Two Regimes – A Mothers Memoir of Wartime Survival is the story of Teodora Verbitskaya and her young daughters, Nadia and Lucy; swept up in the collateral damage of war and survival- before, during, and after World War II. This true story of Two Regimes is the story of three young women’s love, faith, courage, strength, determination, intelligence, and sheer will to live in the face of the worst adversity! This story of survival is an inspiration to everyone but particularly for girls and women, who must often pick up the pieces after or during war and start life anew.
Here is a great passage from the book, showing what you can expect to find in it:
“One night we were woken up by a noise from outside. Listening closely, we heard a car quietly approaching our gates. My husband realized who it was and whispered to me, the “black raven.” We continued to listen, trying to figure out where they were headed. “Prepare a coat, a hat, and some bread,” my husband whispered and quickly began to dress. We listened more intently, wondering, will they go into our yard or the neighbors’. The footsteps were approaching our yard. My husband’s teeth began to chatter involuntarily and he had to hold his chin with his hands.
They went to our neighbors’ apartment below us. We overheard some quiet voices and several minutes later they began to leave. Very carefully we separated the curtains and looked out of the window. There were three men; the one in the middle Gene’s father, the Greek.
Everything became quiet downstairs. There was no crying or farewells during arrests. It wasn’t allowed. As soon as one is arrested he is seen as an “enemy of the people.” Forget about him… the State is above all.”
-Excerpt from Part 1, Chapter 12, page 39
Very little is known about Teodora Verbitskaya, the author of Two Regimes. What we do know, we glean from her writings and from her daughter, Nadia Werbitzky (the artist).
According to Nadia, Teodora recorded her years of labor camp interment for many reasons:
To hopefully set right the facts surrounding the death and destruction of people and property.
For her children and others to know what had happened to them (her family)
For her children to survive and (should she pass), to understand what she was thinking at the time, and to comprehend why it was she made certain choices, for herself and for others during an impossible war.
To preserve the memory and dignity of those who lost their lives.
For her own sanity.
To chronological horrific situations and experiences in order during the course of events also helped her to mark the passing of time in days, months and years.
So she could remember, should she survive, what she survived!