Two Babushkas: How My Grandmothers Survived Hitler's War and Stalin's Peace

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Bloomsbury, 2004 - Grandmothers - 338 pages
7 Reviews
Journalist Masha Gessen's last memory of Russia was the crowd of red-eyed relatives gathered at the airport in Moscow in 1981 to wave goodbye forever to her 14-year-old self, her brother and her parents. Unwilling to have their children grow up bearing the weight of the same anti-Semitism that they and their parents had, Masha's mother and father were emigrating to America. But Russia was Masha's home and 10 years later she returned to a changed country, and to her two grandmothers. With intelligence and humour Masha Gessen unfolds the tale of these two women: both Eastern European Jews who lived through Polish and Russian anti-Semitism, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the Stalin years and who bore unceasing intimidation and fear in very different ways but with similar courage, resourcefulness and sheer chutzpah. As Masha traces the characters, struggles, love affairs and families of Ester, confident and reckless, and Rosalia, sensitive and responsible, the story of twentieth-century Russia and its people, the Jews, their friends and their enemies, emerges. And so does Masha Gessen's own story, itself a modern myth of exile and return.

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Review: Ester and Ruzya: How My Grandmothers Survived Hitler's War and Stalin's Peace

User Review  - Angela - Goodreads

I learned a lot about living through a war and political oppression from this book, and its subjects had interesting lives. Doesn't have the expert pacing of a novel, because it isn't one. I dropped ... Read full review

Review: Ester and Ruzya: How My Grandmothers Survived Hitler's War and Stalin's Peace

User Review  - Shannon Wyss - Goodreads

An excellent biography of two Jewish women living in the USSR during and after World War II, one from Poland, the other from the Soviet Union itself. Reading the stories of individuals who survived ... Read full review

About the author (2004)

Masha Gessen is the Russian correspondent for US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT. She has been a contributor to GRANTA and is the author of DEAD AGAIN: THE RUSSIAN INTELLIGENTSIA AFTER COMMUNISM. She lives in Moscow.

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