Armistice Day and a 60-year Insult to Polish Veterans

In the US, we honor our military veterans on November 11. The date is celebrated in many other countries as Armistice, or Remembrance Day. In Poland it is Polish Independence Day.  Discussion of veterans reminds me of one of the most appalling snubs of the 20th century. Polish military veterans who fought as part of British forces during World War II were excluded from Victory Day celebrations for sixty years.

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Vote? Me? Yes you!

I Voted stickerVote? Me? Yes you! My right to vote, and yours, is based on countless people who fought, campaigned, and even died, for decades.

I grew up in a household that paid attention to news and current events. My bachelor’s degree is in political science. I vote in every election and hope I have passed this tradition down to my children. When my children turned eighteen, I encouraged them to serve as a poll worker on an election day. Two did and the main insight from that day remains with them: Few people showed up to vote. It was a very long, boring day. What about today, now, 2020? Continue reading

Polish Composers and Music at Auschwitz

Electric Fence at Auschwitz

Photo by author, 2013

The first transport of 728 Polish prisoners arrived at Auschwitz eighty years ago, on June 14, 1940.  In honor of those first Polish prisoners, I want to highlight what may seem incongruous to many: music in Auschwitz. Two recent reports highlight Polish political prisoners who composed music at Auschwitz. It’s fascinating history, and a reminder that even in the darkest of places, the human soul  can stay alive through the power of music. Continue reading