Andrii Antonenko was born in the Ukraine in 1922 shortly before the Communist purges of the Kulaks. He and his family were sent to work camps in the frozen steppes of the far North when he wasn't even a teenager. He escaped the camp at an early age and from then on his life was a tale of extraordinary resilience and survival. He was conscripted into the Red Army at the beginning of 1941 just prior to the German invasion of Russia, and was engaged in battle and subsequently wounded. He managed to return to his home town where he recuperated. Following his recovery he was forced into the German Army where he suffered under the hands of the Germans before escaping and joining the Italian partisans. During this period he escaped death several times, was often on the edge of starvation and in constant fear of his life.
Ultimately through luck and deception, he managed to pass himself off as a Pole and join the Polish division of the British Army in order to escape being repatriated by the Soviets and sent back to be murdered as part of their cleansing process.
This book is dedicated to my father and all the Ukrainians who suffered under Stalin's totalitarian regime including the forced famine of 1933 and the Second World War. His firsthand account of the events provide a snapshot of a critical time in the history of the Ukraine and the events which have been glossed over in the history books by subsequent events. His desire to return to the bosom of his family provided a long and dangerous journey through a number of countries and experiences which would have defeated many people. His candid and honest comments provide a balance of compassion and optimism which he has passed on to those who surrounded him.This is his story…