In response to very messages from Basia, Krystyna and George,
Firstly thank you very much for your kind words.
Basia, sadly yesterday was the last of my two talks. Maybe there will be a next time, and we can catch up then!
Krystyna, I am now an advisor to a new project initiated and run by post-EU Poles living in Scotland, the Scottish-Polish Heritage Trail, and I have asked them if they can make a priority the recording of all remaining known survivors of WW2 living in Scotland; not just Kresy-Siberia survivors but all WW2 generation Poles, as this project's remit is wider than our own. I am hopeful they'll say yes; and they have the support of many keen volunteers and professional oral historians who will teach the volunteers. No promises but I'm optimistic. Over and above this I am confident that this new group will help Kresy Siberia Virtual Museum in other ways, especially regarding the mapping of campsites of Polish soldiers in Scotland during the war, and the resettlement challenges post-war.
George, I'd be more than happy to catch up when you return from Saudi. Just let me know when you are ready. My email is martin@...
Yesterday's talk and reading was as good if not better than the first. We have had lovely feedback, orally from people at the end of the event, and by email and cards. Here are just a few:
"your talk was poignant, harrowing yet heart-warming"
"I couldn't speak when I went to get my book signed; I wax so choked up, very emotional. Really great talk and I love the poetry."
"It's just wonderful that we got to hear this story and I feel it pays respect to all the hundreds of thousands of other people who were all part of that experience also."
"It was very humbling and so much more to it than I first thought."
There were people from Sweden, Spain, America, England, Malaysia as well as Scots and Poles.
I am doing two further talks more locally, on 2nd and 7th October in my home town of Hamilton and in Coatbridge, some six miles from home. These are both part of a national (Scottish) mental health arts and literature week, so I am combining telling the story and dpoing readings from my book, with some reflections on resilience, living with loss and grief, and my personal position as a teacher of mindfulness in both writing and in handling the powerful and complex emotions associated with the Kresy-Siberia tragedy. If anyone is relatively local and would like to attend email me privately and I'll send details.