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

Ryszard Kuklinski, Polish Patriot and American Hero

Ryszard Kuklinski

Ryszard Kuklinski. Photo by Krzysztof Langowski.

Ryszard Kuklinski, Polish patriot and American hero, secretly helped prevent nuclear war and World War III in the 1980s.  His story is told in the 2014 film Jack Strong, the title a reference to his American code name. If you want a true life spy thriller I thoroughly recommend the film. I did pick up on more historical nuances than my husband since I write on Polish topics, but it’s still a great story of the Cold War. His name stands worthy of remembrance and respect. Here’s why.

Continue reading

World Youth Day 2016 runs July 25-July 31 in Kraków

wyd 2016 imageAfter three years of planning, World Youth Day 2016 begins this week in Kraków. Organizers expect the event will draw more than two million people from around the world. Poland’s archdioceses and dioceses have pledged to offer accommodations for over 373,000 foreign visitors. The festive gathering of youth and young adults represents the chance to share in prayer, worship, and a celebration of the Catholic faith. From Pope Francis to dancing nuns, Catholic leaders will welcome everyone in attendance.

Continue reading