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Between Two Evils: The World War II Memoir of a Girl in Occupied Warsaw and a Nazi Labor Camp Paperback – November 28, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0786440320 ISBN-10: 0786440325 Edition: 1st Paperback Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 267 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland; 1st Paperback Edition edition (November 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786440325
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786440320
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,036,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lucyna B. Radlo is a retired U.S. government employee and lives in Santa Barbara, California.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Frequent Flyer on May 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was fortunate enough to have met the author and learn that she is not a writer of books, but someone who simply had a story to tell. I was totally taken aback by her ability to place me in her time and spirit as I read; often being vividly described through a child's eyes, and often through the eyes of one with unbelievable experience and understanding. This book is absolutely not what you would expect from a novice writer; It is compelling, thoroughly researched, thought-provoking, and heart-wrenching. I would recommend it to anyone who wants the rare opportunity to walk through history with a truly gentle sole who survived it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Edward Rybak on October 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
The author must be congratulated on her perseverance in gathering and researching a huge amount of information and producing a most amazing autobiography and family chronicles. The historical setting during the half century covered by the book is very well portrayed including the events leading up to WW II, the Warsaw uprising, the Nazi occupation's impact on the entire population of Poland, their efforts to exterminate the Jewish minority, the atrocities committed against Poles, and the post-war years under auspices of the UNRRA and IRO. Describing her own and her family's life against this historical background greatly enhanced the quality and value of the book. Needless to say, the two chapters devoted to the her portrayal of her parents deserve special praise. The early loss of her father undoubtedly had a great impact on the author's psyche, but it also seems to have strengthened her to face the many trial and tribulations of her later life. Last but not least, the author bravely described in Chapter 11 the gross injustice done to the Cossacks by the British. But this did not come as a surprise to those like I who saw British and French acquiescence to Hitler's annexation of Czechoslovakia as a similar betrayal
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wanda K. Mohr on February 3, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This memoir is certainly worthwhile reading if one is unfamiliar with this time in history, insofar as it reinforces the stories and experiences of many Poles who lived through the occupation of Warsaw, labor camps and the horrors of war. The best parts are the descriptions of the occupation and uprising, as well as the interesting anecdotes about the black market. Having said this, it is not that well written. It is full of colloquialisms that made me cringe as I read them. E.g. Russians that instead of Russians who, "had a ball" - typically American slang -- "in the doghouse" -- ditto -- " my uncle Misha and I" instead of me. Surely American slang and incorrect grammar could have been edited out by judicious editors (I do realize that the author is not a professional writer). The other issue that I had with it was the interminable geneology. I really did not feel that a recounting of the author's family tree added anything to this memoir for ordinary readers, in fact it made the enterprise of writing the memoir to recount wartime experiences to seem very amateurish. Also at $35 for this little paperback it is way too expensive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leo on January 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
My initial interest to this book was due to hunting the facts about probable distant relatives and I found more than expected about early life of the architect Sergey Padukow and his family. However, while reading the book I was captured by Mrs Lucyna Radlo's stories and positive view on her life, especially her life during the war. At the end of the day we like to know how common people survived and how they feel to be inside of this unpleasant conditions and this is rarely described in literature. Family gatherings, children died in infancy, living condition details, friends and betrayals - where you can read about it? These people came and passed away and this book is almost only evidence about it. This kind of personal stories may be also very important for historians as an evidence of passed reality and reflection of more general events at this time, that make this book unique. The author is not professional, but I can easily forgive her language, small errors and few repetitions for the truth and colors of the life the choose to display. And thanks for detailed genealogy, it brings better understanding of the family story!
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By Papa2 on October 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The dry tomes of academic histories often sap the human element from the reality of their subject and period. Histories are about world leaders, battles, nations and political intrigues, but this books speaks to the heart about common people; families and loved ones, neighborhoods and townships, that are overlooked and considered of little interest to historians. Lucyna Radlo paints a vivid picture of before and after wartime Poland. She writes lovingly of the courage of her mother, Elizabeth Kucharska, after the arrest of her father by the Gestapo. She tells about the tenacity of spirit of her mother who held on to her daughter against the skull crushing rifle butt of a guard before boarding a cattle car bound for Germany. That this unbreakable bond pulled them through the unimaginable horrors of NAZI oppression and Stalin's betrayal during the rarely spoken of Warsaw Uprising is paramount to this story of life Between Two Evils. Surviving Nazi Forced Labor Camp with an indomitable spirit that carries the reader through as well, memoirs of these sort are not only a record of the times but are an inspiration to those of us a generation apart from this era of shame. Her joy of coming to America resonates with pride in my heart for my country as does the sense of hope that she expresses in the new life in a foreign land she made her own with her beloved Chester.
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