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  • By Donna Hobgood
    Jun 3, 2010
    Danse Macabre by Irene Rochas is non-fiction, a childhood memoir set in eastern Europe during WWI and the Russian Revolution and indeed an apocalyptic one with the Four Horsemen: war, famine, pestilence, and death, thus the title. The memoirist is Irene (pseudonym), ages six through sixteen. Irene is intelligent, sensitive, and spirited, the youngest in an upper class Polish family of ten children. Five of the children survive past young adulthood as the family flees from Poland to Russia at the outbreak of WWI and face starvation and disease and finally another flight of a remnant of the family from Russia back to Poland after the Russian Revolution brings even worse suffering. This memoir is both emotional and instructive, useful as source material for historical scholarship of both everyday life details and for historical events. The story is authentic. I first heard the story of this family through studying the work in personality theory of Dr. Anthony M. Benis. Dr. Benis is the... More > son of Irene. He was an infant when Irene and her husband and other children had to flee once again, this time from the German invasion of Poland in 1939 to New York State where they made their permanent home. Irene’s family faith is Catholic. Her faith, determining as it did her outlook on life, is woven into this memoir. Although at a basic level, never being able to truly understand the meaning of all the suffering, she reconciled it as a communication with God. Now, I am awaiting with interest the continuation of the family story from the 1920s to the flight from Poland in 1939, including as it will her career as a noted actress in Poland, her marriage to a wealthy aristocratic Polish man, and the births of brilliant children. Further, I want to learn the story of their adjustment to life in upstate New York. The ending of Irene’s story is only beginning as we see the work that her children are still accomplishing.< Less
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Product Details

A.M. Benis
November 10, 2010
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
1.21 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6.14 wide x 9.21 tall
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