The book is an impressive collection of reminiscences about emigration by Lithuanians to the West during World War II. The conversations with émigrés that are central to the book bring new knowledge about wartime reality and provide insight into the meanings of home and place, and the social impact of the geopolitical upheaval when the state’s sovereignty is annihilated.—Journal of Baltic Studies
Auksuolė Čepaitienė, Lithuanian Institute of History
The Lithuanian version of the book has been reviewed and discussed in many mass media outlets, and it has drawn crowds during presentations in cities with Lithuanian communities in the United States. Readers and listeners have been moved by the dramatic stories of individuals who had to leave their homes abruptly and who faced several hardships as they had to find ways to survive in Western Europe … and adjust to life in North America.— The Oral History Review
Dovilė Budrytė, Professor of Political Science, George Gwinnett College
DALIA STAKĖ ANYSAS
I was baptized the day after the Soviet Army marched into Lithuania in 1940. Four years later as the Soviets were again approaching Lithuania, my family fled West together with tens of thousands other Lithuanians. When the war ended we lived in Displaced Persons camps, and in 1949 we emigrated to the United States. Two days after arriving in Binghamton, NY my father enrolled my sister and me in the local public school. Later we moved to Chicago where I completed grammar school and high school and also attended Lithuanian Saturday school. I continued my education and received a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and master’s degree in Economics from DePaul University in Chicago. I worked in the telephone industry for thirty years until retirement and continue to participate in Lithuanian-American organizations.
LAIMA PETRAUSKAS VANDERSTOEP
I had just turned five in August of 1944, when my parents and I fled from Lithuania to Sweden in advance of the invading Soviet Army. The journey across the Baltic had its exciting moments. A storm arose and the overcrowded fishing boat began to sink. Everyone had to throw overboard what they had brought with them. The motor stopped working. A priest who was sailing with us gave everyone the final blessing. Then the Swedish captain of the boat drowned while trying to fix the engine. Nevertheless, we managed to reach the island of Gotland, but the next morning the boat sank in the harbor. After a stay in internment and displaced persons camps, we settled in Stockholm and in 1948 emigrated to the United States. I graduated from Manhattanville College and studied developmental psychology at the University of Chicago. I worked as a child psychologist in a hospital children’s clinic and consulted for the Head Start program. When I began collecting oral histories of World War II refugees, I attended the Oral History Workshop at Vermont College of Norwich University.
I came to the United States in 1999 to pursue a doctorate in Lithuanian Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a student I met many Lithuanian-Americans from the second wave of emigration to the U.S., or so-called DPs. Later, as editor-in-chief of the daily Draugas, I got to know more of them much better. I am profoundly grateful for my friendships with DPs and my warm memories from fourteen years in America. Currently I work at the National Library of Lithuania where I research the Lithuanian diaspora’s written heritage.
LT: Knygoje Manėm, kad greit grįšim (anglų kalba) – aštuoniolika pokalbių su JAV lietuviais, kurie Antrojo pasaulinio karo metais buvo priversti palikti Lietuvą ir trauktis į Vakarus nuo artėjančio sovietų fronto ir tremties grėsmės. Knygos sudarytojų Dalios Stakės Anysienės, Laimos Petrauskas VanderStoep ir Dalios Cidzikaitės pašnekovai atvirai pasakoja apie bėgimo iš Lietuvos aplinkybes, gyvenimą DP stovyklose Vokietijoje, apsisprendimą emigruoti ir įsikūrimą Jungtinėse Valstijose.
Knygyne EUREKA! (Daukanto a. 2/10, Vilnius)
Knygyne HUMANITAS (Universiteto g. 3, Vilnius)