Germany Invaded Poland Eighty Years Ago. Do Untold Stories of WWII Remain?

Henry Zguda and Katrina Shawver work to capture untol storiesFew survivors of the September 1, 1939 German invasion of Poland remain. I believe untold stories of World War II remain, but only for a short time longer.

We are on the brink of losing all remaining untold first-person accounts. Any remaining survivors were likely quite young in 1939. Henry Zguda had just celebrated his twenty-second birthday in July 1939. If he was alive today, he would be 102 years old. His story survives because the universe knocked on my door and I said yes based solely on sheer instinct. It remains one of the best decisions of my life. What can you do if you know of someone with a story?  Continue reading

Who Remembers the Warsaw Uprising?

One of the German POW’s captured during the fighting at the PAST building located on Zielna Street, 20 August 1944. Wikipedia.

Who remembers the Warsaw Uprising?  No, I am not referring to the much better known Warsaw Ghetto Uprising that began in April 1943. The Warsaw Uprising began on August 1, 1944 as a heroic but ill-fated last stand against the occupying Nazis by Poles still living in Warsaw. The Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa; AK) predicted that Soviet forces gathered across the east bank of the Vistula River would move in and assist the Poles in defeating Germany and liberating Warsaw. The Soviets did nothing but watch and gave no assistance to the Poles. By the time the valiant battle ended, an estimated 180,000 Poles (estimates range from 166,000-200,000,) primarily civilians, died in the effort. The death count includes an estimated 17,000 Polish Jews still in hiding or fighting with the Home Army. The Nazis subsequently bombed most of what remained in Warsaw. Any survivors were sent to concentration camps. Continue reading

Holocaust Remembrance Is Critical and Needs to Include the “Other” Victims

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I firmly believe that Holocaust Rembrance is critical and needs to include the “Other” victims. January 27 was International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a solemn remembrance of the systematic murder of six million European Jews during World War II by Nazis. … Continue reading

November 11 Marks 100 Years of Polish Independence

Celebrating Polish Independence DayNovember 11 Marks 100 Years of Polish Independence after Poland disappeared off the map of Europe for 123 years. In 1795 the countries of Russia, Prussia, and Austria conspired against Poland and maneuvered to essentially conquer the country and divide Poland amongst themselves. Veterans Day in the United States, Armistice Day in the UK, and Polish Independence Day are all celebrated on November 11, as the date World War I ended, on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month. For more information follow this link for my 2016 post on Polish Independence Day. It includes a link to a fun video of the TV show Jeopardy!

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