Secrets from My Father's Past
On Sale: May 18, 2010
Hardcover / e-Book
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Non-Fiction Biography | Non-Fiction History
When a father reveals his haunting past, a daughter takes an
incredible journey of self-discovery . . .
Emmy® award–winning journalist, TV host, and New York Times
bestselling author Rita Cosby has always asked the tough
questions in her interviews with the world’s top newsmakers.
Now, in a compelling and powerful memoir, she reveals how
she uncovered an amazing personal story of heroism and
courage, the untold secrets of a man she has known all her
life: her father.
Years after her mother’s tragic death, Rita finally nerved
herself to sort through her mother’s stored belongings,
never dreaming what a dramatic story was waiting for her.
Opening a battered tan suitcase, she discovered it belonged
to her father—the enigmatic man who had divorced her mother
and left when Rita was still a teenager.
Rita knew little of her father’s past: just that he had left
Poland after World War II, and that his many scars, visible
and not, bore mute witness to some past tragedy. He had
always refused to answer questions. Now, however, she held
in her hand stark mementos from the youth of the man she
knew only as Richard Cosby, proud American: a worn Polish
Resistance armband; rusted tags bearing a prisoner number
and the words Stalag IVB; and an identity card for an ex-POW
bearing the name Ryszard Kossobudzki.
Gazing at these profoundly telling relics, the well-known
journalist realized that her father’s story was one she
could not allow him to keep secret any longer. When she
finally did persuade him to break his silence, she heard of
a harrowing past that filled her with immense pride . . .
and chilled her to the bone.
At the age of thirteen, barely even adolescent, her father
had seen his hometown decimated by bombs. By the time he was
fifteen, he was covertly distributing anti-Nazi propaganda a
few blocks from the Warsaw Ghetto. Before the Warsaw
Uprising, he lied about his age to join the Resistance and
actively fight the enemy to the last bullet. After being
nearly fatally wounded, he was taken into captivity and sent
to a German POW camp near Dresden, finally escaping in a
daring plan and ultimately rescued by American forces. All
this before he had left his teens.
This is Richard Cosby’s story, but it is also Rita’s. It is
the story of a daughter coming to understand a father whose
past was too painful to share with those he loved the most,
too terrible to share with a child . . . but one that he
eventually revealed to the journalist. In turn, Rita
convinced her father to join her in a dramatic return to his
battered homeland for the first time in sixty-five years. As
Rita drew these stories from her father and uncovered
secrets and emotions long kept hidden, father and daughter
forged a new and precious bond, deeper than either could
have ever imagined.
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