Anatole is available to speak on: Surviving Stalin and Hitler, When God Steps In – Triumph over Adversity, The New Russians and their Bald & Hairy Rulers. Learn more »
It is said that more Christians died for their faith in the last century than all other centuries combined. Much of the suffering occurred in Europe where Communism in particular waged a war on the Orthodox Church that resulted in the deaths of millions.
Anatole Kurdsjuk lived through those dark days. Anatole was born in Mariupol, Russia on the shores of the Sea of Azov where he lived until 1943 when the German army retreating from their defeat at Stalingrad apprehend them. Prisoners were either sent to concentration or slave labor camps. The Kurdsjuk family was forced to walk 300 miles, then loaded into cattle cars and shipped to Slave Lager #4939 near Cologne, Germany. They worked under horrendous conditions for over 2 years making dynamite at the Alfred E. Nobel Dynamitfabrik.
It was not the first encounter with imprisonment and suffering for the Kurdsjuk family. In the 1930’s during Stalin’s forced Kulak purges, the Kurdsjuks resisted and were exiled to a Gulag in Siberia. Within six months five members of the family died of exposure, disease, malnutrition, and hard labor. Anatole’s parents managed to escape and lived under assumed names until their capture by the Germans. Anatole was born during this time.
After the war ended the Kurdsjuks were finally able to immigrate to America in 1949. When he came to America at the age of fourteen, Anatole had less than six months of formal school room education and only knew a few words of English but a week after his arrival he was enrolled in the public school in Bellmore, New York. He graduated and went on to study Aeronautical Engineering at the Academy of Aeronautics in New York.
America has been good to Anatole. In 1957 he enlisted in the United States Air Force and began a career as an Information Specialist. After completing his service he worked for such firms as Honeywell, McGraw-Hill, North American Phillips, AT&T, and NCR where he rose to executive level positions in Systems Development, Sales, and Management.
After retirement, Anatole revisited those early years of suffering by writing his book “The Long Walk Home with Miracles Along the Way” that recounts the tremendous suffering his family and many of his country endured. In a recent interview Anatole expressed how faith in God guided them through their trials. Never one to be bitter, his speaking appearances are inspiring and uplifting as they teach history, perseverance and patience.
Anatole speaks at churches, schools, civic organizations, retirement communities, synagogues and book clubs.
- Surviving Stalin and Hitler
- When God Steps In – Triumph over Adversity
- The New Russians and their Bald & Hairy Rulers