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How Languages Saved Me: A Polish Story of Survival

How Languages Saved Me: A Polish Story of Survival

“When I was arrested my whole world crumbled. I knew that leaders of political parties had been arrested, and never heard from again. My only chance at survival was to find a way to escape from the jail.” 

Orphaned in Poland at the age of thirteen, Tadeusz “Tad” Haska survived World War II on the run, narrowly evading the Nazis every step of the way. After the war, he daringly escaped jail by the Soviet Secret Police, fled to Sweden and launched an elaborate plan to smuggle his wife in a coffin on an all-male naval ship. Discover how Tad’s knowledge of nine languages helped him survive in the face of unspeakable adversity.


Pages: 146
Pub Date: 09-24-2019
Softcover: 14.95 9781633939233
Hardcover: 22.95 9781633939257


Stefanie Naumann, Tadeusz's granddaughter, is a professor of management in the Eberhardt School of Business at University of the Pacific, where she has taught for twenty years. She earned her PhD from Louisiana State University, and has published over thirty journal articles. She is a twenty-plus-year member of the Academy of Management, a lifetime member of the Polish American Genealogical Society of America, and has earned awards for her research, teaching, and service. StefanieNaumann.com

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Tadeusz Haska was born in 1919 in Mikołajki, Poland and died in 2012. Orphaned at the age of 13, he used his knowledge of nine languages to survive World War II. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1949, where he earned his Ph.D. at University of California, Berkeley in Linguistics in his ninth language-English. He taught, and served as chairman, in the Polish Department at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA for 35 years. His work was featured on the TV program The Big Picture.

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