On September 27, 1939, after the Nazi invasion, Poland ceased to exist as a nation. Ten-year-old Hanna Davidson's father, Simon, and older brother, Kazik, had been drafted to defend Warsaw. Hanna and her mother, Sofia, found themselves subjected to Hitler's efforts to dehumanize Poland's Jewish population. There seemed no choice but to submit to a ruthless tyranny.
Learning that Simon and Kazik were alive in the Soviet-occupied zone of Poland, Hanna and her mother decided to risk a harrowing escape from Nazi Poland into safer Soviet territory. With only the clothes on their backs, they fled their apartment to face a daunting crossing and the threat of persecution under Stalin's regime.
As recounted by Hanna, the Davidsons' journey into the Soviet interior makes for an extraordinary story. More than a memoir of survival, their story is clearly one of a family whose spirit could not be destroyed by persecution, war, famine, or political oppression.
Hanna Davidson Pankowsky was born in Łódź, Poland. She and her family survived the Holocaust by escaping to Russia. After the war, the family emigrated to Mexico City, where Hanna studied micro biology and chemistry; she speaks four languages. For more than fifteen years, Hanna worked as a volunteer at the Children's Shelter. At the same time, she kept the memory of the Holocaust alive by lecturing to students in middle and high schools. Hanna has two children and three grandchildren. She and her husband reside in San Antonio, Texas, where she continues to write.