My Hard Life Lived Well (Paperback)
This memoir contains a remarkable life's journey of Maria Banfi from her childhood in Communist Yugoslavia, "Land of the South Slavs," to marriage, to a failed escape attempt to free Austria. Our second attempt had Maria and her husband Karl leaving their first child behind. It was heart-wrenching set of events that intertwined with the reality after World War II that was present as the cold war in the mid-1950s in Southeastern Europe. The Balkan region throughout history was full of conflicts and conquest with World War I, beginning with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on the twenty-eighth of July 1914 in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. World War II was the traumatic aftereffect of World War I. The losing nations led by Nazi Germany and the kingdom of Italy were poor, in such disarray, and the collapse of their societies. It was only a short amount of time that they would rise against the victors. My Karl led me through the most harrowing, unpredictable, and challenging scenarios after we married and traveled northward to Austria. Escape for my generation and previous generations from our region of Slovenia was commonplace as they emigrated in search of a better life away from the oppressive, impoverished, and destitute in Northern Yugoslavia. Every decision my Karl made were solely based on "our survival" as no reflection, doubt, or second-guessing was allowed. Life was extremely difficult living out of an American-run displaced-persons camp No. 100 called Asten Lager in Linz, Austria, and both of us being day laborers with meager pay. Read through my accounts, thoughts, memories, and feelings as my Karl and I work through the many challenges to achieve our ultimate goal of being able to immigrate to the United States of America. Future volumes will contain our progress, frustrations, and setbacks we encountered while forging our futures and destiny under God.