Henry Michalski presents his book "Torn Lilacs"
Local author Henry Michalski will present his book, "Torn Lilacs: A True WWII Story of Love, Defiance and Hope" at Readers' Books on Wednesday, March 1st at 6:00 p.m. It is the heart-wrenching tale of Michalsky's parents' survival: from the small Polish town where his mother Fela was born, to a remote island gulag in Siberia, to Kazakhstan, this sweeping history proves that the impossible can be achieved despite insurmountable odds. Fela met her future husband Joksa Michalski just as the Nazis came to power in Germany. Over the next horrific decade, Fela and her brother fled Poland, evading the Nazis, but were deported to Siberia where they were slave laborers for years. Once Fela and Joska were released from their respective Soviet imprisonments, they miraculously found each other again. Their story is one of tenacity and integrity during dark times.
Henry Michalski was born in Kazakhstan in 1945, lived in a Displaced Person's camp in German, and arrived, with his family, at Ellis Island in 1949. A graduate of San Francisco State University, Henry became a full-time teacher in Napa Valley, where he was named a Teacher of the Year, and led students on a peace mission to the Soviet Union. He also worked as a freelance journalist, and co-authored the book "Napa Valley's Jewish Heritage", an Images of America book.