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Fragments of a Forgotten People [Paperback]

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Item description for Fragments of a Forgotten People by Henry Fast...

Fragments of a Forgotten People by Henry Fast

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Item Specifications...

Pages   294
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6.2" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Robert D. Reed Publishers
ISBN  1931741867  
ISBN13  9781931741866  

Availability  16 units.
Availability accurate as of Apr 30, 2017 08:26.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Historical > General
3Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Poland
4Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War II > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Fragments of a Forgotten People?

Horrifying!  Apr 4, 2008
Reviewed by Kam Aures for RebeccasReads (2/08)

"Fragments of a Forgotten People" is an incredible memoir written by Henry Fast about his and his mother Rena's experiences during World War II. Henry and Rena Fast lived in an apartment in Bochnia, Poland. After two army officers boarding with them told them that the enemy was nearing and that they should gather their belongings and go, they packed what they could and set out on a journey far longer and more painful than they ever expected. Their original intention was to travel to Rena's brother's house in Brzesko anticipating that he would take them in. Upon arriving in Brzesko they were received rather coldly by his brother's family who was also planning on evacuating. Henry's Uncle Roman was leaving to report for duty and his Aunt Dora and cousin Zenek were going to flee East with family friends. You would think that family would be more than willing to assist each other in times like these but that was not the case. They were incredibly rude to Rena and Henry, took advantage of them, and refused to let them ride in the wagon or share their food. The way that they treated them was terribly cruel and finally they abandoned them altogether. Things did not get much better for Henry and Rena as they moved from place to place, severely lacking nourishment and proper clothing. They tried to stay with another brother of Rena's and received the same unwelcoming reception as they had with Henry's other uncle. It is horrifying the way that these people acted toward one another during these events. Although there were some people that helped each other out, they were few and far between. After all of the running, like the fate of many during this time period, they were arrested and the deportation process began. "Fragments of a Forgotten People" is a very well-written story chronicling a family's hardships during that terrible period of war. Watching Henry and his mother struggle to survive with little assistance from other family members is heartbreaking. I was shocked at the things that were done to them by their own family! The photographs and the maps in the center of the book are very helpful in fully grasping the story that Henry has to tell. I think that anyone with any inkling of interest in memoirs or history will be intrigued by this book. "Fragments of a Forgotten People" is very eye-opening and is a book that you better not start reading unless you have the time to finish it because it is not possible to put it down!
Compelling Account of World War II  Aug 6, 2007
I found that it was hard to put down Henry Fast's account of being in a camp in Siberia during World War II. I've found numerous accounts of being in concentration camps during this period, but this was the first one that I came across with this story. It shows an eye opening account of how low people can be to one another in times when they should support one another, but also shows those few shining stars that were willing to help a young boy and mother to face an uncertain future. I recommend this book to anyone interested in Jewish history during World War II.
Historical Tragedy  Aug 3, 2007
Reviewed by AJ Cooper for Reader Views (7/07)

Henry Fast's memoir depicts the life he led in Poland in the early 1940s and the rush for safety from the war. His father had passed away and had left him and his mother enough for them to have a house and some small luxuries in the home in Poland. Henry loved to read and play with his friends with no worries in the world. Occasionally his mother would take them on trips to visit relatives throughout Poland.

There was word of war and attacks started to occur in Poland. A military officer had stopped by on his travels to other parts of Poland and suggested that Henry and his mother should not remain but go to stay with relatives in other parts of Poland. Rena, Henry's mother decided what do with their valuables they could not carry and decided they would catch the train. On the way to the train station they discovered that it had stopped running and they would have to try to find some other way to leave their tow. With good fortune they were able to ride with a man who was going to the town of Henry's uncle, Roman. Roman and his wife Dora are not happy to see Rena and Henry and try to get them to leave the way that they had arrived. The man and his cart had completely left the area. Roman had to report to military duty but finally agreed that Rena and Henry could walk behind the cart that his family would be traveling on.

Dora and her traveling companions did not treat Rena and Henry very well and eventually abandoned them on a roadside without their possessions. Rena and Henry struggled to travel on to the next large city and encountered many strange and frightening sights. They finally arrive in a large city in Poland, Lwow, at her brother's house. He was not happy to see Rena yet allowed her to stay with Henry until something else could be arranged. Rena and Henry eventually were arrested and shipped of to a camp. The travel to the camp was terrible and was in open weather and little or no facilities for any ones use. They had been shipped to Siberia to be held for an unknown period of time. All that they owned they had to be able to carry themselves. Needless to say they did not have a lot.

Rena tried to provide as best as she could for Henry. Their food rations were never enough and there bathrooms were non-existent. Hundreds of people had been shipped to Siberia from all walks of life. Many did not survive the ordeal while others thrived on the misery.

An Amazing Journey of a Refugee Deported from Poland  Jul 16, 2007
The invasion of Poland marked the start of World War II in Europe as Poland's western allies declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939. By October 1, Germany and the Soviet Union had completely overrun Poland. This is the setting for the opening chapters of Henry Fast's "Fragments of a Forgotten People."

In this extraordinary memoir Henry Fast tells the story of his plight as he and his widowed mother are forced to flee from their home in Bochnia, Poland with thousands of other refugees.

They are faced with hardships requiring endurance, physical, mental, and emotional, as they face near starvation, ridicule, and the freezing temperatures of the cold winter in Siberia.

They are arrested and deported on foot, railroad trains, and boats. Deplorable crowding, and unsanitary camps, became the way of life for Henry and his mother. Henry found escape by entering a world of fantasy, reliving books he had read. His mind was active and curious. Among the refugees, Henry found an engineer, a scientist, and a mathematician to mentor him and to work through his quest for knowledge.

Fast is a gifted story teller. His character descriptions are colorful. His narrative is both entertaining and informative. The beauty of Henry's writing comes across in the positive attitude reflected throughout the book.

Released from deportation after finding lodging in a former cow shed, Henry writes: "This was my first evening in what I called my own tiny cubicle at my own table. A real table, not a cot, a real chair, not a stump...Before falling asleep, I lent free rein once more to my fantasy, creating a picture of the future: later, after Hitler's defeat."

"Fragments of a Forgotten People" is destined to become a classic in the historical memoirs of World War II.


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