Clues  

The Only Russian Warbride

“This time you really did it, girlie!” It was the greatest love story in Canadian history: the arrival of 47,783 women, mostly British, at Pier 21, Halifax, newly hitched to their handsome Canadian soldiers and ready to take a chance in a new country after…

“…you guys are worse than the Gestapo, you buggers….!”

The dinner ‘interrogation’ of my mother by three professional journalists, is interrupted by peals of laughter.  “And, by the way, how are you enjoying your soup?” Shored up by two pals , I decided to try, once more to pry some war-time secrets out of…

She was no June Cleaver, but she was the mother of all mothers. This week, The Traitor’s Daughter hits the airwaves…

Let’s face it. How many mothers do you know who can throw a perfect pattern of kitchen knives into the wall? Who won and lost a couple thousand bucks (and a fur coat) in a single night of poker? Captured by Hitler. Branded a traitor…

A bucket of tears later, here is the film demo for The Traitor’s Daughter!

Armed with a brand new pink manual typewriter and an illicit pack of smokes, I began writing Mom’s story when I was a ten-year old kid in Netherhill, Saskatchewan. In the midnight hours, I loved the sound of the keys smacking the paper and the…

The Missing Thousand Days: THE CLUES

On March 27, 1940, in defiance of her mother’s wishes, Rosa Butorina (my mother’s real name) married a swarthy, Rudolph Valentino-esque man 20 years her senior. This is the last known photograph of her before she was captured by the Nazis in Poltava. The Nazi…

“You don’t believe in Death!”

“You don’t believe in Death! ” my mother said in a moment of piquancy during our customary game of thrust and parry whenever it came to trying to unearth her war-time secrets. The sheer force of her personality. The power of that voice. And her…

In the search for clues, how Donald Duck trumped Twitter!

The search for my mother’s “missing thousand days” during World War Two began this summer again, in earnest in a breezy, light-filled second floor apartment in Amsterdam, overlooking the Singel canal. I have come to this cosmopolitan European city with my twin brother, Victor Spicer…

“Don’t cry for me, my daughter…I lived through some hellish times, but no one got the best of me.”

  It would be the last interview. On my mother’s 84th birthday, I ambushed her with a television camera at her apartment in Calgary, Alberta, downplaying the invasion of lights, cables, and microphones, as “some friends popping by.” She looked at me, and, drolly asked,…