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Between Tyranny And Freedom
A Cautionary Tale of Survival and Resurrection

Alexandra Mazur Smith

Current events in Ukraine have been tragically reminiscent of Eastern Europe in the late 1930s. This narrative of one young survivor suggests parallels that are deeply and disturbingly similar.

This is a true story of Tadek, a young farm boy living an ordinary yet happy life filled with family, friends, and hopes and dreams for a future. When war comes to Eastern Europe, his fate and that of his family takes a horrible turn, and they rely on their strength and will to carry them through oppression, brutality, and loss. Tadek is faced with his ensuing struggle to survive in slavery and an uncertain fate. The evil he encounters thrusts him into deep despair and hopelessness as he grows from a youth into a man, with a tenuous hold on his very existence. But when Tadek finds himself resurrected from the hell he has endured, he reclaims his lost freedom and pursues the building of a new life.

Between Tyranny and Freedom narrates the evil that authoritarian and totalitarian governments inflict upon real families, real people; it also shows how living in freedom is the natural state for which man is intended, and to which man naturally gravitates. This true story, while occurring in a previous generation, has overtones in today’s situation in Ukraine and elsewhere, including our own society.

German troops invaded Poland in the fall of 1939, an action justified by Nazi propagandists who falsely claimed that Poland and their allies were planning to persecute ethnic Germans living there. Sound familiar? The realization of Hitler’s false rhetoric came too late for Tadek, a boy too young to understand subjugation of free speech, liberty, and the consequences of enslavement by an evil dictator.

Tadek’s story as told by his daughter is one of a boy, living an ordinary yet happy life full of hopes and dreams when Adolf Hitler invades Eastern Europe and Tadek and his family’s lives take a horrible turn. Young Tadek is enslaved as forced labor, enduring extreme mistreatment and starvation just to survive. The evil he encounters thrusts him into deep despair and hopelessness throughout his young years and into manhood. Then, through the grace of God, Tadek finds himself resurrected from his personal hell, determined to rebuild his life.

History has a way of repeating itself. Tadek’s story forces the reader to reflect on the self-serving agendas of unchecked governments. When the propagandized citizens ignore the signs, and are forced down a dangerous path with false rhetoric, the realization of what is really happening can come too late. Tales of overcoming deep despair and hopelessness are too often sparse, but can lead to resurrection and new life. Tadek’s story is one of these.

Format:6.14x9.21” B&W soft cover
Size:112 pages
Publication:11 November 2022
Price:$ 12.95 USD


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