Olga Gladky Verro, Editor of Voices From The Past

A Few Very Personal Words…

I am a Ukrainian native of the World War Two generation who came to America in 1959 as a Displaced Person, with my husband and our two children, none of us speaking English.

We came by the way of Nazi invasion, forced labor under the Germans, and escape from the advancing Soviets who sought to seize and send to the gulags all who had been under Nazi influence. It was in these times that I came under Soviet artillery fire, with my mother enabled the escape of my father from a Nazi concentration camp and prison hospital, and met the Italian airman who was a prisoner of war of the Germans and who was to spirit me into Italy at war’s end and became my husband of fifty years and father of our two children.

As a quick learner of English, by 1966 I earned a baccalaureate, subsequently master’s and doctoral degrees at University of Connecticut and I gave my best to my new country by educating American children until my retirement.

Throughout my working years I collected my mother’s and father’s memories about their families and our life in Soviet Union. My father was a writer and his short stories were published in Russian immigrant newspapers and journals. He asked me to preserve them for posterity, so the world would not forget those terrible years in his Motherland Russia. With the new opportunity opened for self-publishing, I fulfilled my father’s wish and his work is now available in Russian and English versions. The “Voices From The Past” and “Голоса из прошлого” (Golosa is proshlogo) illuminate not only the disastrous and bloody years of Communist Soviet Union, but look also into the perilous life lived by our family.

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My father was officially declared by the Soviets as “an enemy of the people.” Why? In the Russian Civil War which followed the 1917 Revolution he was a barely sixteen-years-old volunteer in the White Army who fought the Red Army as an artilleryman. The Reds won and thereafter pursued and harassed White Army veterans.

My husband was an Italian Air Force volunteer who fought on the side of Franco in the Spanish Civil War. It is my plan to publish his Flight Log and selected diary entries. We met when he was a prisoner of the Germans and I was a forced laborer in Germany.

My mother was a teacher in Ukraine, as was my father, and one of her students was a young Nikita Khrushchev, who later became a Soviet Premier. My mama lived to the ripe old age of 104 despite so many years of Soviet oppression, war and German labor camps and wrote her memoirs that are included in our family history ready for publication: “Caught in the Web of History: Nikita S. Khrushchev’s Teacher and Her Family Remember Sweep of Events that Destroyed the Life of Millions.”
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