That night we tangoed and fox—trotted with other girls and boys on the open—air
dance platform in the park. Who said there was a war going on? Two days later I
reported to DonURP (like DURP, a branch of the People's Commissariat of ...
Author: Sophia Orlovsky Williams
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Escape into Danger tells the remarkable story of a young girl’s perilous adventures and coming of age during World War II. Born in Kiev to a Catholic mother and a Jewish father, Sophia Williams chose to be identified as Jewish when she was eligible for a Soviet passport, mandatory at the age of sixteen, little realizing the life-changing consequences of her decision. Only seventeen when Germany invaded Russia in 1941, Sophia left Kiev, unwittingly escaping the Babi Yar massacre. On her journey into Russia, she fled from flooding, dodged fires and bombs, and fell in love. At Stalingrad, Sophia turned back in a futile attempt to return home to her mother. Stranded in a Nazi-occupied town, accepted as a Russian, she found work with a sympathetic German officer and felt secure until a local girl recognized her as a Jew. Within days, Sophia’s boss spirited her to safety with his family in Poland. Soon, though, Sophia was on the run again, this time to Nazi Germany, where, befriended by Germans and Hungarians, she somehow escaped detection through the rest of the war. She met and married a like-minded German soldier and started a family and business. The business thrived in post-war Germany, but the marriage deteriorated. She divorced her adulterous husband, but the vindictive, even homicidal Guido continued to dog her steps. Throughout, Sophia maintained her grit, charm, and optimism, the qualities that saved her as she time and again made her “escape into danger.”