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World War II in Europe marks one of the most murderous episodes in human history. Poland was not only the front and center of an attack, annexation, and occupation, but it also faced an incarnated evil of two totalitarian regimes Nazi Germany and its Soviet Communist alliance.
My second book is published -
To Have A Tomorrow
A True Story
by Gene Fisch
"I wanted you to know I just finished To Have A Tomorrow. It is a remarkable story, beautifully written. You are so fortunate to be alive and it is miraculous that your entire family made it through such an ordeal. It definitely strengthens my faith to see God’s handiwork in the lives of the Fisch family.
For those of us who pay attention to history you brought one of the most sorrowful periods in the modern times to life. Those faces we have all seen in the WW ll newsreels, gaunt, defeated and homeless came alive in your telling. We can take from your story that some of them made it through and thrived. It’s a very good feeling.
Indeed, you all have made an indelible mark on our country. God had a plan and tested you all sorely but you made it through the greatest test. And we are glad you did."
Honorable James Walsh, Distinguished Congressman, Historian
"Gene Fisch has given us a great gift with To Have Tomorrow. It will renew your faith in the power of determined people to survive and then thrive no matter how daunting the circumstances. I know you will appreciate it."
Kevin Kane, Architect, Artist
“A Fascinating Story”
David Lubliner, Literary and Film Agent, United Talent Agency
To Have a Tomorrow
A True Story
by Gene Fisch
When World War II began on Polish soil, the population was 34 million. At the end of 1946, the population had diminished to 21 million. Coming out of the depths of Hitler's and Stalin's Nazi and Communists' unimaginable inhumanity, the most meaningful question Gene's family and others asked themselves almost daily was WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TODAY TO HAVE A TOMORROW?
Purchase soft cover book
To Have a Tomorrow, A True Story
by Gene Fisch for $29.95
+ $5.00 shipping and handling
When I look back into our history, I do not wonder how we survived at all. When you read “To Have A Tomorrow, A True Story”, or, my first book, “All Love Comes Home, A Promise of Truth” you will feel each breath of life, each joy of human triumph. Both of my books are about my mother’s fierce unconditional love of higher ideals, her courageous deeds, and my father’s ability to garner trust and reliance on his faith.
”To Have A Tomorrow, A True Story” narrative—told in the author’s voice—not only describes how his family of six was able to cheat death again and again, even in the most threatening of circumstances. This true, unvarnished tale of my family’s journey through armageddon, its equally ugly aftermath, and our lives as displaced persons and refugees, was just as dramatic and poignant, and even more compelling in that it would be a completely true story.
Most meaningful about our survival, was not that a family of six survived intact five brutal occupations, even while one of three Polish Citizens were left behind in silent graves, it is how my parents kept us alive, during those terrible times—never betraying those values embedded in their souls, their integrity, faith, their love of country, love of family, and love of life—at a time in history that witnessed an all-out attempt to annihilate 34 million human beings.
In one way or another, World War II marked everybody living through those times and continues to affect indirectly, but profoundly, the generations that followed. First- and second-generation Slavic diaspora are very much a part of life in countries around the world displaced persons. refugees and immigrants.
So my TO HAVE A TOMORROW story has aspiring and universal value, meaning for a variety of people: history buffs of course; but also people who are living or have lived in the ethnic enclaves of the United States as my family did in the post-war Polish-American community in Syracuse, New York; sports enthusiasts—especially those interested in basketball and the excruciatingly competitive but potentially life-changing world of U. S. high school and college sports; world Catholic and Orthodox Christians; and global refugees.
My mother’s meaningful story as felt in “To Have A Tomorrow” and in “All Love Comes Home” will resonate with today’s women. Some seventy-five years post-war, women are rapidly moving into leadership positions in politics, business, technology, all the arts, education, and every industry, creating a great and growing interest in the lives of strong and successful women and a curiosity about what personal qualities helped them succeed. I believe the influence, competence, and leadership shown by women in World War II Europe and their willingness to take dangerous risks—represented in both of my book’s storyline through the bold, strategic actions taken by my mother’s knowledge driven decision making and other WW11 women whose lives crossed our own in the darkest times—will find a deeply interested read.
To Have A Tomorrow, A True Story by Gene Fisch
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 New York
Chapter 2 Flames Over Poland
Chapter 3 The Forest Nature’s Culture Crowned Our Home
Chapter 4 Winter of The East
Chapter 5 The Nazis
Chapter 6 Vortex….. Leaving the Forest
Chapter 7 Work Camp 1090, Brest Litowsk
Chapter 8 The Cattle-Car Community
Chapter 9 War’s Fiery Finish
Chapter 10 Reckenfeld, Germany; British zone
Chapter 11 Polonia in Syracuse
Chapter 12 The Parochial League
Chapter 13 New York City, The Return
If just staying alive was the ultimate triumph of the first part of the author’s life, the ultimate triumph of the second part—as uplifting and exciting as the first part was terrifying—was about navigating a very new environment, and doing so with enough determination and hard work to take steps—sometimes slow, sometimes giant—in a direct line toward full cultural integration into the family’s new country, the United States.
Second part of the “To Have A Tomorrow" story:
Since I was a small child—and a new American—people seem to have been intrigued by my story that includes being a Displaced Person refugee coming out of WWII’s Nazi shadows, the ugliness of two Nazi work camps and multiple death trains, and displaced persons camp in Germany and our home, at last, in the Polish/Slavic community in Syracuse’s west end, so typical of the many ethnic communities in the U. S. Northeastern and Midwestern cities of the day. With obvious physical, emotional and intellectual shortcomings, or how my family and I overcame every Displaced Person’s (D/P) greatest fears... rejection, humiliation, or, how my meteoric upward rise in success brought so much joy and respect to my parents, and to the larger ethnic CNY community at a time of an unforgettable Fifties’ sports era, the media was as interested—perhaps even more so—in my life story from my family’s miraculous journey surviving 20th century’s greatest, and most disastrous period in history.
Gene Fisch was awarded this "Athlete of the Year" trophy by the Cahirman of the Italian-American Athletic Club for fine sportsmanship, sterling character and prowess in all major sports events of the season 1960-1961.
Against these transfixed environments, I redirected my personal quest to an even unlikelier goals. By the end of Gene's high school career, highly respected and prominent sports editor and journalist, Arnie Burdick had this to say:
The Hearts Have a Real Flash
by Arnie Burdick, Senior Sports Editor Herald Journal
There's a steady stream of college talent scout bird-dogging Sacred Heart's basketball games these days.
From all over the East they've been coming. From Dartmouth...Columbia...Niagara...Holy Cross...Syracuse, they're piling in to droll (sic) over the flashiest kid that these parts have seen grace a basketball court in some time.
He's Gene Fisch, the stocky, ball-handler who's making hundreds of eyes bug right out as they see him whip the ball around the court. He has great hands, is quick, and plays tough defense, but it's the ball handling that is attracting them.
"He's the last of a vanishing race," the Nats' Dolph Schayes said of Fisch last Friday night after watching him make the ball talk on the huge War Memorial floor as the Parochial leaders nipped St. Anthony's.
What Schayes had reference to was the boy's play-making wizardry. Most kids today think that they are only two parts to basketball. They simply run and shoot. Seldom do you find youngsters who concern themselves with learning the intricacies of ball-handling and team play. Fisch is an exception, and there are those who are so strong in singing his praises that they feel that, in time, he'll be another Bob Cousy.
Though Gene is a crack sprinter in track and a dandy shortstop on the school's nine, basketball is his first love, and one can almost always find him--winter or summer--on a court, attempting to improve himself.
"He can make anything he tries," is the confident way his coach (Adam Markiowski) feels about the boy's collegiate possibilities. In fact, the boy feels that some day, somehow, he'll make it with the pros. He just might, for he gives you 110 per cent effort at all times. He's just a natural-born leader, with tremendous team spirit and attitude and a willingness and a determination to win."
Here is what Adam Gajewski of the Syracuse Herald-Journal had to say about the Heart's Ace. Ten of the finest performers in the Parochial Basketball League, headed by whiz kid GENE FISCH of Sacred Heart's champions, stepped into the spotlight as members of the HEARLAD-AMERICAN ALL STAR TEAM.
The Players selected for honors this season were chosen by this newspaper's scholastic sports staff after being observed in action during the campaign and with the assist from the league's coaching fraternity.
Fisch, who long ago earned his spurs, in the only all star holdover from last year's array but this was almost a foregone conclusion. Probably the cleverest and most agile floorman in the curcuit, Gene awed those who witnessed him in action with his court savvy, passwork and defense play. The 5-10 senior, an unerring shooter, led the league in regular season scoring with 594 points.
ALL LOVE COMES HOME
A Promise of Truth
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All Love Comes Home, A Promise of Truth
by Gene Fisch for $39.95
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ALL LOVE COMES HOME, A PROMISE OF TRUTH by GENE FISCH, is an historical novel about a family’s journey of the heart.
This storyline will take you into the terrifying pre-war years in eastern Poland and the devastating years of the Soviet wartime occupation experienced by my family. I recreate in the novel, as best I can, my mother’s sense of unconditional love and my father’s steadfast reliance on his faith within the context of a largely overlooked part of World War II history, a history that belongs now to those souls who, as a result of the years of senseless aggression and slaughter, now lie in silent graves in central and eastern Europe. An estimated 22 million Catholics and Orthodox Christians lost their lives from 1939 to 1946. If my parents, Bronislawa and Andrew Fisch, could render a service to the world today, I feel certain it would be to stimulate in others the love of life they always felt, but also to help those others understand the full truth of Poland’s World War II ordeal and cherish the memory of the Slavic patriots who suffered in the fields of war and died with the footprint of suffering on their souls.