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By: Linda Geerling

Eugene Zarebski – a Story of Escape, Survival and Resilience

Pages: 152 Ratings:
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What’s wrong with a pair of rose-tinted glasses? Eugene would not allow the long, dark shadow of the Second World War to impact his life afterwards. Describing a teenager taking action to rebel against the Nazi occupation of his country, the author goes on to relate further events which shaped his character into becoming an adult who would never give up hope of creating a better life. Who knows what was in his mind as he hovered between life and death, more than once, in those fractured years? But as Eugene sometimes said – “You always need a little bit of luck.”

I remember my father-in-law Eugene as a stoic character who possessed a rather dry sense of humour. His story is one of a young man’s effort to stay alive and fight in the Second World War, but it also shows us how such a Polish patriot could manage to settle down to life as a coalminer in England, finally becoming an “Aussie” embracing a different culture and totally different lifestyle. The geography alone is absorbing – captured in Poland and sent to Northern Russia, then south into Uzbekistan, across Turkmenistan to Iran and Iraq - to be eventually transported by a British Navy ship to Liverpool in England. He was sent to Belgium and Holland in the war, then afterwards Duxford near Cambridge, London, Nottinghamshire and finally Melbourne, Australia. Enjoy the story.

Ted Geerling, Melbourne, Australia.

Aged sixteen after her family emigrated from England to Australia, Linda worked for various building companies in Melbourne—saving to build a house with her migrant husband. She then had two children and simultaneously caught up on a neglected education by attaining a Bachelor of Arts degree part-time. Following a teaching diploma from the University of Melbourne, she began a career teaching Migrant English, which later became known as ESL (English as a Second Language).

Following an M.Ed. (TESOL) from Monash University, she returned to England to participate in programs being run in this field of teaching. Based in Yorkshire from 2000-6, Ted and Linda enjoyed many trips to Europe, including Linda’s four visits to Poland to get to know more about her family and the country her father loved. She has also published poetry over the years in various quarterly magazines and journals.

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