Hat Author Hopes Harrowing Tale of Survival will Speak to Youth.

Slade, Gillian. "Hat Author Hopes Harrowing Tale of Survival will Speak to Youth." Medicine Hat News, 25 September 2009, B1.

Medicine Hat resident Anna Fisher has published her first book, "Cry Out of Russia," which reveals details of her life under Stalin's communist rule in the Ukraine.

German invasion in the Second World War was greeted with relief.

For some people the tragic circumstances of life are so awful the pain never leaves and it takes years before they can talk about it.

Anna Fischer kept her secret for decades and only recently published her first book reveal­ing the details.

Her childhood under Stalin's communist rule in Odessa, Ukraine, was brutally cold, filled with hunger, and her only shoes were rags bandaged around her feet for protection against the cold.

"All the land belonged to the state and we worked for them and received food rations which weren't enough to live on," said Fischer.

The 83 year-old Medicine Hat author says we should all look back to where we've come from and be grateful for what we have now.

Tears come readily to Fischer's eyes as she describes the last time her uncle came to her, home before he was deported to a labour camp in Siberia and never heard from again.

In the midst of terrible poverty and a daily struggle, school children were welcomed to a viewing of a film showing how much Stalin loved children and they observed his daughter dressed in pretty clothes.

"I only ever had one outfit of clothes," said Fischer. "On Saturdays I stayed in bed while my mother washed and dried it."

Germany's invasion during the Second World War was greeted with relief as people finally had enough to eat, and for the first time Fischer was able to eat real bread. The change was not to last.

By 1944 the German villagers in Ukraine were marched toward Poland in a column 35 miles long. Managing to survive that march is remarkable and Fischer recounts harrowing details with acute clarity.

The family lived in Germany for a few years before deciding to emigrate to Canada. Fischer was the first to arrive in Leader, Sask., in June 1951.

Fischer admits to shedding many tears as she wrote "Cry Out of Russia.... escape from darkness."

"I particularly want the book to speak to the younger the generation so they can see what their forefathers went through and appreciate the freedom they have today."

The book is published by Trafford publishing and is avail­able online at http://books.trafford.com/09-0854 or you can email melinda.a.fischer@gmail.com. Fischer will be at the Esplanade on today from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. to sign copies of books purchased there and answer questions.

Reprinted with permission of the Medicine Hat News.

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