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Displaced Person

A Girl's Life in Russia, Germany, and America

Ella E. SchneiderHilton

Publication Year: 2006

In her moving and deeply personal memoir, Ella E. Schneider Hilton chronicles her remarkable childhood—one that took her from the purges of Stalinist Russia to the refugee camps of Nazi and postwar Germany to the cotton fields of Jim Crow Mississippi before granting her access to the American dream. Despite her hard life as a refugee, Ella finds solace in others and retains her indomitably inquisitive spirit. Throughout her ordeals, she never relinquishes hope or sight of her goal of education. Poignantly and freshly rendered, this is a tale of determination. It is the story of a girl caught up first in the maelstrom of World War II and then in the complexities of American southern culture, adjusting to events beyond her control with resiliency as she searches for faith, knowledge, and a place in the world.

Published by: Louisiana State University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-

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Foreword

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pp. xi-xvi

Displaced Person is a marvelous story in many ways. It is an inspiring rendition of the American dream: a young girl born to German parents in the USSR, caught in the maelstrom of the Second World War, assigned for seven years to a refugee camp in Germany, offered the chance to come to America, and, after some hardships...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-

First and foremost I wish to thank Theodor Puder, my step-father. When I was hungry, he fed me. When I was barefoot, he made shoes for my feet. When I needed shelter, he provided. And for my future, he moved to America. God bless America for taking us in and for giving us homeless a home. Thank you to Joseph and..

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Russia

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pp. 1-31

Mama screamed. It was almost an inhuman shriek that sounded like it came from an animal in pain. It broke the stillness of the muggy Mississippi dawn and brought the whole family out of our beds and to our feet. “Theodor! Theodor! Where are you? Hurry up! Oh dear God, what have I done in my life to deserve...

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Germany

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pp. 32-167

Joy, joy!We have arrived in the land that our forefathers left many years ago, the land of paradise. We are going to live in Berlin. When Oma was telling us about the Germany her parents left for a better life in Russia, it sounded like a fairy tale....

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America

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pp. 168-244

After ten days at sea we stood at the railing of the USNS General Harry Taylor watching the skyline of New York slowly floating by. On 27 April (same date as in my dream), our troop ship sailed past the Statue of Liberty. We anchored in New...

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Epilogue

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pp. 245-

In 1955, life at Belhaven College, a Presbyterian school predominately for women, brought new adventures every day, but sharing these experiences with my family was impossible. I felt guilty leaving my family because they were having such...


E-ISBN-13: 9780807152683
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807131923

Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 2006