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How a shtetl Jew found the American dream. By Natalie Green Giles and Betty Ajces (158 Pages)Publisher: iUniverse, Inc, 2003
Hundreds of thousands of Jews fought in the Eastern European battlefields of World War II, yet their story has rarely been told. Songa was one of these Jews, serving in Stalin's armies for five long years, fighting a war of Communism against Hitler's Fascism. when it was over, Songa had little more than his life as an army officer: his home village had been destroyed, his family murdered, his allegiance to a ruthless dictator coerced through imprisonment, and his sense of purpose in the world unclear.
Chronicling the life of Leon Ajces, known always as "Songa," Natalie Green Giles unfolds the story of one man's journey through extraordinary times. It is a story that takes us from the quiet grain fields of Songa's idyllic childhood in a shtetl in the Ukraine, through Soviet and Nazi occupation, the bloodiest battles of W.W.II, postwar rebuilding, and the oppressive expansion of Communism across Eastern Europe. It is a story with an unlikely ending, in America, where Songa is allowed to transform himself -- from a Soviet military intelligence officer, to a loyal patriot, and an enormously successful businessman in his adopted country.
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