‘Siberian Exile’ Presented at Bookworm


June 18th, 2018

Omaha, NE—Omaha Sister Cities Association, connecting Omaha with its foreign partners and their nations, is inviting the community to a book presentation by Canadian author, Julija Šukys at the Bookworm this Wednesday evening. Her family is from Lithuania, a sister city nation. While researching her second book, Epistolophilia, the biography of a Lithuanian librarian who secretly helped Jews in the ghetto, Šukys had not expected to find an interview with her own grandmother in the archive.

That was when she discovered the story that had been hidden from her for her entire life, which would become her latest book, Siberian Exile: Blood, War, and a Granddaughter’s Reckoning.

Šukys’ grandfather, Anthony, a Lithuanian Nationalist and anti-Bolshevik moved away from the family home with the children, leaving his wife, Ona behind. He thought the Soviets would only be interested in him, but he was wrong. She was taken to Siberia where she lived for 17 years, separated from her family.

Šukys knew that story, but what she learned was difficult to stomach. Her father, having become chief of police under during the Nazi’s occupation, oversaw the killing of 700 Jews.

Piecing together letters, oral histories, audio recordings, and KGB documents, her research soon revealed her true family history, which would become Siberian Exile.

WWII destroyed many families across Europe, and even today lost narratives are being revived. Sukys has had to come to terms with forgiveness in her book, but that period in time will not be forgotten.

Julija Šukys will present her book Siberian Exile: Blood, War, and a Granddaughter’s Reckoning at the Bookworm on Wednesday June 20th at 6:00pm. For more information, visit OmahaSisterCities.com.

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