Tuesday, June 18, 2013; 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: Bangor Public Library, 145, Harlow Street, Bangor, ME
Contact: PR; 207 947 8336
Rockland, ME – Philomena Baker is well known throughout Maine and New England for her long career as a professional portrait photographer. However, before she shared her personal history with journalist Kathryn Olmstead, few of her many acquaintances knew of her dramatic year as a German refugee during World War II.
Now the story, which enthralled readers of a seven-part series in the Bangor Daily News in 2010, has been expanded into a book: Flight to Freedom: World War II through the Eyes of a Child, The Story of Philomena Keller Baker (Maine Authors Publishing). Philomena was nine when she and her mother boarded a boxcar attached to a hospital train of wounded German soldiers, among the last civilians evacuated from Odessa, Ukraine, before the city was reclaimed by the Soviet Army. This detailed memoir traces Philomena’s perilous journey, mostly on foot, through war-torn Europe. She and her mother crossed the Elbe River into American-occupied Germany with German soldiers who were surrendering to the Allies. But their journey was far from over.