In this riveting memoir, a small family struggles to survive the upheavals of World War II-first the Soviet occupation of Lithuania, when they barely escape exile to Siberia, then the bitter years under the Nazis. In 1944, as the communists return and their home is destroyed, the parents leave all they have known, determined to give their two daughters a chance at life. On foot, then by horse and cart, they scavenge and beg their way through the ravaged lands of Prussia and Poland into Germany-where further ordeals await.
The end of the war does not end their difficulties. The victorious Allies assign them to displaced person camps in Germany and pressure them to go back “home” to face Stalin’s tyranny in Lithuania. When at long last Father and Dalia, aged eleven, are allowed to go to England, it is on the condition that she lives with English foster parents. She is terrified: if they do not like her, the family must return to the D.P. camp.
Life in post-war Britain is demeaning to war refugees, and immigrating to America feels impossible-but with hope and determination, they achieve their dream of a better life in this inspiring tale of love and sacrifice.
This book will fascinate anyone connected to the events of World War II in Europe, whose ancestors struggled to survive or suffered exile from their homes, and readers interested in the challenges that ordinary people must endure living under foreign occupation in wartime. God, Give Us Wings is a captivating personal snapshot of one of the darkest periods in recent history and of the indomitable power of the human spirit.
About the Author
Felicia Dalia Prekeris Brown was born in Lithuania in 1937, just before World War II unleashed its terrors in Europe. This memoir vividly recounts the family’s harrowing struggle to escape the Soviets, the enemy they feared most. After years in displaced person camps in Germany, and living as a foster child in England, Felicia and her parents achieved their dream: a better life in the United States.
Following a lifetime of satisfying work-first as a teacher, then as a court investigator, Felicia and her husband retired to the central coast of California. Currently, she enjoys Greek dancing, participating in a local lifelong learning program, and going on outings with her Red Hat friends. And over the years she has collected more than a thousand dolls, hoping to compensate for the one she longed for throughout her childhood.