FAR FROM MY HOME, NEVER TO RETURN:
A Polish Child's WWII Memoir
by NADIA SELUGA
BOOK REVIEW
Far From My Home Never to Return
Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939 and two weeks later the Soviet Red Army
invaded from the east annexing Polish territories and arresting and deporting Polish men,
women and children.  Over 1.5 million Polish people were deported to remote gulags of the
Soviet Union.  About 350,000 of them perished.  It was a catastrophe of mammoth
proportions and yet the Big Three – Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin obscured these
atrocities under a veil of secrecy.  There are precious few witnesses today who have told
their story.

Far From My Home, Never to Return: A Polish Child’s WWII Memoir bears witness to
the deportation of the Polish people.  It is an unforgettable, poignant story told from the
experiences of Nadia, who was only nine years of age when the Soviets invaded eastern
Poland.  It is not only a testament of historical events, but an affirmation that faith and hope
can sustain even a child in the darkest abyss of human suffering.  The story is very well
written and unfolds in fluid detail as Nadia recounts her idyllic childhood memories, suddenly
shattered by war.  It marked the beginning of a treacherous odyssey into captivity, starvation
and sickness, and two years of imprisonment and forced labor at Arkhangelsk, a remote
Soviet gulag near the shores of the White Sea.  

In July 1941 the Sikorski-Maisky Agreement was signed between Poland and Russia,
whereby Stalin agreed to release all Polish prisoners.  However, only a fraction of them were
ever permitted to leave the Soviet Union.  It was an exodus of biblical proportions. The few
who were fortunate enough to leave endured a plethora of unimaginable hardships and
treachery.  Many died along their journey towards freedom yet sanctuary at a makeshift
Polish camp was fraught with as many dangers and hardships. To have survived it at all was
truly a miracle.  

Far From My Home, Never to Return: A Polish Child’s WWII Memoir is a virtual treasure of
memories, events, people, and places.  Though it is not an historical treatise, it provides
unique insight to, and understanding of, the suffering endured by Polish deportees during
WWII.  It was a tragedy compounded by a series of no lesser catastrophes that culminated
with the sacrifice of Poland by its allies, into Stalinist hands.  Even today Western historians
and academia continue to avert their eyes from what continues to be the least known
atrocity of the Second World War.  This book is an invaluable contribution to the historical
record.  I would venture to say that it should be required reading for all students of World
War II history.  

The author, Mrs. Nadia Seluga, is a widow whose husband was Schilling staff sergeant
Seluga,   She was born Nadzieja (Nadia)  Bogdaniec, in the village of Łunin, in eastern
Poland and remembers vividly the day that the village was bombed and her whole family
forced into bondage -  her father Josef, her mother, and her siblings Janka, Olesia, Antek,
and Marysia.  What is truly remarkable is that her whole family managed to remain united
despite events that continuously conspired to separate them.  In hindsight, Mrs. Seluga
realized that the only thing that ensured their survival was their ability to remain together.   
Nadzieja  means “hope” and the hope in young Nadia gave her the strength to overcome all
the obstacles.

Nadia, Marysia and Janka are the only survivors left of the original members of the family
depicted in Far From My Home, Never to Return: A Polish Child’s WWII Memoirs.

                                                                               
Polish Greatness.com
                                                                               April 11, 2012
Publisher: Martin Sisters Publishing
March 22, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937273334
ISBN-13: 978-1937273330
Paperback: 260 pages
Nadia Seluga
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Mrs. Nadia Seluga
2nd Polish Corps in Italy 1944
P O L I S H
G R E A T N E S S
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