SS Batory, ship that took polish immigrants to America in 1950 January 03

Memories of WW2 Poland to be Shared at Ocean Library Reading [Saturday, June 8]

Originally published June 3, 2019…

What was everyday life like during Hitler’s occupation of Poland? Ocean resident Sophie Stach Virgilio will share stories from her new memoir at a reading Saturday at the Ocean Township Library, honoring the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion and the beginning of the end of World War II.

SS Batory, ship that took polish immigrants to America in 1950

The author left Poland for America by herself as a young girl January 5, 1950 on the SS Batory. The trip From Gdynia, Poland to New York took five days.

“Goat in the Attic and Other Stories: A Young Girl’s Memories of Hitler’s Occupation of Poland,” Stach Virgilio’s new memoir, delivers what possibly no other book about World War II has to this degree: a highly personal, first-hand account of a young farm girl’s life in Poland, concluding with quest for assimilation as a US immigrant.

The author was eight months old when Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939.  During Hitler’s occupation and the beginning of communism, she lived with her family on a farm in southeast Poland.

At times jarring or joyous, her stories detail ordinary life in an extraordinarily historic time, told through the eyes of a young girl.  She lays bare what happens when spontaneous Gestapo farm inspections go sideways, how holiday celebrations were spent as Nazis stood watch, and how people with seemingly nothing found ways to support neighbors and strangers.

“These are stories I never thought I would share,” said Stach Virgilio. “I wrote this book for my family and to share a side of war that may be less understood.  I am grateful for the opportunity to read at the beautiful Ocean library.”

Goat in the Attic reading at Ocean Township Library, Saturday, June 8, 2 pm.  701 Deal Road
Ocean, NJ  07712.  The book is available on Amazon and at bookstores everywhere.