How Languages Saved Me
A Polish Story of Survival
by Tadeusz Haska and Stefanie Naumann
Pub Date 24 Sep 2019
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“When I was arrested my whole world crumbled. I knew that leaders of political parties had been arrested, and never heard from again. My only chance at survival was to find a way to escape from the jail.”
Orphaned in Poland at the age of thirteen, Tadeusz "Tad" Haska survived World War II on the run, narrowly evading the Nazis every step of the way. After the war, he daringly escaped jail by the Soviet Secret Police, fled to Sweden and launched an elaborate plan to smuggle his wife in a coffin on an all-male naval ship. Discover how Tad’s knowledge of nine languages helped him survive in the face of unspeakable adversity.
A Note From the Publisher
Author is available for interviews, blog tours, autographed tours, autographed book giveaways, contests, and book club discussions.
"Stefanie Naumann brings her grandfather's compelling story to life with clarity and compassion. This well-written, immensely readable chronicle flows like a novel, exhibiting the vulnerabilities, strengths and ultimately the courage of its characters. Dr. Naumann's work speaks to the inherent and eternal dignity of the human spirit, something in which every reader can rejoice." - Greg Fields, author, Arc of the Comet, 2018 Kindle Book of the Year Nominee
"A deeply moving personal account of the resilience of the human spirit in the face of war, its aftermath, and the dislocations it causes. It will be grimly familiar to many whose families have experienced the same, and an eye-opener for the fortunate ones who haven’t." -Ted Mirecki, President, DC Division of the Polish American Congress; writer, translator.
“Astonishing in its directness and simplicity, this memoir of the Holocaust and Communist Poland delivers a gripping account of one man’s terrifying journey from orphan child to war refugee to American citizenship.”-Leonard Kniffel Past President of Polish American Librarians Association & Author of A Polish Son in the Motherland: An American’s Journey Home
“Stefanie Naumann has done an admirable job of honoring her grandfather’s memory, survival, and accomplishments. As fewer and fewer survivors of World War II remain, these first-person accounts are critical testimony and witness of what it takes to survive during war and in the face of great adversity. This story should resonate with other Polish Americans and their descendants. It also offers encouragement to other immigrants that yes, with drive, a quick wit, and a healthy dose of luck, it is possible to achieve the seemingly impossible goal of rebuilding a new life.”-Katrina Shawver, Author of HENRY - A Polish Swimmer's True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America
Tadeusz Haska was born in 1919 in Mikołajki, Poland, and died in Monterey, California, in 2012. Orphaned at the age of 13, he used his knowledge of nine languages to survive World War II. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1949, where he earned his Ph.D. at University of California, Berkeley in Linguistics in his ninth language -- English. He taught, and served as chairman, in the Polish Department at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA for 35 years. His work was featured on the TV program The Big Picture.
Stefanie Naumann, Tadeusz’s granddaughter, is a Professor of Management in the Eberhardt School of Business at University of the Pacific, where she has taught for 20 years. She earned her Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, and has published over 30 journal articles. She is a 20+ year member of the Academy of Management, a lifetime member of the Polish American Genealogical Society of America, and has earned awards for her research, teaching, and service.