April is the A to Z Blog Challenge – 26 posts in one month. My theme this year is Historical Treasure.
Not a title I expected to have. Even after sending my husband’s first novel and my own into the world, I did not expect to work on getting others’ books into the hands of readers.
Then came Irene. Her complete manuscript came into my hands at church on a Sunday night. It was obviously photocopied from a typed original. Having never been a huge fan of biographies and history, I nonetheless agreed to look it over. Almost from page one I knew I was holding a historical treasure.
Here is an excerpt (copyright 1996 by Irene L. Emmerich Kucholick):
Around the time of my birth in 1929, in the industrial city of Chemnitz, Bolshevism had established itself in Russia. The Nazi party catapulted into power, teetering Europe on the brink of great turmoil.
My father, fluent in many languages, worked as a foreign correspondent for industrial firms. During evening hours refugees from Russia–members of the old white Russian nobility (anti red) crowded into his study to learn the German language. His attraction to a Russian countess and subsequent unfaithfulness to my mother caused her to leave him while she was pregnant with me, her first child. She later divorced my father.
….After dinner, strange people in elegant clothes began to arrive. Father took them immediately into his study. They spoke harsh-sounding words I could not understand.
“Russian,” Father told me.
When they took off their coats, I saw fashionable dresses of fine wool. They wore jewelry and I saw large rings reflecting bright colored lights from moving hands. Long earrings and necklaces held brilliant jewels.
“This is the wealth they brought from Russia,” Father said, “and they keep much of it on them. They are slow to trust others.” When the men removed their coats, I noticed medals of rank and honor, awarded by the Czar.
From this point forward, Irene’s memoirs had me. My fascination with the story of Anastasia, much encouraged by the 1970’s movie with Amy Irving as the supposedly still surviving Russian princess, and with the fate of the Tzar’s family prior to World War 2 urged me on.
Story after story of Irene’s young life in tumultuous times played out as I read straight through her childhood and young adult life in three days. History came alive for me in a way it never had before. Irene’s straight forward accounts, written without emotionally charged embellishments, brought the era closer home to me than had my visits to historical sights such as the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the Dachau contraction camp, and the battle fields of Bastogne.
“We have to publish this,” I told my husband. And we did.
I’ve gotten to know Irene who is one of my heroes. Getting her story into the hands of readers became a labor love from the days of transferring typed pages into digital format via three softwares to the audio recordings I am making this month.
This is the historical treasure for you to catch glimpses of throughout the A to Z Blog Challenge this month. What episode of history fascinates you? Do you have a question for Irene? Tell us in the comments.
(Next up: C is for Crazy Kids (World War 2)
Kristin King is a publisher with Three Kings Publishing, but she does not accept manuscripts for review…normally. Three Kings Publishing is a mom and pop publisher of Christian writers, not necessarily Christian books.