Book recommendation for Tomorrow Will Be Better and a request
Posted by Lesley on August 14, 1998 at 02:10:49:
I read a fantastic book called Tomorrow Will Be Better by Zdena Kapral. ZK is a Czech woman who survived the occupation of her country by the Nazis along with her husband and two chlidren. The book is really interesting, even if you are not a WW II buff, because it is written from the point of view of a woman, first of all. I was never very aware of what happened to Czechoslovakia during the war- not much emphasized in the US, I dare say.
The book was so informative and gripping. I learned alot about the country, the people. Sometimes the book is humorous as well as heartbreaking. Their particular part of Czechoslovakia was "liberated" by Russians who were actually criminals let out in order to help the Russians with their war effort. So, in essence, these Czechs survived two invasions.
ZK's husband was a brilliant chemist who was basically over most of the chemical production in Czechoslovakia at the start of the war. He was very brave; he let the resistance use his hq as a radio signalling point. He was put on trial by the Nazis for donating money to the resistance; they never found the radio equipment.
Exciting stuff happened when the Russians came- they mainly liberated the Czechs of their jewellry, watches, and whatever else the Nazis didn't take. They basically trashed the Kapral's farm, even slashing the furniture open to find valuables, breaking everything in the house while the family was in the underground shelter. All their toilets had shoes stuffed in them- the Russians didn't know what they were for.
Not all Russian divisions were like this, of course. But in her city, it became somewhat of a joke. After the war, watching a newsreel of the meeting btwn Rosevelt, Churchill and Stalin, when S shakes C's hand, someone yells out, "Give me your watch!" The Russians actually stopped the movie to inquire who had made that crack. No one answered.
After the war, her husband was offered to be over all chemical production in the country, provided he join the communist party. He refused, and they went to India and were there when India had its bloody separation from Pakistan.
After several years in Australia, they came to the US.
Of course, I haven't even scratched the surface of all that happened. I highly recommend this book and I am currently looking for other personal memoirs of people who survived WW II.
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.