Abramek Szmerling (later changing his name to Albert Shelling) was nine-years old at the outbreak of the Second World War when his parents made the fateful but sensible decision to flee German-occupied-Poland and make their way east towards the Soviet Union.
Hinged on Luck follows the trials and tribulations of the family’s flight to Siberia. It tells not only of the hardships and tragedies of their lives during the six or so years as refugees in this distant part of the world, but also of moments of happiness – not least the knowledge of being far removed from the carnage raging in the West. The postwar return in 1946 of the family to Poland brought with it different problems, including anti-Semitism.
On fleeing Poland yet again the family became stateless refugees, spending six years in Germany and France. Slowly, they put their lives back together, looking always to a brighter future. They obtained permits to migrate to Australia in 1951 and arrived there in January 1952. In 1957 they became naturalised Australians, citizens in a country of peace and harmony.
The story of the plight of refugees has never lost its appeal for the reader and Hinged on Luck is yet another exacting opportunity to become immersed in their harrowing experiences.