At the end of World War II, many thousands of displaced persons languished in European refugee camps unable or unwilling to return to their native lands. A Land Bright with Promise recalls the life journey of one such refugee following his immigration to the United States. Metod M. Milac describes his first impressions of America gained in the thriving New York City of 1950, the rebuilding of his life in Cleveland, Ohio, amidst the large community of his fellow Slovenes, and memorable moments of his long career at Syracuse University. Over forty years, he discovers and rediscovers the uniquely American spirit without ever forgetting his homeland.
Metod M. Milac was born in Prevalje, Slovenia (the former Yugoslavia). He received his high school education at Bishop's Gymnasium at Sentvid and at the Classical Gymnasium in Ljubljana, where he graduated in June 1944. In July 1950, Milac immigrated to the United States under the Displaced Persons Act of 1948, which admitted 200,000 displaced persons from the refugee camps in Europe. Over a period of twelve years, while working in various factory jobs in Cleveland, Milac continued his education, eventually receiving his B.M. in music theory and his M.M. in musicology from the Cleveland Institute of Music and his M.A. in library science from Western Reserve University. In 1962, he began a career as a librarian at Syracuse University, where he also continued his studies, receiving his PhM and his PhD in humanities. Since his retirement from Syracuse University in 1992, Milac has devoted most of his time to writing his memoirs: Resistance, Imprisonment, and Forced Labor (Lang, 2002), which describes his experiences during World War II, and this volume, which offers a retrospective of his life in America. He is also the author of Kdo solze nase posusi: Dozivetja slovenskega dijaka med drugo svetovno vojno (2003).