“I had made a hollow space in the woodshed in order to conceal my father during an ‘operation’. Unfortunately, I didn’t have to wait long…”
A fascinating story of survival under three identities lived in five languages. It begins with the birth of Izaak Steger in eastern Poland. He spoke Yiddish at home with relatives, Ukrainian with his nanny and the farmers, learned Polish from songs sung by his mother and aunt and later in school. Izaak also studied German in high school, and Russian during the war. In December 1942, the author fled from the Nazis to the “Aryan” side of Warsaw under an assumed Polish name – Jerzy Czarnecki. He was later arrested, but even under torture, stuck to the story that he was a Ukrainian, Fydor Solenko. He later succeeded in returning to Warsaw and enlisted in the Polish army. After the war, the author had a successful academic career until being forced to flee to Switzerland.