The Matryoshka Memoirs

by Sasha Colby
The Matryoshka Memoirs
  • ISBN-13: 9781770417359
  • Author(s): Sasha Colby
  • Subject: Biography: historical, political & military
  • Publisher: Ecw Press
  • Imprint: Ecw Press
  • Publication Date: 12-10-2023
  • Format: p/b

Availability: In stock

£17.99
Irina Nikfortchuk was 19 years old and a Ukrainian schoolteacher when she was abducted to be a forced labourer in the Leica camera factory in Nazi Germany. Eventually pulled from the camp hospital to work as a domestic in the Leica owners' household, Irina survived the war and eventually found her way to Canada. Decades later, Irina's granddaughter, seeks out her grandmother's story over a series of summer visits and gradually begins to interweave the as-told-to story with historical research. As she delves deeper, she discovers the parallel story of Elsie Kuhn-Leitz, Irina's rescuer and the factory heiress, later imprisoned and interrogated by the Gestapo on charges of 'excessive humanity'. This is creative nonfiction at its best as the mystery of Irina's life unspools skilfully and arrestingly. Despite the horrors that the story must tell, it is full of life, humour, food, and the joy of ordinary safety in Canada. The Matryoshka Memoirs takes us into a forgotten corner of history, weaving a rich and satisfying tapestry of survival and family ties and asking what we owe to those who aid us.
About the book

Irina Nikfortchuk was 19 years old and a Ukrainian schoolteacher when she was abducted to be a forced labourer in the Leica camera factory in Nazi Germany. Eventually pulled from the camp hospital to work as a domestic in the Leica owners' household, Irina survived the war and eventually found her way to Canada. Decades later, Irina's granddaughter, seeks out her grandmother's story over a series of summer visits and gradually begins to interweave the as-told-to story with historical research. As she delves deeper, she discovers the parallel story of Elsie Kuhn-Leitz, Irina's rescuer and the factory heiress, later imprisoned and interrogated by the Gestapo on charges of 'excessive humanity'. This is creative nonfiction at its best as the mystery of Irina's life unspools skilfully and arrestingly. Despite the horrors that the story must tell, it is full of life, humour, food, and the joy of ordinary safety in Canada. The Matryoshka Memoirs takes us into a forgotten corner of history, weaving a rich and satisfying tapestry of survival and family ties and asking what we owe to those who aid us.

Books by this Author