beautiful and touching poem. In several lines describing history of
one of many Polish families after WWII. Thank you for sharing it with
My grandmother's history is a bit different from most of the persons
at this group, but at the same time so similar in many aspects.
As you know I live from my born in Warsaw, as well as my parents. But
especially my grandmother made a very difficult decision at the end
Before the war she and her family lived in Pogiry near Nowogrodek,
now Belarus. She survived Russian occupation, but no Nazi one. They
took her to Estonia and then transported to south Germany as forced
worker. She met there her future husband, Polish man from Warsaw.
When the American army liberated them, she had to make a decision -
to stay in Western Europe or rather go to USA, or to come back to
Poland. But it wasn't "her" Poland. Her brothers stayed in Pogiry,
now Belarus. If she will get there, Russians will not let her come
back to Poland again.
What to do ? Go with her husband to his family in Warsaw which she
had never seen ? "How I will survive without my family and my
beautiful Niemen river ?" she was asking herself.
Finally they decided to come back to Poland - different one,
communist. And they tried to be happy. After one year their daughter
(my mother) was born. They were so happy. Proud father was showing
baby to every colleague. My grandma was happy even without
possibility to see her family (first time she went there at the end
of 50's). And then my grandpa died in the fire at his work place.
Tragedy. My grandma stayed alone with new born baby in not well know
city. She was hardly working each day to survive.
I'm very proud of her, because being a widow she survived and
educated her daughter to a great woman as well. But all the time (now
she is 82) she mainly was speaking about her homeland - Nowogrodek,
Sorry for a long letter and personal information, but I would like to
share with you this. It's horrible, how WWII damaged lifes of our
families, how it forced people to change so drastically their place
I'm so happy, that most of you living away from Poland are
interesting in your roots and preserve history of your family for
your children and grandchildren. I'm grandchild and I would like to
thank you on behalf of all grandchildren for this. Also on behalf of
these ones not understanding at the moment how important it's for
them. I'm sure one day, they will.....
Aneta, Warsaw, Poland
PS. I search for any information about transports of Polish people
from now Western Belarus (Nowogrodek, Grodno) by Nazi to Estonia and
their life there (probably years summer 1943-Sept 1944, and then
taken to Germany through Stutthof concentration camp). As this matter
is not widely checked by archivists, I would be grateful for any help
from Your side.
--- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
, Anne Kaczanowski
> In light of February approaching, many of us come from parents
whose lives were dramatically changed in this month 67 years ago.
We've lost so much time and many in this group can relate to the
difficulties of learning and searching for the elusive missing pieces
of our parents' past. Many within the group have worked relentlessly
to educate and preserve our lost history with their vast knowledge of
what was passed down to them from parents who spoke and journalized
their odysseys. Many within the group amaze me with the knowledge
they have shared...there are no words to express gratitude for this.
So many of us have used this information to build a foundation for
own legacies as we continue the quest for details. Eagles Wings
asked me to compose a poem to interest children of survivors to
become more interested in their parents history while they still have
a chance to speak about it.
> Many of our parents and grandparents did not get the respect
when Poland was sold out to the Soviets after the war and they didn't
get respect when they traveled to far-off countries like Canada,
where most worked like dogs at menial jobs to eke out meagre living
for their families. Many of these people had no time to dwell on the
past and so a generation of children was raised in silence and left
asking questions years later. Preserving their history is the
greatest respect, we as children, can honour them with, even though
it can be very difficult at times.
> I share my poem now with the members of Kresy.. For each of you
that look with questions into the eyes of old photographs, may you
hear the voice I heard and may this give you greater understanding of
why you search and why it is so important....if not for yourself, do
it such a little bit for them.
> Dziecko what do you see?
> I turn the pages of a photo album that gives me a glimpse into
> Fading memories on paper of what came first and what came last.
> I've looked at my fathers face a thousand times and his eyes look
back at me
> But today his voice in the picture asks "Dziecko, what is it
really that you see?"
> Do you see the soul that once lived within and breathed the same
> Do you finally understand that part of my life of which very
little you knew?
> Do you see that I was once young and my heart was full of song
> And there was a time when darkness fell and everything went wrong.
> It was so difficult to speak of my shattered dreams and
> My home, my friends, my family, and life as I knew in my Poland .
> This became my fate and from the fallen ashes I and others had to
> As many of us in silence learned to tuck our nations banner deep
> Many years ago times were different and we searched for a place
to fit in
> We asked new countries to accept us and tried to forget where we
> No one cared about our war, spoke of our pain and what our nation
> And only the Poles that survived the journey from hell knew what
> There wasn't time to keep looking back for change seemed too far
> We'd had too many of our hopes shattered waiting for a better day.
> Do you see fear I tried many times to hide and tears that could
> Dziecko.... I know it all seems so trivial now
. so petty and so
> My freedoms were lost more than once but somehow given back to me
> And from that emerged another dream that eventually created our
> There didn't seem to be the time to tell you everything I wanted
you to know
> Some things were better left in the past so you could have a
chance to grow.
> Perhaps in hindsight I was wrong and should have taught you more
> But perhaps the missing pieces of my life enriched your hungry
> Perhaps what you have learned will teach others what I couldn't
> And you can become my voice and teach others that they must care.
> Teach your children what you have learned so they can understand
> Only then can I fully release the banner that I kept tucked so
> Every child that learns my past will forever keep my memory free
> And Dziecko, this legacy
is what I want you to see, when you
look at me.
> Hania Kaczanowska 2007
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