Escape From Russia: A Flight From Death
Is the story of the Isaak family, a large Mennonite family group that escaped from Russia when Stalin, in 1930, collectivized all private farms, forcing the Mennonites off their land where they had successfully lived for more than 200 years. The Mennonites were forced into exile in Siberia where most died from exposure. However, the Isaak family had advance information and were able to escape arrest, exile and death, fleeing by train across Siberia, then crossing the frozen and treacherous Amur River with sleighs and horses into China. After a year of precarious and desperate existence in northern China, they were able to emigrate to the USA and establish a new life in America. The author is a good storyteller as we see through his eyes the mounting extreme conditions in Russia which led to the desperate irrevocable decision to walk away from everything they had established and embark upon a fantastically risky adventure-filled escape ordeal. Then we see as he recounts his first impressions of American life and how the family adjusted to their new life.
The editor took a forgotten self-published manuscript (1977) updated it and inserted explanatory footnotes that describe the complex historical facts to clarify the narrative helping the reader understand why things happened as they did.
The editor Bert Block, who has been to Russia several times in his work, became interested in the Russian Mennonites through a Mennonite friend who lives in Redlands, CA. This man, George Isaak, was part of that escape group. It was George’s uncle who had previously written about the family’s experiences that form the content of this book. Together, Bert and George have written an Epilogue to bring closure to the narrative, answering many questions that George has encountered through the years of telling his family’s very interesting story. It is a wonderful story that you won’t want to miss and share with a friend.
All proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated
to mission causes and to print Great Bible Truths.
Crossing the Amur River
Illustration by James Converse, used by permission.