NORCROSS -- More than 60 years ago, Cecylia Ziobro Thibault moved to the United States after being freed from a Nazi labor camp by an American soldier -- "her angel," as she puts it.
It wasn't until the past few years that she decided it was time to tell her story about growing up with Nazi rule and put it in a book. She will be in Gwinnett over the weekend signing, discussing and reading from her novel, "Trapped in a Nightmare: The Story of an American Girl Growing Up in the Nazi Slave Labor Camps."
IF YOU GO
Noon to 4 p.m. — Barnes and Noble at The Forum, 5141 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 800, Norcross
10 to 11 a.m. — Mary Our Queen Catholic Church, 6260 The Corners Parkway, Norcross
1 to 4 p.m. — Barnes and Noble at the Mall of Georgia, 3333 Buford Drive, Buford
"I decided to tell my story because people are saying that the Holocaust and World War II were myths, but I was there as a child," Thibault said. "I was very quiet for so many years. I didn't want to go into the details of my past."
Now all of her memories are on paper complete with photos of loved ones and years at separate camps where she and her mother struggled to survive.
Thibault was born to an American mother, who lived in Poland when World War II broke out. The two were placed in a labor camp to work on a farm.
"German kids would make fun of me and beat me up," she said. "One boy said to me, 'You'll be my personal slave when we win the war.' I told him, 'I will never be your slave because you won't win the war.' Then he laid me out like a bag of bricks."
For close to five years, she and her mother were constantly beaten, malnourished and moved around to different labor camps, but they worked until they were finally set free.
Thibault wants her audience to walk away with two thoughts: to remember and forgive.
"I want them to walk away thinking about the Holocaust and all of those innocent people who died for no reason at all," she said. "I want them to be able to forgive. If you harbor those ill feelings all your life, you're just hurting yourself. It's time to forgive."
For more information about Thibault and her book, visit www.trappedinanightmare.com.