Dancing Under the Red Star
The Extraordinary Story of Margaret Werner, the Only American Woman to Survive Stalin's Gulag
By Karl Tobien
(WaterBrook Press, Paperback, 9781400070787, 384pp.)
Publication Date: June 20, 2006
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The shocking and inspirational saga of Margaret Werner and her miraculous survival in the Siberian death camps of Stalinist Russia.
Between 1930 and 1932, Henry Ford sent 450 of his Detroit employees plus their families to live in Gorky, Russia, to operate a new manufacturing facility. This is the true story of one of those families–Carl and Elisabeth Werner and their young daughter Margaret–and their terrifying life in Russia under brutal dictator Joseph Stalin.
Margaret was seventeen when her father was arrested on trumped-up charges of treason. Heartbroken and afraid, she and her mother were left to withstand the hardships of life under the oppressive Soviet state, an existence marked by poverty, starvation, and fear. Refusing to comply with the Socialist agenda, Margaret was ultimately sentenced to ten years of hard labor in Stalin’s Gulag.
Filth, malnutrition, and despair accompanied merciless physical labor. Yet in the midst of inhumane conditions came glimpses of hope and love as Margaret came to realize her dependence upon “the grace, favor, and protection of an unseen God.”
In all, it would be thirty long years before Margaret returned to kiss the ground of home. Of all the Americans who made this virtually unknown journey–ultimately spending years in Siberian death camps–Margaret Werner was the only woman who lived to tell about it.
Written by her son, Karl Tobien, Dancing Under the Red Star is Margaret’s unforgettable true story: an inspiring chronicle of faith, defiance, and personal triumph
Karl Tobien was born in 1956 just outside a Soviet slave labor camp in Siberia. He arrived in America in 1961 with his mother, Margaret Werner, and grandmother. Today Karl is an executive consultant and inspirational speaker. He resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife, Tina, and their four children.
“Very few stories rise to the level of stirring the deepest parts of my soul. But this is one. Some would call this a tragedy. That is not my sentiment. This amazing chronicle represents the power of the human soul and illustrates the unique potential in each of us. Margaret Werner’s suffering has become a light encouraging us all that there are greater possibilities within each one of us.”
–Don Milam, author of The Ancient Language of Eden
“This is the heart-stirring story of a young woman who lost everything and endured unspeakable horrors, yet lived to tell about it. Margaret’s voice speaks for those who did not survive and tells how they were abandoned by American business interests. Her hope, courage, and faith will inspire you to triumph over hardship and injustice.”
–Melody Green, international speaker and author of No Compromise
“Every once in a while a book grips one’s heart because it seems more than humans are capable of imagining. This true story is remarkably compelling. Part heartrending biography, part epic documentary, Dancing Under the Red Star reads more like a spy novel and adventure film blended into an action movie script. Margaret Werner’s life offers a valuable peek behind a part of the Iron Curtain that many Americans have never seen before. Read it, weep, and thank God you live in America today!”
–Tommy Barnett, pastor of Phoenix First Assembly and author of Hidden Power
“I loved this book! Dancing Under the Red Star grips your heart and forever changes your perspective of humanity, God, and the world. This book is destined to be a classic that will inspire generations to come to believe in one’s dreams and have faith in the preserving power of God. A must-read for the progressive mind.”
–Dr. Myles Munroe, founder and president, Bahamas Faith Ministries International, author of Rediscovering the Kingdom
“A must-read! A book that engulfs the reader and forces one to live through the terror that Margaret felt.”
–Ron Weinbender, presidential envoy, Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International
“Karl Tobien shares with us a powerfully griping narrative of God’s grace, power and direction. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time, because you won’t be able to put this book down. It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime reading experience!”
–Pat Williams, senior vice president, Orlando Magic, and author of American Scandal
“I am forever changed by the hope Margaret Werner displayed. Her story is truly inspiring for people in all walks of life; I am forever in love with this woman and her life!”
–Donna Johnson, film producer