Tuesday, April 25, 2017
   
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Personal Stories

Wroclaw and Breslau - in Memories of Eva Stachniak, the Author of "Necessary Lies"

I was born in Wroclaw, a city in the south west of Poland. But if you were to look at the pre-war map of Poland, you would not find Wrocław on it. In its place you would've found Breslau, part of the German Reich. In 1945, history tells us, Poland lost its Eastern provinces to the Soviet Union, and received the Western lands in their stead.

When I was growing up in Wrocław, the ruins of Breslau were still around me, the silent background to the hushed, bitter stories of the last world war. I have an old photograph of myself from 1957, a tiny figurine with a halo of curly hair. I am holding my mother's hand and behind me are the ruins I remember so well. Huge piles of rubble spilling into the street, clusters of red bricks still glued together with mortar, a sea of ruins, surrounding small islands of surviving buildings. I ran with other children through these ruins, wielding stick guns, yelling at the top of my voice. How many German words I knew then, already! Raus, Haende hoch (meaning: Get out, hands up) or Polnische Schweine (Polish pigs).

Read more: Wroclaw and Breslau - in Memories of Eva Stachniak, the Author of "Necessary Lies"

 

George Roberts - the Luckiest Jeweler in the World

"The 63 days of the Warsaw Uprising caused unspeakable suffering. A quarter of a million people killed - men, women and children. Hundreds of thousands more were expelled, many of them to die in the camps and the convoys."

John Prescott, Britain's Deputy Prime Minister, speaking in Warsaw on the 60th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, in Warsaw, Aug. 1, 2004.

When Jerzy Robaczewski and his family stepped off the liner Samaria at Pier 21 in Halifax on New Year's Day, 1954, to begin a new life in Canada, he had already lived several lifetimes.

Read more: George Roberts - the Luckiest Jeweler in the World

   

A Warm Welcome: Reflections of a Foreign Student in America

Eleven years ago I first stepped on American soil. I was accepted for graduate studies in Texas, and remember this as it happened yesterday. It was a hot summer afternoon in Dallas/ Fort Worth area. The chairman of the department, a Polish-American professor met me at the airport. Later that evening we went to the Texas two-step dance. I was even taken to the stage to answer some questions, since I was a kind of attraction - a newcomer from a country far away.

Read more: A Warm Welcome: Reflections of a Foreign Student in America

   

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