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Re: Brits attitude to Poles after WW2

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  • ed Bator
    Yes, with new influx of foreigners into GB, there was visible resentment of Brits. They did not make a distinction between nationalities:  all were called
    Message 1 of 37 , Sep 21, 2011
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      Yes, with new influx of foreigners into GB, there was visible resentment of Brits. They did not make a distinction
      between nationalities:  all were called "Poles" whether they were Ukrainians, Latvians, Slowaks or even Germans
      (the remnants of German Army: ex-prizoners of war - POW's in GB or just plain "Forced Labor"  workers pretending
      to be Poles and migrating to GB. 
      I was in steady contact with such "Poles"  while on various construction projects.  In a pub I heard many times
      a quasi-Pole, not speaking polish with his friends, ansver: O - I'm Polish, when asked by Englishman inquiring
      about his accent.  Mostly the new immigrants, refusing to return to their native country were Poles, however,
      a great number of them were others and all good or bad deeds they commited were prescribed to Poles.
      We Poles did not appreciate this "arrangement".  Life is life.
       
      Ed (s.j.)  Bator
      North Carolina,

      From: Vincent Geffroy <geffroy@...>
      To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 11:37 AM
      Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] Strony O Wolyn and reply to Karen from Cape Town and info on the name Nikiel

       
      
      Hello Julie
       
      I was interested to read your E-Mail. My father settled in Bournemouth after the war, where he met & married my mother. Although I know very little of my paternal family, all of whom reportedly perished during the war, I never heard my father mention any relative named Harry (or anything close). However, I should be most interested to see the photo that you have to see if there is any family likeness. Do you know from which part of Poland Harry Nickel came? Seeing it is off-topic, it would probably be better to send the photo to my private E-Mail.
       
      Regards
      Karen  
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 12:49 AM
      Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] Strony O Wolyn and reply to Karen from Cape Town and info on the name Nikiel

      Karen, I think you summed up well the 'British' attitude to foreigners. It was just a point in time that Poles after WW2 were subjected to it and it may have seemed directed towards them then, as they were the current wave of 'foreigners' to the UK. Ironically, there isn't really a true 'Britishness' anyway, as Britain's history is one totally dominated by invasions and tribes warring with each other and various immigrant populations seeking refuge throughout the ages. Much of what we all associate as typically British, be it companies, traditions, food even, are largely the result of immigrants importing them. I thoroughly recommend the book 'Bloody Foreigners' by Robert Winder. It should be part of the school curriculum in the UK. Very well researched and covers reasonably well the polish immigrants' experience and attitudes towards them post WW2. My father and we, as a family, despite being half Polish half Welsh were subject to racist treatment occasionally and the Trade Unions certainly didn't make it easy for my father to find a skilled job in the line of his training. In those days you had to be a union member to be able to work in factories and TUs often didn't allow membership to foreigners. This may have been area or quite locality specific in the UK, I am no expert on the subject. Certainly the Trade Unions in the UK, so playing up on 'Equalities' now, have no history to be proud of with respect to equalities until very recently. This would be a very interesting research topic I think!  
      On a different topic, I notice your surname of Nikiel and I have seen posts on this name before. I have recently found out that the best man at my parents' wedding was a polish friend of my father named Harry Nickel (according to the marriage certificate). This is obviously an anglicized form of his name, so maybe it was Nikiel? He is on the wedding photo of my parents, so if anyone who has an interest would like to see this, let me know and I can e-mail an attachment of it.
      Best regards to the community,
      Julie (Jachimiak) Sheppard
      Neath
      Wales (UK)

       


    • Zdzislaw Nowicki
      I served for a number of years with the Parachute Regiment. We used to have battle simulations, called TEWTs (Tactical Exercises Without Troops) and we did
      Message 37 of 37 , Sep 23, 2011
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        I served for a number of years with the Parachute Regiment.  We used to have battle simulations, called TEWTs (Tactical Exercises Without Troops) and we did several concerning Arnhem.  At no time, ever, did the Paras lay any blame on General Sobabowski for the catastrophe that befell the Airborne Forces at Arnhem.  The blame was squarely laid at Field Marshal Montgomery's feet and his egotism. He was aware, through human intelligence from the Dutch, photo reconnaissance from the RAF and ULTRA intercepts that there was an SS Panzer Division in the area but he chose to ignore the overwhelming intelligence and continued with the operation to take and hold the bridge at Arnhem.  As history now knows, it really was A Bridge Too Far!  The Paras have always held the Polish paratroopers in the highest regard and always will, despite the machinations of the British Government.


        Zdzis
        Runaway Bay
        Queensland
        Australia


        To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
        CC: eduard@...
        From: romlipin@...
        Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2011 19:52:21 -0400
        Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] Employment after the war

         
        Hi Eduard,
        I share your disgust with the treatment of Gen Sosabowski by the Brits. They wanted to cover up their idiotic idea about Arnhaim - that's why. This was one of the chapters of history of their shabby treatment of Poles during and after the WWII.
        Romuald
        ---- Eduard Wojciulewicz <eduard@...> wrote:
        > Some other examples :
        >
        > After the war, General Maczek (1st pantser) wasn’t recognized als an allied member in GB! So he had no rights in GB. He worked as a barman in a hotel in Edinburgh until he was nearly 70 years old. (He became 102 years).
        >
        > General Sobabowski (1st parachute) was Great-Britain’s scapegoat! Everything that went wrong, they blamed it on him. Son no rights for him neither. He was a factoryworker until 1966 (he was then 75!) and died one year later. In the Netherlands he is a hero, in Poland , too. I do not know if GB ever apologized fot their shameful behaviour.
        >
        > Eduard
        >
        >
        >
        > Van: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] Namens JennyS
        > Verzonden: donderdag 22 september 2011 15:21
        > Aan: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
        > Onderwerp: [Kresy-Siberia] Employment after the war
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Hi Julie, It seems to me that anti-Polish sentiment in British society, which went on to become much more pronounced in North America, was more than just a reaction to immigrant numbers.
        >
        > The UK and American nations had provided a bulwark for Stalin's excesses, the Poles were a large, potentially vocal, group. National guilt over Poland's ultimate fate, an understandable desire to increase employment of British citizens all seem to play a part in political attitudes and their trickle-down effect to the general population. Others here can probably better pinpoint how politics, rather than people's morality, shaped a negative attitude towards this population.
        >
        > Anyway, here's a related excerpt from my aunt's recent book, "The Many Faces of Love" that you might find interesting as it talks about work in a union. It is the second day after wedding a Pole in Britain:
        >
        > "Next day we spent at Regents Park Zoo. How exotic can one get but it was enjoyable and then home to the Mundane. But we had lunch at Lyons Corner House and listened to the music and I wore my little home made engagement ring, two hearts joined together made out of a piece of air craft metal. To me it was worth all the diamonds in the world, I still have it. Then back home to Mums where we all lived together. Roman and Edna also hadn't found anywhere. It was difficult in those days, I had various jobs, for Ludwik, it was more difficult not being a British subject, but as a skilled moulder, Ludwik went to Lewes and applied at the foundry for a job. He held all the necessary qualifications and indeed was a qualified man at his trade. He was told quite kindly, I should love to take you on but I would have a strike on my hands taking on a foreigner. Great, fit to fight by their side but not to work, so much for Mr. Churchill's promise of that aspect.
        >
        > I went to the labour exchange and enquired of a rather dour young man what work my husband was allowed to do. Oh, he replied airily, anything an Englishman won't do. I replied quite coolly, "well he does want an honest job and certainly he won't accept charity". I went round to all the back doors of the hotels, who kept offering me a job, only to explain it was for my husband! The Manager at the Metropole, a Mr. Hicks was very kind and said send him along to see me love. So Ludwik began his working life in England washing dishes in the kitchen, a veritable reward for fighting alongside us and losing his country. But it was an honest job, very low wages but we were happy just to be together.
        >
        > My only worry now was the fact that after two months there was still no sign of a baby, and I did want a family.
        >
        > But, before I sorted that one out I kept hearing on the radio an appeal for moulders and my blood was running hot over that. Eventually I said to my Father, blow this I am going to see Mr. Teeling our MP at that time, which I did. He asked if I wanted him to fight the Unions, my reply was yes please, just as he helped you fight for your freedom. Somewhat chastened he gave me the address to write to him at the house which I promptly went home and did. I scorched the paper with all the feelings I felt at that moment. The next morning Mr. Teeling was at mass at St. Mary Magdalene's and as we came out he touched my hand and said don't forget, write to me. I replied curtly it's in the post. Oh, he said, you don't let the grass grow under your feet young lady. I thought you haven't seen the half of what I will do for my man yet. Within a week I must say I received a very polite and kind letter from Major Beamish, MP for Lewes apologizing for our difficulties and stating a plan he had thought out. Every foundry had an annexe in Portslade, not in the Union, and he wrote, "if your husband is prepared to start as a labourer, we will place him there and progress as we go along." Ludwik was to give a week's notice at the Metropole and then begin in the annexe. The Manager was sorry to let him go, he then offered him the job of Commissionaire at the front door, but of course that was out of the question. He had to report his new job at the labour exchange, but I was given permission to do that for him. I made a point of going to the same dour young man. "Who told him he could do this?" he almost larked at me! quietly I replied, "the Ministry of Labour actually" after a quick change of mood I was very politely taken to a Mr. Slater the Manager and all was fait accompli!
        >
        > So Ludwik began in the small foundry. One day a very untidy looking man came in and asked who is the Pole here? Ludwik stood up and said, "me, have you a problem?". He just said, "could you step outside a moment please" it was Mr. Every himself, the boss! He said, "calm yourself, I only wanted to ask if you could pass on some tips as to how the foundries' work over there and if there are any ways we can improve some things?" Ludwik knew how to make non porous castings, but, didn't mention it, he kept that for much later. Soon he was asked to join the Union and go to Lewes, which he refused unless someone came with signed papers, he didn't want another insult or knock back. So it was and he worked in Lewes for ten years."
        >
        > From "The Many Faces of Love" by Joan Malek.
        >
        > A nice example of how change occurs and of course, the power of love :)
        >
        > Cheers,
        > Jenny Skulski
        > Vancouver, BC
        >
        > --- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com> , "Vincent Geffroy" <geffroy@...> wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > > ----- Original Message -----
        > > From: Julie Sheppard
        > > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
        > > Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 12:49 AM
        > > Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] Strony O Wolyn and reply to Karen from Cape Town and info on the name Nikiel
        > >
        > >
        > > Karen, I think you summed up well the 'British' attitude to foreigners. It was just a point in time that Poles after WW2 were subjected to it and it may have seemed directed towards them then, as they were the current wave of 'foreigners' to the UK. Ironically, there isn't really a true 'Britishness' anyway, as Britain's history is one totally dominated by invasions and tribes warring with each other and various immigrant populations seeking refuge throughout the ages. Much of what we all associate as typically British, be it companies, traditions, food even, are largely the result of immigrants importing them. I thoroughly recommend the book 'Bloody Foreigners' by Robert Winder. It should be part of the school curriculum in the UK. Very well researched and covers reasonably well the polish immigrants' experience and attitudes towards them post WW2. My father and we, as a family, despite being half Polish half Welsh were subject to racist treatment occasionally and the Trade Unions certainly didn't make it easy for my father to find a skilled job in the line of his training. In those days you had to be a union member to be able to work in factories and TUs often didn't allow membership to foreigners. This may have been area or quite locality specific in the UK, I am no expert on the subject. Certainly the Trade Unions in the UK, so playing up on 'Equalities' now, have no history to be proud of with respect to equalities until very recently. This would be a very interesting research topic I think!
        > > On a different topic, I notice your surname of Nikiel and I have seen posts on this name before. I have recently found out that the best man at my parents' wedding was a polish friend of my father named Harry Nickel (according to the marriage certificate). This is obviously an anglicized form of his name, so maybe it was Nikiel? He is on the wedding photo of my parents, so if anyone who has an interest would like to see this, let me know and I can e-mail an attachment of it.
        > > Best regards to the community,
        > > Julie (Jachimiak) Sheppard
        > > Neath
        > > Wales (UK)
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > ----------------------------------------------------------
        > > From: Vincent Geffroy <geffroy@...>
        > > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
        > > Sent: Monday, September 5, 2011 4:33 PM
        > > Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] Strony O Wolyn
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > 
        > > Hi Barbara
        > >
        > > My late father stayed on in England after he left the Polish navy in 1948. I do not know if he was given any other options at the time. He did not take advantage of the 'window period' to return to Poland after the war, as he was the sole survivor of his family & did not know what to expect when he got back to his homeland. Rumours were rife about the conditions at the time & Poles had genuine fears & reservations. Friends who did have family to return to opted to go, but promised to advise my father what it was like. No written letters ever arrived, only photos depicting very serious, even scared, expressions. That was all my father needed to convince him to stay. He had experienced life under the Soviets in Siberia & was certainly not going to willingly subject himself to that again. He then met my English mother & the rest is history, as you say. Yes, at the beginning, there was a certain amount of fear & suspicion from the British public, but I think it was not necessarily levelled only at Poles. It was rather a general xenophobic fear of anything that was not British. I think he was quite happy to live in a democratic country where he enjoyed
        > > freedom and rights that would otherwise have been denied had he returned to Poland after the war. He retained his Polish nationality until the day he died, saying that he was "born Polish & would die Polish". That was his right to do so & nobody in England tried to persuade him to do otherwise.
        > >
        > > Regards
        > > Karen Geffroy (née Nikiel)
        > > Cape Town
        > >
        > > ----- Original Message -----
        > > From: Barbara Dunleavy
        > > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
        > > Sent: Monday, September 05, 2011 2:09 PM
        > > Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] Strony O Wolyn
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Hi Micha,
        > >
        > > My Dad was given the choice of either England or Canada. At first he chose Canada and then, at the last minute, changed his mind and cam to England. He met my English Mum and the rest is history. I think he did have a bit of difficult time, but I was surprised to read in your email that your Dad was told that Poles were not welcome
        > > in Great Britain.
        > >
        > > Isn't it so sad that having fought so hard they were left with the feeling that all that time they had been fighting in vain because they would not be able to return home and Poland would not be free for another 50 years.
        > >
        > > Kindest regards,
        > >
        > > Barbara Dunleavy
        > > Nottingham. England
        > >
        > > ----------------------------------------------------------
        > > From: Micha Shmata <M.Shmata@...>
        > > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
        > > Sent: Mon, 5 September, 2011 12:57:42
        > > Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] Strony O Wolyn
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > 1 more person from Wolyniu
        > >
        > > day from Ottawa CANADA. My father, Kazimierz Wszol, was an alter boy at the Wolyn church (but born in Rowne-I have the papers ) the day that the Black Madonna was hidden, just before the Russians came and took him to siberia. Maybe someone from the village would remember it... I have one person who did so far. My dad ended up in the British army---- (Montgomery) and fought at Monte Casino, Tripoli, went to Egypt etc. He was in the signals corp.
        > >
        > > My father (now passed) told me that he was given a choice... to go to Canada or Australia after the was because Polish people were not realy welcome in Great Britain... Obviously he chose CDA. Looks like your family chose Australia-uh NZ.
        > >
        > > Cheers.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > -------Original Message-------
        > >
        > > From: Roger Watkins
        > > Date: 02/09/2011 7:27:00 PM
        > > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
        > > Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] Strony O Wolyn
        > >
        > >
        > > 
        > > Hello Terry, Lenarda and others
        > >
        > > I recently contacted Andzrej at the Strony O Wolyn site to enquire about my mother's family from Tajkury, and he responded within days with startling and very welcome information about her brother, who has been presumed missing since 1940. Andzrej also provided contact information for someone he believes could be the daughter of my uncle - she is still living near Rowne. I am following up on that information presently.
        > >
        > > I found Andzrej to be very helpful and prompt, and he has added information I sent him that my mother remembers from her childhood about members of osadnik families who farmed near Tajkury or lived in the village, to the site.
        > >
        > > It helps to write to him in Polish, as his English is limited.
        > >
        > > Cheers from NZ.
        > >
        > > Roger
        > >
        > >
        > > ----- Original Message -----
        > > From: Lenarda Szymczak
        > > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
        > > Sent: Saturday, September 03, 2011 9:21 AM
        > > Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] Resources available!
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Hi Terry,
        > > I always contact directly to co-ordinator, email address. wolyn1939@... Get response every time, even Easter and Christmas email cards. Strony O Wolyn Information is collected by family sending names or relatives or friends, official government list, repression list, or as I did, my mother remembers playing with other children and knew their family names, this is considered believable source. It is collected either as direct email to email given or when in a village site, there is a special entry box than can be completed for any changes or new input to that village, also the source of where it came from is listed in a box below the village information. You will see my name there many times against my family village of NIWNA ZA KORDONEM and my known relatives. .As we could describe the placement of their houses to my mother’s house. All information that is given and the source can be verified, is welcome, it’s like a huge jig saw puzzled, with past residents, supplying the names, putting in the pieces. If you were there or knew the name of someone who was there, you can prove your source of information, then you place your mark. There is guessing as people have moved or memories fade, Errors are made, it is not a huge organization, run by one person and he needs time to answer and correct any errors. This can be immediate or within a couple of days. It is not 100% accurate, but tries to be as truthful as possible. I personally have no problems, always being grateful to Andzrej Mielcarek, who runs this site, for personally uniting my family, through information he had collected and information I had given,. If not for this wonderful man, I would not be connected with my family today or even know about Kresy-Siberia. He has actually made contact with your group in the past, found his name on past forum, congratulating you on the amazing job you do of research and remembrance and connection of members.
        > > In summer they go on holidays, I know this as my cousin in Poland tells me. He Studies all winter and goes travelling in summer. Maybe this could cause delay?
        > > Lenarda
        > > Australia
        > > From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf Of terry polewski
        > > Sent: Saturday, 03 September, 2011 2:18 AM
        > > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
        > > Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] Resources available!
        > > from Lenarda >>>One site that I personally would like to see attached, is Strony O Wolyn, where Kresy members could actually place their name and their family and friends name against the real village, town, city where they lived before deportation.
        > > Has anyone had any luck contacting them. I tried last month to ask about correcting a couple errors in my family's info and and to ask where it was they got the info in the first place with no response.
        > > Terry Polewski
        > > Windsor Canada
        > > From: Lenarda Szymczak <szymczak01@...>
        > > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
        > > Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 10:45 PM
        > > Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] Resources available! [was Zwiazek Sybirakow/Siberia Survivors]
        > >
        > > Hi Stefan
        > > One site that I personally would like to see attached, is Strony O Wolyn, where Kresy members could actually place their name and their family and friends name against the real village, town, city where they lived before deportation.
        > > Lenarda
        > > From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf Of Stefan (KS) Wisniowski
        > > Sent: Thursday, 01 September, 2011 11:11 AM
        > > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
        > > Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] Resources available! [was Zwiazek Sybirakow/Siberia Survivors]
        > >
        >
        >
        >


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