Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Papa said, “Don’t forget to tell the children”

Anatole Kurdsjuk

Anatole Kurdsjuk

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With those words, my father planted a seed in the heart of a young boy that would not flower until well over a half a century later. We had reached the end of an exhausting journey that lasted years, often with our own lives in peril when he first whispered them to me.

For my father and mother and most of my extended family, the journey lasted even longer since it began years before I was born. A darkness had enveloped their beloved Russia with a brutality that forced a stark choice for them and many of their countrymen: Accept this new idea called Communism, or face ruin, exile, and even death.

My family could not abide the loss of freedom. They could not live as slaves. A resistance took shape that drew from very deep places in their heart, so deep in fact that they refused to rationalize away their faith and freedom. The authorities knew my family’s love of God and each other was a dangerous repudiation of their plans, and so began a long and perilous exile that reached across the countries of Europe and ended at the shores of America.

Now, years later, I have chronicled their story and my own. As facts were set down and recounted with friends and family, it became evident that the story was a timeless one, a story worth sharing with others. It began as a memoir for my children and grew to be something larger than I ever envisioned.

The Long Walk Home is a story about a family – but it is more. It is a story of history and the persecution of the Russian people, first by the Stalinist government and then by the Nazis – but still it is more. Above all else, The Long Walk Home is a story of love and the human will.

Follow the tale of Jacob and Olga as the horrible realities of early 20th Century Russia caused them to lose their home, their children, face separation, exile, imprisonment and forced marches to Nazi labor camps, and stumbling block after stumbling block in their struggle to come to America.

Thank you for visiting my website. Thank you for your interest in my book. In fulfilling my promise to my father, I hope too that my readers might be edified and encouraged and see what precious gifts faith and freedom are.