Six Sugar Beets Five Bitter Years

Book, 2003, 186 pp
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This story is based on actual events. Anna Kroeker, whose life is reconstructed as the character Mia, lived through the turmoil of collectivization in the Stalinist Era. When she was nearly 90, she was allowed to emigrate to Germany. It was there that she met the author and recounted the events of her turbulent life in Kyrgyzstan.

By 1950 the Communist worker’s paradise in Kyrgyzstan had not become reality. Communal farming was a dismal failure. The native nomadic population reacted with hostility to any changes and Stalin’s forced migration of peoples created massive social upheaval. Hunger stalked the land. Mia’s family lost their house and land; her husband—a preacher who had spoken out against injustices—was sent to prison, and died there. Struggling to survive, six stray sugar beets became Mia’s undoing, and sent her to prison. Her faith in God’s promises saved her from utter despair when she faced the loss of her children, and gave her hope to endure five years in the labour camps.

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