In Someday We Will Fly, Rachel DeWoskin presents a perspective of World War II that is seldom represented in contemporary classrooms—the Jewish people who found refuge in Japanese-occupied China, one of the last places to accept European refugees without visas.
In 1940, both Warsaw and Shanghai were situated within countries that were devoured by conquering nations, and both cities were populated by those who were either ignored or shunned by the rest of the world. Fifteen-year-old Lillia Kazka has a good life in Poland, performing with her parents in an acrobatic circus and attending school with her friends. But everything changes when her mother is taken by Nazis during a raid on their final circus performance, and Lillia, her father and her disabled younger sister are forced to set out on a multi-month journey to reach Shanghai. Although Lillia is free from Nazi violence and persecution when she first arrives in China, she finds that life in an occupied country so far from home is anything but comfortable or easy.
Meticulously researched and breathtakingly detailed, Someday We Will Fly is based on real accounts of Jewish refugees living in Shanghai and the difficult conditions they endured in order to survive. DeWoskin beautifully intertwines Lillia’s hope, pain, joy, sorrow and love with the larger narrative of the war-torn world’s fear and uncertainty. DeWoskin gives a voice to tens of thousands of forgotten people as she uncovers their stories and experiences. This is essential reading.