernaut struck their country in World War Two, their life became labor under Germans by day and shelling by the Soviets by day and by night. At the time the Red Army pushed the Wehrmacht from Ukraine, Orest was confined in a Gestapo concentration camp. Emaciated from hunger he was placed – with the help of the three empathetic German officers – in a hospital prison ward. Wife and daughter enabled him to escape from the hospital. They boarded a ready to depart convoy train packed with the young men and women drafted for work in Germany. Gladkys were placed in the labor camps in Germany and annexed Poland and became forced laborers.
As the Soviets continued to roll west, Orest – at the behest of wife and daughter continued alone his flight from certain deportation to Siberia if captured. He eluded the Soviets and at the war’s end took refuge in the American zone of occupation.
A German labor camp in annexed Poland saw the meeting of Olga and the man who was to become her husband of more than 50 years, Italian airman Giulio Verro, a prisoner of the Germans after Italy quit the war, and who in the Spanish Civil War had, as a volunteer legionary flight crewman, fought with Franco. They were in Poland when the victorious Soviets took control and began to seize all Soviet citizens who had been in Germany and Poland, shipping them to the Siberian gulags as slave laborers expected to die of overwork and starvation. This was the spectre of Olga’s future.
Giulio, as a POW, was repatriated by the Polish Red Cross to his native Italy, and he contrived to spirit Olga with him by declaring her his wife. Her mother was unable to accompany her daughter and Giulio into Italy, she found haven with Giulio’s Polish friends in Poland, where she remained for about a year.
The Gladkys were, as peace descended, widely separated: the daughter in Italy and safe with Giulio; the mother in precarious concealment in Poland; the father no one knew where or if dead or alive. The odyssey was not ended, but though not apparent, the most desperate circumstances were behind.
As the memoirs continue they tell of the reunion and the adversities which delayed it. And finally, the treks, the sojournings, recede into history. The Gladkys, Giulio and Olga Verro and their children live useful and productive lives into ripe old age in the place sought by millions over time, America. With their journeys of decades and hundreds of miles through six countries by railroad freight cars, animal-drawn carts and on foot, become memories, become memoirs.
Historical Family Memoirs books are a compelling narrative consistently fascinating, frequently riveting, that speaks with verifiable historical accuracy and evokes novel-like response in the reader. It is an odyssey of danger, fear, imprisonment and escape; of hatred and love; oppression and deliverance; starvation and savagery; separation and reunion; constancy and betrayal. But also, there is courage, tenderness, generosity, kindness sometimes even of the enemy. Above all, Historical Family Memoirs are a record of enduring human spirit that in the end prevails against all odds.
— Oliver W. Kellogg, Editor and Publisher:
The Baudette (MN) Region – The Guttenberg (IA) Press.
Published Historical Family Memoirs Books
Upcoming Historical Family Memoirs Books
In the Fury of War: Occupied Ukraine – Book Two of Historical Family Memoirs.
Italian Airman Journey: Giulio Verro Remembers – Book Three of Historical Family Memoirs.
Chance, Destiny or the Hand of God: World War Two – Book Four of Historical Family Memoirs.
Refugees Adrift: Post World War Two Europe – Book Five of Historical Family Memoirs.
On Immigrants Path: Italy and England – Book Six of Historical Family Memoirs.