Escape From Warsaw

By Ian Serraillier

Plot Summary

The book Escape from Warsaw starts in Warsaw Poland. The year is 1940 when their father was taken away to the Zakyna concentration camp in the mountains. Only two years later their mother gets taken to slave for the Nazi's in Germany. Ruth the oldest, Edek the middle child, and Bronia the youngest are left alone and have to flee for the Nazis are coming for them. The siblings escape over rooftop and watch as their house gets bombed and engulfed in flames. Now they are left to survive on their own with tha war raging on all around them. Their main problem now is that they have to get through Germany and into Switzerland to reunite their family. On their long journey South they meet a young boy that goes by the name of Jan. Jan, Ruth, Edek and Bronia over time become a family and go through some hard times. Edek the middle child was taken away by the Nazis for smuggling food among their people from town to town. Wil Ruth, Bronia and Jan ever see Edek again, and if so when will be the next time they meet? Will the family ever get to Switzerland and will their father be there waiting for them?

Theme Summary

In the book Escape from Warsaw the theme was "that people have to stay strong and never lose hope, courage or your freedom". I think that this is the theme because in the book when Ruth, Edek, and Bronia lost their home and had to start with nothing. The children had to make a home for themselves, scavenger for food, and survive through the bitter cold. Later on Edeks freedom was taken when he was forced to slave for the Nazis in Germany but tried several times to escape. The small family of four also never lost hope of getting to Switzerland and that they would find their family there. The same was for the father. He denied any thoughts of his children being killed and stayed strong and hoped they would make it to Switzerland.

Soviets capture Warsaw Poland

Warsaw, Poland got freed of Nazis on January 17,1945. This all started when the Germans on September 1, 1939 launched an air strike on Warsaw. After this fatal air strike the Nazis had made a siege on Warsaw. This took the lives of tens of thousands of Polish civilian lives. Through this siege the Nazis got Warsaw to surrender do to lack age of food, water, electricity and only 75% of the houses were still standing. While this happened more towards the West of Poland the USSR controlled a small part of Poland in the east. This was allowed through the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (also called the Hitler Stalin Pact). This pact was signed in August of 1939. Soon after being signed the USSR and Germany were at war after being previous "allies". In the year of 1944 of August the USSR finally starts to push the Germans more westward. This was the direction of Warsaw Poland the capital. The Polish home army in Warsaw were afraid though. They thought that the USSR and Germany would battle on Warsaw but never leave their capital again. These frightening thoughts convinced the Polish to try and battle the German army themselves. The Polish hoped that their allies would "help install the the polish anticommunist government-in-extile after the war" as said in the third paragraph in the article Soviets capture Warsaw on Though the Polish hoped that the Soviets would join the battle while the Soviets strongly persuaded the Polish army to this move only stood by watching how they got defeated and killed. The Polish that were not killed were put in concentration camps. After the battle all Polish people were against the Soviet pro-government. Later Stalin ordered 180 divisions of fighters into Poland to free them of the Nazi control. In this action General Georgi Zhukov and his troops managed to cross the Vistula North and South border. After this happened Warsaw was freed of Nazis and brought under USSR control. Sadly in this series of battles Warsaw's population went from 1.3 million people to a mere 153,000 thousand people.

Soviets capturing Warsaw, Poland in relationship with my book

The event of the Soviets taking over Warsaw, Poland from the Nazis was quite accurately portrayed in my book Escape from Warsaw. In the book Ruth, Edek, Bronia and Jan were all forced to escape from their homes. Like in the actual event there bombs being dropped everywhere and people were forced to live in underground holes as their homes. In the summer time when it was warmer at night people escaped to the woods for safety and better living. The streets and the town was so full of rubble that it made it almost unlivable. People scavenged for food because of lack of food. This forced people like Edek to smuggle necessary supplies from town to town. In the historical event the Germans bombed Warsaw taking out around 25% of all homes. Also they had a siege depriving Poland of necessary supplies. Teachers like Ruth's father in the book were forced to teach German in their schools and if they went denied or did not follow protocol they were sent to concentration camps as punishment. In the book Ruth's father turned over a picture of Hitler in his classroom to show his disapproval. But once the word got out of his doing so the German soldiers came in for him and sent him to a concentration camp in the mountains of Poland called Zakyna. This is quite close to what actually happened if you stood up against the wrongdoings of hitter.


“Soviets capture Warsaw.” 2014. The History Channel website. Dec 14 2014