Many of you are already aware that the Directors of Kresy-Siberia (UK) (Rysiek Grzybowski, Jurek Neisser, Monica Janowski, Mirka Wojnar, Martin Stepek, Stefan Wisniowski, Krystyna Szypowska and me - Eva Szegidewicz) have regular monthly UK Board meetings with some of the UK Team members (Linder Ladbrooke, Elizabeth Olsson and Basia Bartz) via Skype and/or telephone.
We thought you may be interested to know what we actually talk about at these meetings and what we do here as a team in the UK.
The most exciting news this month is that we have purchased a camcorder for use by the UK team to record survivor testimonies across the whole of the country which will be placed on the Kresy Siberia Virtual Museum for everyone to see and hear. We hope to complete 100 interviews by the end of the year and are currently drawing up a timetable of interviews to be done from now until the end of December. If anyone would like to borrow the camcorder to interview their own surviving family members please get in touch. Alternatively you may have your own camcorder and would like to have a go at doing your own recordings. We have a standard set of guidelines which we follow so if you would like to have a go please let me have details of who you wish to interview and when and I will send a copy of the guidelines to you.
· Kresy-Siberia Virtual Museum
A new web hosting server was purchased in February for KSVM from a company called Strato Hosting in the UK as the old server had reached its capacity in terms of size and speed. The Kresy-Siberia IT team are currently busy transferring files from the old server to the new one. Did you know that the Virtual Museum now contains:
5,166 unique photographs
238 excerpts of video testimonies
111 excerpts of audio testimonies
30 rare archival movies from 20's, 30's and 40's including a movie done by unknown allied soldier among Poles entering Persia beaches, gen. Sikorski's speech after signing the Polish-Soviet treaty in 1941 and probably the only colour movie recorded in Wolyn in late 30's
69 archival audio recordings, including gen. Anders' speeches, gen. Sikorski's speeches, Józef Beck speeches, music from 20's and 30's etc
86 historical texts prepared by Polish historians
359 written testimonies from Kresy and WW2
This is in addition to all the member photos and documents that are in the Yahoo Group files and Member Galleries.
If you haven't logged into the Kresy Siberia Virtual Museum website (www.kresy-siberia.org) recently I would urge you to take a look as new Galleries are now open (Kresy between the wars, Invasion, Deportation, Katyn, India, Africa). At present these are mostly in Polish only, but translations in English will eventually be available. There has also been a great deal of work done on the Wall of Names, and it is now possible to add or edit names, as well as upload photos and documents associated with them. We welcome your comments on the Virtual Museum (good or bad) so please send them to Fundacya@....
· Forever Exiled in the West gallery
We recently received a small grant (£350) from the Polonia Aid Foundation Trust to gather material for another gallery entitled "Forever Exiled in the West". Jurek Neisser is currently doing some research work on this project. We hope to include information about the Polish Resettlement Camps did you know that there were 265 camps across the UK !!!
Some of the UK Team attended a talk by Agata Blaszczyk at the University College London in March about the PRCs and we are working together with Agata and hope to obtain digital copies of her collection of over 1000 photographs and documents for the KSVM. See a recent article about Northwick Park Camp and interview by Agata: http://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/Wiadomosci/1,80269,9725905,Moj_dom_to_oboz__Kawalek_zapomnianej_historii.html?as=1&startsz=x
· Wilno (Vilnius) exhibition
An exhibition will be held at the Pilsudski Institute in London in August. If anyone has any interesting material they would like to exhibit please contact Mirka Wojnar at mirka_w@....
· Anders' Army play
We are working with an Arts Company in Cambridge who have received lottery funding and are doing a play about Anders' Army. They are interviewing Anders' Army veterans for this purpose. If there are any veterans living in the Cambridge area willing to be interviewed about their experiences please contact Mirka Wojnar (mirka_w@...).
· Meeting in London
On Saturday 25 June Jurek Neisser and I are planning to go down to London from Manchester to meet with the UK team at POSK in Hammersmith. If you are in the vicinity it would be great to catch up with you there are still lots of members I haven't met since I joined the group in January 2010 so it would be great to see you all !!! I will confirm details shortly.
· Other News
o We are working with Professor Ludwik Finkelstein and Sir Martin Gilbert on a Polish-Jewish project for the Virtual Museum.
o We are working on a heritage lottery bid.
o We are working with a documentary film maker who is interviewing some survivors about the fate of Polish citizens during WWII.
o We are planning to have a stall at the Who Do You Think You Are exhibition at Olympia next February.
o We are applying to be a member of the Federation of Poles in GB.
o We have placed an advert in the Informator Polski.
o We have submitted our first annual financial accounts to Companies House.
o We have applied for EU funding to record survivor testimonies working in partnership with the Warsaw team.
o We received £1000 from the Association of Poles in India.
o We received £350 from OROK.
o We received £250 from SPK Huddersfield.
o We received £200 from SPK Manchester.
o We received £100 from SPK Blackburn.
Most importantly we need you, as a UK member, to contribute to our work either physically, financially or preferably both. There is always lots to do and with many of us working full time there are never enough hours in the day to be able to do everything.
Please help us to raise some money to continue the development of the Virtual Museum or let us know of any fundraising ideas or grants that we can apply for. We desperately need money to pay for things like the new server contract, equipment such as the camcorder and accessories, CDs/DVDs, printing, scanning, copying publicity materials, advertising, stationery, postage, etc.
Did you know that as a UK tax payer for every £1 that you donate to our K-S (UK) charity we can claim an extra 28p Gift Aid? Simply click on http://ksf.wmks.pl/?page_id=14&lang=en to make a donation or you can set up regular monthly payments by Direct Debit or Standing Order through your own bank.
Please contact me or one of the team at uk@... if you would like more information about any of the above events or if you would like to join the team and take part in our very worthwhile cause.
Let's all join forces and get this Virtual Museum up and running soon and make our families and friends proud of what we have achieved in remembrance of their difficult experiences and suffering.
Hope to be in touch very soon.
Director, K-S (UK)