God looks after the orphans.
Krystyna Carmi was born in Obertyn, Ukraine as Sonia. In the time of Sonia’s childhood the territory would host Ukrainians and Poles, Jews and Christians, both Catholic and Orthodox believers. They would live along a quiet life, having their jobs, their daily tasks, their friends and families. Just like any other place in the world those days.
Her memoir starts with her early childhood before the war. She was gifted with an amazing memory and is in place to tell the story of her family and hers, transferring the atmosphere, smells and feelings through the pages of this book. Even as a little girl Sonia describes how her family lived along with their neighbors, have them be Ukrainians, Poles or Jews. Her father was a professional photographer and sonia was able to save many of his photos that have now become part of her memoir. We can see the beautiful family with the three daughters of which only the little one miraculously survived.
This is a survivor’s memoir, yet there is nothing about concentration camps, only about the Kolomyya ghetto, where Sonia’s family was transferred when Jews were ordered to evacuate Obertyn. Even though she was not transferred to a concentration camp she has gone through many horrors as a child and that is a traumatic experience for a little girl like Sonia was.
Some may be minded by the way the story is described. However it is more authentic as it took a lot of time for the author to allow herself to remember and speak of those days, so some memories may have faded along the way. Others may have been pushed deep down in her conscious mind that she is not able to remember anything more than a blank between memories. It is a protection mechanism of the brain to repel traumatic memories into unconscious.