In the summer of 1940, the Communist Red Army, along with the Russian Secret police, marched in Lithuania where Val Ginsburg lived.
Anyone who owned a business or land was considered a Capitalist enemy of the people, and the punishment for these people was deportation to a Siberian slave labor camp. So, Val's family's property was shut down and they were put on a list to be deported.
The week before the family was due to be taken, Hitler's army began assaulting the Russian Empire and went through Lithuania. After facing a difficult choice of choosing to flee to Russia or stay and try to survive under the Nazi's, Val's family decided to stay, hoping that they would survive under the Nazi's.