Smoke Signals: From Eminence to Exile

TitleSmoke Signals: From Eminence to Exile
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsBrodsky, Alexandra Fanny
Number of Pages262
PublisherRadcliffe Press

In this volume, the author draws on family archives and Russian-language publications to sketch her ancestors' life of affluence before the Russian Revolution. The author is a direct descendant of the prominent Kiev Brodskys, whose wealth derived from the sugar industry at a time when Ukraine formed part of Russia. This family's lavish benefactions - hospitals, educational institutions and a bacteriological institute - mainly to Kiev, Odessa and Zlatopol, gave them a certain power and influence. The author then gives a personal account of her life, a story which began in pre-war Berlin among the Russian emigre community. She recounts childhood memories of bewildering situations and poverty, an atmosphere which was further darkened by the rise of the Nazis and Hitler. By the time she was in high school, the need to emigrate had become acute and the tension built as expulsion loomed. The reader shares these anxieties through the eyes of a child who learned to watch in silence.

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