All over the world the historical record is being distorted and weaponised. This makes the balanced, conscientiously researched work of such an organization as Memorial more valuable than ever. My Father's Letters is well presented and deeply moving. The translation is fluent and all the necessary background information is clearly provided. Some passages conjure up the life of an individual family - and of an entire culture - with heart-breaking vividness
Astoundingly, these stories are not miserable. Yes, the men mention their inadequate shelter, clothing and food, but the overwhelming impact is the expression of their love for their families... My Father's Letters is beautifully produced
Vin Arthey, Scotsman
What is heart-breaking and pitiful about these salvaged letters home is their very ordinariness - the tender love expressed for wives and children, the enquiries about their education and welfare, the little bits of advice about what to study, how to behave, well-meant homilies, as if everyone is trying to carry on participating in daily lives, giving voice to hope, when there was no hope
Roger Lewis, Telegraph
From the Same Author
MEMORIAL, translated by Georgia Thomson
Winner of the Jan Michalski Prize 2021
An Ostarbeiter was an ‘Eastern Worker’, rounded up by Nazi Germany from the captured territories in Central and Eastern Europe. By the end of the war, it is estimated that approximately 3 million to 5.5. million Ostarbeiter were forced to work in guarded work camps, many of them younger than 16 years old – at which age they would be conscripted for military service. Ostarbeiter worked 12 hours a day on starvation on rations; as ethnic Slavs, they were treated with extraordinary brutality by Nazi guards who considered them ‘sub-human’ by the standards of the Aryan master race. They were distinguished by the label ‘OST’ sewn onto their uniforms.
OST is based on over two hundred personal accounts, hundreds of hours of interviews, and over 350,000 letters. This important publication will ensure that the voices of the brutalised and displaced Ostarbeiter will not be forgotten.