Friday, November 18, 2016

Update on My WWII Book

In September, I announced that I was in the early stages of writing a book based on my grandmother's WWII story. She was an ethnic German who grew up in Ukraine under ruthless Communist dictator Joseph Stalin. (Click here to read more details in my September 8th post.)

My grandmother passed away when I was in middle school, but she left behind a memoir. I admit that I've been brought to tears while reading how deeply her family suffered, especially her account of the day she was forced to say goodbye to her father. When she was just eight years old, he was banished to a death camp in Siberia and never heard from again.

Throughout this process, I have been able to reconnect with my great uncle (my grandmother's brother) who lives in Germany. He doesn't speak a word of English, but with help from my mom, I have been able to email with him and his wife. His side of the story is also very sobering, as he and his mother (my great grandmother) were also deported to Siberia and were separated from my grandmother for thirty years.

Despite the hardships that my relatives lived through, they were somehow able to push forward and maintain a strong faith. Their ability to overcome their trials will be the theme of my book.

This project has required a lot of research, and the actual writing part has proven to be more challenging that I imagined, but I look forward to sharing the finished product with you all!

The photo above is of my grandmother and my 16-month-old self. :)

32 comments:

  1. Anonymous11/18/2016

    What a sweet photo, and a beautiful testimony to your grandmother's resiliency! I can't wait to read your book when you're finished.

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    1. Thank you! I'm looking forward to sharing it with you. :)

      Ellie

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  2. Anonymous11/18/2016

    Oh yes please! I'd LOVE to read your book. Do you know what your going to title it?

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that! I haven't come up with a title yet. That will probably be the last thing I do. But if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them.

      Ellie

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  3. Anonymous11/18/2016

    Wow, that's fascinating. I'm looking forward to reading your book. I've been reading fictional books with my six year old daughter, so she can learn about World War II. We just moved to the island of Oahu, so I thought now is a good time to teach her about WW II. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Anonymous11/19/2016

      I think it is wonderful for you to teach your daughter about WW2, but why the fictional books? What about historical books, diaries like the Diary of Anne Frank? Is it hard to find books on WW2 written for her age group? It's kind of confusing to me on how fiction can teach truth.

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    2. Glad to hear you're interested in reading it. :) That's neat that you live in Oahu. Did you move from another Hawaiian island or the mainland?

      Ellie

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    3. Anonymous11/20/2016

      We moved here from the mainland. My husband is military, so we will be here for three years.

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    4. Anonymous11/20/2016

      I'm using fictional books that are based on true events in history. We've been reading the Dear America books. My daughter just turned six last week, so based on her age I don't think a lot of history books would interest her just yet. Right now, I'm just trying to keep her interested in reading books and learning.

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  4. Shela G11/18/2016

    Will be looking forward to reading the whole story!! The picture is very cute. Grandma's are the best.

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    1. Thank you, Shela! They sure are. My grandma had a thick accent (I can still hear her voice in my head) and was a very sweet lady. She didn't learn English until she was an adult, but she was a very good writer. :) what were your grandmothers like?

      Ellie

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    2. Shela G11/20/2016

      The two words that come to mind when I think about the Grandma I got to spend more time with are strong and compassionate. She had a rough childhood but managed to overcome whatever trials came her way. She has the biggest heart for people and animals. When I think about her I can see her standing in front of the stove cooking up something wonderful to feed her family and anyone who might need a meal.

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  5. Anonymous11/18/2016

    https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.qualitativesociologyreview.org/ENG/Volume26/QSR_9_3_Krahn.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwiH69P7ybPQAhUB7oMKHVvvB8sQFgg2MAI&usg=AFQjCNEzwIPupuG2dyBr5u0VyFg23OzO_g

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  6. Anonymous11/18/2016

    Ellie thanks for sharing this with us.
    I love the picture of you and your grandmom. You were a cutie.

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    1. Thank you! It's my pleasure.

      Ellie

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  7. I would love to read your book too! Besonders da meine Liebe Oma mir ebenfalls viele schreckliche Erlebnisse von der Zeit erzählt hat! Sorry, I couldn't write that in english! Love greetings from germany

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    1. Hello, Ann! Your English is very good. Danke für die Nachricht. Ist Ihre Großmutter in Deutschland aufgewachsen?

      Ellie

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    2. Thank you! Meine Oma ist in Russland geboren! Ebenso meine Eltern, meine älteren Geschwister und ich! Aber weis nichts davon, wir wohnen jetzt schon fast 30Jahre hier. Meine liebe Oma hat uns aber viel schreckliches vom WW2 erzahlt! I'm looking forward to read your book! Even though it is in english! Your german is very good too!

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    3. Thank you! Meine Oma ist in Russland geboren! Ebenso meine Eltern, meine älteren Geschwister und ich! Aber weis nichts davon, wir wohnen jetzt schon fast 30Jahre hier. Meine liebe Oma hat uns aber viel schreckliches vom WW2 erzahlt! I'm looking forward to read your book! Even though it is in english! Your german is very good too!

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    4. Danke für das Teilen, Ann! Ich freue mich darauf, mein Buch mit Ihnen zu teilen, wenn es fertig ist. Ich gebe zu, dass ich mit Google zu übersetzen helfen. Ich studierte Deutsch ein wenig in der Schule, aber ich bin nicht sehr gut.

      Ellie

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    5. Hay! Your german is really good!

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  8. Anonymous11/19/2016

    What's a typical Christmas like for you?

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    1. Hi there. Christmas has changed now that I'm married. For thanksgiving, our families get together, but for Christmas, we try to spend s couple days with each of our families. This year is going to be hectic (and a little different) because of my brother in law's wedding though. We still have yet to finalize our schedule. Lol

      What's a typical Christmas like for you?

      Ellie

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    2. Anonymous11/20/2016

      We eat Cheesecake for breakfast,watch Hallmark movies, and go to church for Christmas Eve and Chistmas Day service.

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    3. That sounds like a nice relaxing day! I sure do love cheesecake. Do you have a favorite type?

      Ellie

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  9. I'm also from Ukraine, migrated here when I was 7, with my parents (20 now!)
    I remember my grandma's stories about the famine and the war...out of 7 kids in her family, she was the only one who survived, her siblings died from starvation..
    My grandma, she passed away 3 years ago, would've been 94 this year..

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    1. Anonymous11/22/2016

      Wow.

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    2. Oh my. That's very sad. I have been doing some research on the famine. It was a very terrible time that a lot of people don't know about. It's especially sad to hear that the famine was created by Stalin.

      Ellie

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  10. wow a powerful story when you sell it Imp buying a copy. title for that book could me "I'm here because of her"

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    1. Hi Anna,

      Thanks for the great idea. I'll be sure to write that one down. :)

      Ellie

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  11. Good luck with the book! :)

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