Happy New Year 2018! Symbolically, a new year is a new beginning, 365 days to seize a new opportunity to learn, to grow, to experience, to laugh, to apologize, to look forward, and to leave regret behind. I’m reminded of a sign my niece gave me several years ago: “If we did all the things we were capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves.” For most of us, that is far easier said than done. 2017 is the closest I’ve come so far. Continue reading
Meet Donna Urbikas, author of My Sister’s Mother: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Stalin’s Siberia. Urbikas’ book is the true story of her mother Janina’s and sister Mira’s eviction from their small, family farm in eastern Poland by the Russians during World War II. Far less has been written about the devastating acts committed against Poles during World War II by the Russians under Józef Stalin. I read the book shortly after it came out in 2016, and consider it an important addition to my growing library on Polish history and memoirs. Continue reading
Last week I held a successful Book Launch and Presentation of HENRY: A Polish Swimmer’s True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America for a standing room only crowd of 85 people. Fifteen years in the making, I can finally say that while I outlived Henry Zguda, with the publication of this book, now his story will outlive me. It’s more important than ever to keep teaching against the lessons of hate and prejudice by remembering and honoring the very real victims and survivors.
Meet James Conroyd Martin, author of The Boy Who Wanted Wings, and the Poland Trilogy: Push Not the River, Against a Crimson Sky, and Warsaw Conspiracy. Martin’s books are considered historical fiction but mirror true events. Each one takes place at the time of a significant event or era in Polish history. They make for an entertaining read whether you are familiar with Polish history or not. Martin is of Irish and Norwegian descent, but after a friend shared the diary of a Polish countess from the late eightenth century, he thoroughly believed the story should be turned into a book. He has been studying Polish history ever since.