If anyone knows anything about Boris Milenko, what happened to him, whether he wrote anything else, I would be most interested. Thanks. The author se If anyone knows anything about Boris Milenko, what happened to him, whether he wrote anything else, I would be most interested. Thanks. The author sent this manuscript to the National Library of Australia, presumably from Russia around 1968-9 and they published it in 1969. I have not been able to find any other works by this author or a biography of the author anywhere. Since the author pleads emotionally in a letter at the beginning (to whom it may concern) that the characters involved are fictional although some characters might resemble Red Army Officers during WW2, one can only assume that he wanted the information published but did not want to get sent off to to a re-education labour camp in Siberia as was common at the time. If anyone knows anything about Boris Milenko, what happened to him, whether he wrote anything else, I would be most interested. Thanks. ...more
Read this a long time ago, just brought it back from my parents house to re-read again. I found it interesting at the time, but can't rate it till a rRead this a long time ago, just brought it back from my parents house to re-read again. I found it interesting at the time, but can't rate it till a re-read....more
Given to me by an uncle, it was my grandfathers' and his before him handed down through the family. There's a mention of an ancestor or two of ours goGiven to me by an uncle, it was my grandfathers' and his before him handed down through the family. There's a mention of an ancestor or two of ours going back to 1590 & beyond in Jersey, Channel Islands. & (How Google has become Dick Darstedly in my eyes & caused Australia's return to Terra Nulluis/Terra Incognita/The Antipodes.).
I thought my copy had been stolen & had been cursing various various "non-returners" - book borrowing friends who might have borrowed it..in my head for several years over this missing book. It seems at some point they dropped it off at my parents place. So now I have cursing karma to do penance for. It's one antique book I really treasure even though it's a bit of a quaint dry tome and incredibly hard to get hold of or even find on the web. Especially now that google has fixed your location searches to your IP address sometime during the last couple of days. (side note; I thought the web was to connect people and countries...now google is trying to limit your searches. What The @#*&^!! I discover today having been away from a computer for 3 days (ie. ONLY two nights) & this Dick Dastardly deed has effectively cut us off from the world again...making us once again Terra Nulluis, Terra Incognita, The Antipodes & I sigh.
& so apologies for the truncated disjointed rambling, I'm recovering from large doses of medicatents following jaw surgery..(now I look like a chipmunk lost in the antipodes)...lol
Back to The Popular history of Jersey....
The variously headed chapters originally appeared in the columns of "The Jersey Evening Post" (for which newspaper they were specially written) during the year 1895. They have since been thoroughly revised and considerably enlarged for this first edition, some thirty extra pages, chiefly concerning the earlier portion of the history, beginning with "Before the Island had a Name" - chapter 1, "Historical Times - Chapter 11 & chapter 111 - To The Year 1272 & thereafter up to 1892 & published in 1895. ...more
(Review - now it's finished)! "Freedom is not a happy ending. It is a flame that dances in remembrance, inside the blackness". p.314
Baker's parents liv(Review - now it's finished)! "Freedom is not a happy ending. It is a flame that dances in remembrance, inside the blackness". p.314
Baker's parents lived through the Holocaust and he writes about journeying back with them to Europe, their memories and finding some kind of hope and what it means to be Jewish. There are some sections towards the end that are a bit confusing and disjointed - may have benefited from better editing perhaps, but a thought provoking book. The sources, biblio and info provided about searching for Jewish relatives, towns (pre WW2) etc are extremely helpful. For instance, this website "The Lost Jewish Communities of Poland" aka "Valley of Destroyed Communities" http://www.zchor.org/hitachdut/introduct... This publication lists the names of 4,500 Jewish communities which were destroyed in the Holocaust.They are recorded according to the geographical boundaries of 1938, before the territorial changes which were caused by the expansion of Nazi Germany.
I might also add Baker's book is a good adjunct to read along with Everything is Illuminated - Johnathan Safran Forer AND Konin: A Quest by Theo Richmond as they all deal with the Holocaust area around the shifting borders of what was once called Volhynia..(Poland,Belarus,Ukraine, Galicia etc) but each give different perspectives and information which compliment each other, and so far I've found finding books on this topic in that particular location quite a challenge. It seems that for this geographical area one needs to know Russian, Polish, Yiddish, Hebrew, Ukrainian and German if one is to do serious research pre WW2, and I am going to have to live a long time to learn them all I think to find what I am looking for.
Baker's father and grandfather's original last names was Bekirmaszyn or Beckermashin (one is Polish, one is Yiddish) and I've yet to learn the difference. The author wondered why he and his brother were called John and Mark, "gospel boys": the Bakers of Galilee. Mark Baker "knew there was something more deliberate in the names chosen for us, an attempt to obliterate not only my parent's foreignness but the memories attached to it". In Yiddish the author was named informally "Mattis", but no one in Australia knows him by that name. It comes from his father's memory of a boy killed on the road somewhere between Bolszowce and Belzec long before he emigrated down under. "Belzec" stumped me till halfway through the book. It is of course Belsen, & then the name Mattis takes on something chilling. No wonder Baker wondered.
I've read how migrants arrive to new countries with difficult sounding surnames - often they westernised their names, choosing something familiar sounding: cutting the name in half: symbolic of the meaning, choosing something random, going by your occupation. The Baker's in this case were not Bakers, but glass carters or haulers and traders. Mark wonders "by what right did his father have to lop the branches off the trees in their garden (family tree)? Baker-Machine?!!!!!!! Mark asked his father, "Why Baker"? and his father answered ""by telling a joke about Berel, Merel and Shmerel, who changed their Yiddish names to Bok, Mok, and Shm... At this point he laughs, even before pronouncing the punchline. "So Shmerel said, "I'm going back to Poland." 'D'you get it, Shmerel! Shmock!, How could he be a Shmock in Australia?'"" Baker's father could have chosen to change their their name to something sounding like their name in Russian, Ukrainian, Hebrew, Polish or even German; OR if the customs official couldn't say it right but to whatever he pronounced it as -ending up with a mispronunciation as their name, has often happened from migrant histories I've read of those entering the USA via Ellis Island. This makes tracing someone very difficult, (& don't forget those informal Yiddish names either! as you will find those on records as well) particularly when working backwards in time - add the fact of destroyed records - in fact whole towns razed in Galicia, Poland, and the Ukraine - records gone, it's a jigsaw pickup game...fitting the pieces together not knowing what the final picture will be. Baker has gone some way to completing the jigsaw, for himself, what he accomplished and found, he is satisfied.
I am searching for where my great grandfather originally came from - for he shucked his past, his Jewishness on board the ship sailing here, like so many others..the past to be forgotten. Too Painful. Start anew. The glitch is what name(s), what language did he go by - we are only guessing so far from odd comments said, inferred or not mentioned. avoided.. Sifting and sorting. Picking up clues here and there, from books, from things handed down.. I have an ancient trunk handmade, hewn wood, he brought with him to Australia, full of crockery made in Eastern Europe - that my mother inherited - the trunk it's been painted over tons of times since. Should I get the wood dated?,or see if a museum or collector can fix it's origin; doesn't sound too hopeful, or stick with the paperwork trail. Frustration at finding nothing for months or elation with sudden discovery of a minor detail hounds me, and like Baker it feels like a crazy circus ride you can't get off till the end and you don't know when that will be till you find all the clues: to fill the empty silences, the things not ever spoken about.
There are many still searching, still many lost and unaccounted for. Reading all these holocaust memories, and journeys through the past, like "Konin" and "Everything is Illuminated" and "The Fiftieth Gate", & like so many others there's at once a huge hole in my heart, an uncomprehending at the horror man can do to his fellow man.
"it always begins in blackness, until the first light illuminates a hidden fragment of memory.." p.316
I won't tell you what "The Fiftieth Gate" refers to. You'll have to read the book.
********************************************* Another excursion into the Jewish past, memory, despair, hope and life?
Library chuck out.(actually the edition I have is the 7th edition 1997) (a rather serendipitous find - two textbooks I don't have to spend big bucks onLibrary chuck out.(actually the edition I have is the 7th edition 1997) (a rather serendipitous find - two textbooks I don't have to spend big bucks on!)...more
review to come - other paperwork more pressing just now 3 and a half stars
A "self gift" for Christmas. Had to chuckle a bit when I looked at what somereview to come - other paperwork more pressing just now 3 and a half stars
A "self gift" for Christmas. Had to chuckle a bit when I looked at what some people have shelved this as; African-American, science-fiction and mystical realism. I mean come on, don't people know where Australia is yet??
Two quotes at the beginning to ponder:
"Australian history is almost always picturesque; indeed it is so curious and strange, that it is itself the chiefest novelty the country has to offer, and so it pushes all other novelties into second and third place. It does not read like history but like the most beautiful lies. And all of a fresh new sort, no mouldy old stale ones. It is full of surprises and adventures, and incongruities, and contradictions, and incredibilities; but they are all TRUE, they all happened". - Mark Twain - Following the Equators, 1897.. (capitals = mine)
"The world is travelling toward the extinction of its magic. There may come a day when every part of the earth's surface will be intimately known, when the powers will have divided up all the habitable land....all the mountains will have been climbed, all the deserts explored, every strange fowl and beast dissected and classified.....There will come a day when narratives like M. de Rougemont's are the tritest commonplace and posterity will envy us our opportunities of credulity." - The Speaker - 24 September 1898.
With the world population arriving at 7 Billion late in 2011 (an increase of 180 people every minute of the day) = (stop breeding!!) I think the above "Speaker's" quote is not far wrong, it will be a sad day when nothing surprises us anymore & we have no fabulous unknown places left to visit.