One thing that can be done to raise awareness is to make readily
available well written survivor books in the local language (ie English for
many of us) about the Soviet horrors. I know that the US publisher of my
husband�s book, �Without Vodka�, will ship orders of ten or more copies of
it at about half price. Other publishers probably have similar deals for
their books. These can then be sold to make some money to defray the
expenses of people organizing a meeting with a Polish theme. Some people
who attend such meetings-- or showings of �A Forgotten Odyssey�-- will be
pleased to be able to buy a tape of Jagna�s film or books such as �A Straw
in the Wind� by Eugene Krajewski or �The Ice Road: An Epic Journey From
Stalinist Labour Camps to Freedom� by Stefan Waydenfeld or "Escape via
Siberia" by Dorit Bader Whiteman.
If the book buyers find it worth reading they will pass it along to
family and friends and so spread the knowledge of what went on in the USSR.
Those who don�t buy a copy may well seek the survivor�s book at their local
library. If it is not there, they will ask the librarian to get it for them.
Aleks wrote about his time under the Soviets (1939-42) in order to
get the word out to the next generations. He has been enheartened by the
response he has had from young adults who can identify with a young person
going through such troubles. They read it like an adventure story and pick
up more knowledge than they realize about the conditions facing Poles,
Ukrainians, Russians and others under the iron-fist of Stalin. In fact, a
girls prep school in Troy, N.Y. (Emma Willard School) has had �Without
Vodka� on it�s long summer reading list for a few years. Aleks was
delighted to see Topolski on their list following Thackeray, Thoreau,
Tolkien and Tolstoy, and preceding Mark Twain.
PS Thanks, Linder, for your kind words. As long as we can. we�ll continue to
publicize the Soviet horrors.