The daunting adversities faced by a Belarusian refugee who found himself at the crossroads of history and geography.
A Polish citizen of Belarusian descent, Boris Ragula escaped German internment during World War II only to find on his return to Belarus that it had fallen under the control of Soviet totalitarianism. He was imprisoned by the Communist secret police but finally escaped with his family to Belgium. Ragula earned a medical degree and then fulfilled his dream of immigrating to Canada, where for forty years he ran one of the busiest practices in London, Ontario, and played a pioneering role in the North American anti-smoking movement.
Against the Current offers a personal account of the plight of European refugees and the importance of immigrants to Canada's post-war growth. Ragula's insights into the complicated nature of identity in central Europe shows how "ordinary people" negotiate the complex, often contradictory claims of national, ethnic, religious, and geographic loyalties. His memoir provides a personal perspective on some of the major events of the twentieth century.