Basia Z. Well spoken, these are the life experience, thoughts and feelings of many especially I am at heart a Pole, and yet I am different, because of myMessage 1 of 11 , Nov 26, 2012View Source
Basia Z. Well spoken, these are the life experience, thoughts and feelings of many especially “I am at heart a Pole, and yet I am different, because of my life experience, to the Poles in Poland, and, for that matter, anywhere else in the world.”
This is why; I believe that Kresy-Siberia Group is so special to us all, because we understand each other completely.
Did you see Polish Christmas Festival – Darling Harbour, Sydney, 2.12.2012? I will try to go with my daughters (depending on Babcia health) and introduce them to their Polish side.
Thank you Stefan for starting this group.
Stan, Dan, Basia
I will add my "Australian cent's worth"
I was born in Germany – why? Because my parents were there at the end of the war.
Do I feel even remotely German? No, I do not.
Do I feel any connection with Germany?
Only that it is where I was born, and certainly when I visited Leer, my place of birth, a few years ago, and enjoyed dinner at the town hall restaurant where my parents had their wedding reception,
and walked the streets of the city they spent two post war years in, before coming to England,
I felt "warm and fuzzy with sentimentality" and absolutely thrilled to be able to actually visit the place, in part tracing both my parents journey and my own birth place roots.
I lived in a displaced persons camp in England for effectively the first 12 years of my life (I was 5 months old when we arrived in England)
Everything was Polish, The church, school, shop, social club, all the people (actually I remember references to "The Ukrainian, the Lithuanian" which even as a child I recognised as a difference somehow, to the Poles).
The English were treated with mistrust, I was told numerous times to never believe them.
Today I understand the reasoning behind this, felt by the generation who had battled the war, however I personally have very many, very dear English friends, post war generation.
I was the first kid in the Polish school in the camp to go to the local English primary village school.
As I spoke not a word of English, I was different, was that difference negative? Not at all. Everyone wanted to be my best friend – and not,because I have some amazing personality!
My being different, from "that camp" , was enjoyed.
Even at the time, I was aware of being encouraged and helped by teachers, and having worked as a teacher myself, I realise they would have been primed to encourage me.
I did very well indeed during my time there and heard not a single word of negativity against the Poles. (I was fluent in english within 6 months)
I was as curious about my fellow school friends (who lived in real houses, some with staircases which led to an upper level- imagine!) as they were about me, living in a nissan hut.
I made my first visit to Poland aged 19, naively, I now realise, hoping to be a Pole amongst real Poles, at last. My Polishness had been so carefully nurtured at home, in the camp, and sternly in the church.
I was to face a huge disappointment. To my Polish relatives I was the English grand daughter, niece and cousin. It was not a great feeling. I wanted to be truly accepted by my family. Now I have to say, that whilst their hospitality was as only Polish hospitality can be, and I rejoiced in finally meeting my relatives (at this stage only on my mother's side) I was not, to them, a "real" Pole. (by their definition)
Incidentally I travelled on a Polish travel document, quite different to the Polish passports issued in Poland at the time.
And of course I was different. My relatives in Poland endured post war hardships which I did not, however, eventually, not so very long ago, I pointed out to my very much treasured Polish relatives, that yes indeed, we could, through hard work, achieve materialist benefits, which were not possible, under the communist regime, for Poles in Poland.
But you know what I acutely felt. The loss of an extended family. I was only able to identify this much later in life.My relatives in Poland had their whole extended families. A wonderful thing, even in Post war Poland.
Today as a mother and grandmother, I value nothing as much as my family, and I am thrilled to be the matriarch of three post war generations.
Back to my Polishness, when eventually I visited my father's side of Poland, I(15 years ago) including finding cousins, I was prepared for the instant rejection of my claim to Polishness, by this time I was the Australian relative.
I ignored all that and allowed my heart to sing as I connected to what Barbara Milligan states "the Polish genes, blood and bone" and my Polish heart and soul.
Finally I accepted that indeed I am very Polish, (whatever others may think) I live a fortunate life of choice, I absolutely adore living in Australia, and simultaneously my Polishness responds to Polish music, poetry, traditions, and those genes, those bones, the blood which pumps through my heart.
It is not a sentimental observation, it is very real. I have wonderful Polish friends and observe some Polish traditions, but it is only part of my life, I also embrace all that Australia offers.
Since joining the Kresy Siberia site, my Polishness is very much in focus, but in fact it is my familial Polish roots which have stirred me so deeply. All that my father (In Siberia and in the theatre of war during the last year of war) and my mother, who was taken from her home to work in Germany, and how their displacement has affected me.
I am at heart a Pole, and yet I am different, because of my life experience, to the Poles in Poland, and, for that matter, anywhere else in the world.
Undoubtedly something very powerful and very Polish binds us.
Basia Zielinska (Sydney)
I absolutely agree with you.
In Poland is a unique situation where titular nation and citizens - are one and the same. So I believe in future of Polish.
In Russia, it is difficult, in Belarus (I was there recently) a little easier, in Ukraine - is very difficult.
I used, that all who lives in Spain, considered by Spaniards. It turns out - no, no one wants to sacrifice even 10% of their income to brothers and sisters to live them better. We are - all brothers and sisters, and as part of a national tradition - especially.
Stan from M.
When Gomulka had to comment on Poland's new borders (and the ethnic
cleansing that accompanied them) he justified them by explaining:
"Western expansion and agricultural reform will bind the nation to the
state." This is a very difficult notion for an American to grasp, but I
suspect it would instantly be understandable by anyone in central Europe
in the 1930s and 1940s. The state is the geographical construct with a
certain form of government. The nation is the tradition to which one's
personal identity is bound up. All those sometimes warring nations
within the Polish state --Germans in the west, Ukrainians and
Belarussians in the east, Jews in the urban areas, and Poles
everywhere--were a large part of the problem in the 1930s and 1940s.
Poland is now more like the United States, in which the nation and the
state are one, but in the process a million or so Poles were scattered
around the world, still belonging to the Polish nation while under the
protection of some other state.
Incidentally, when my friend Basia visited Lwow in September, she
expressed the experience by saying: "In England, I feel Polish. In
Poland, I feel English. But in Lwow I felt just right."
- Dan Ford US
On 11/26/2012 2:15 PM, Barbara Milligan wrote:
> If what sort of passport we carry denotes our nationality, then I am
> British. However, if it's what ones genes are, then blood and bone I
> am Polish.
* PLEASE PAY YOUR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FEE & MAKE A DONATION: http://tinyurl.com/ks-contribute
* Visit our merchandise & Bookstore: http://tinyurl.com/KS-Store
KRESY-SIBERIA GROUP & FOUNDATION
"Research, Remembrance and Recognition of Polish citizens fighting for freedom in the Eastern Borderlands and in Exile during World War 2."
* Discussion group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Kresy-Siberia/
* Virtual Museum http://www.kresy-siberia.org/
* Facebook Page! http://www.facebook.com/KSF.FKS
* Memorial gallery http://kresy-siberia.com/gallery
* Kresy property claims http://www.kresy-claims.org
* Merchandise & Bookstore http://tinyurl.com/KS-Store
* To CONTACT the Group Moderators please send an e-mail to:
* To SUBSCRIBE to the discussion group, send an e-mail
saying who you are and describing your interest in the group to:
* To UNSUBSCRIBE from this group, send an email to:
Kresy-Siberiaemail@example.comYahoo! Groups Links
<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
<*> Your email settings:
Individual Email | Traditional
<*> To change settings online go to:
(Yahoo! ID required)
<*> To change settings via email:
<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
I am wondering which polish camp were you in, in the UK? I was born in Marsworth in Herts/Bucks.reading through your post I must say I resonated with what youMessage 1 of 11 , Nov 27, 2012View SourceI am wondering which polish camp were you in, in the UK? I was born in Marsworth in Herts/Bucks.reading through your post I must say I resonated with what you said a 100%! thanks you put it all so well!