“The soul of Poland is indestructible, and she will rise again like a rock which may for a spell
be submerged by a tidal wave, but which remains a rock”
Winston Churchill 1-10-1939

 

A Homeland Denied, follows the harrowing journey of a young Warsaw University student whose peaceful life was changed dramatically and with far reaching consequences that fateful day of September 1, 1939.

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Warsaw University 1937

From imprisonment in the notorious Kozelsk prison to the forced labour camp in the Siberian Arctic Circle, the story pulls the reader into a world of suffering and brutality it would be impossible to imagine yet compels you to read on. Forced to dig runways in temperatures reaching as low as minus 50c while under constant threat from sadistic guards, it was an indescribable living hell with death the only companion. Enduring and witnessing atrocities which haunt him for the rest of his life…so many friends murdered or frozen to death in the unforgiving cruelty that is Siberia.

But fate once again intervened and the icy wasteland was replaced by the blistering heat and dry deserts of the Middle East, where the student who had never picked up a gun was taught to fight…and fight he did, in the Italian campaign, at Monte Cassino, Ancona and Bologna. Yet the desire to return to his homeland never left him and only memories of the idyllic life before the war with the intense yearning to return sustained him when he sank to the lowest depths of despair.

Yet how could he know of the terrible suffering of his family or the sacrifices of his countrymen as they fought so desperately to keep Warsaw, only to be denied their homeland in the cruellest way imaginable. For though ultimately the victors, they lost everything. Their home, their loves, their country and nothing would ever be the same again.

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Tatiszewo 1941

In a country now governed by Communist Russia and controlled by their secret police, it was impossible to return under fear of imprisonment or death and no knowledge of the achievements and bravery of the Pole’s was allowed to be known. No one was safe under the Stalinist reign of terror. Everything was strictly censored or destroyed and with the passage of time few were left alive to tell their story. Only in 1989 did Poland truly break free from the Russian yoke and it’s people gain the freedom they had fought so valiantly for.

A dramatic yet poignant story based on the memories of Waclaw Kossakowski told in such vivid detail by his daughter Irena Kossakowski, you wil never want to complain about anything ever again, yet with an insight into a life that has been lost forever. His story and the story of so many unrecognised Pole’s should not be forgotten, yet how can we remember what we do not know…

“It was in freight cars we came from the east, fighting for a sacred cause, we shall not cease”
Polish Soldiers, Italy 1944

 

They were being moved….
to a better place they were told,
where they could work for the good of the Soviet Union.
They were being transported to the worst possible place
a man could have gone.
The unforgiving cruel wasteland that was Siberia.
So many chaotic thoughts flashed through his mind.
To die. die slowly.
Frozen to death in the middle of this horrendous desolation,
or cling on to life, however awful it might be.
To survive and to hope – hope there would be a way out.
Somehow.
Please God, don’t let me die here.

 

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My dad with Pope John Paul 2nd 1992

Exert from..
Red Poppies on Monte Cassino/Czrwone Maki na Monte Cassino

Red Poppies on Monte Cassino, instead of dew, drank Polish blood,
As the soldiers crushed them in falling, for the anger was more potent than death.
Years will pass and ages will roll, but traces of bygone days will stay
And the poppies of Monte Cassino will be redder having quaffed Polish blood.
They charged through fire like madmen, countless were hit and fell, like the cavalry at
Somosierra, like the men at Rokitno years ago,
They attacked with fury and fire, and they got there.
They got to the top, and their white and red scarlet standard, they placed on the ruins ‘midst clouds.

Mums New BookCzrwone maki na Monte Cassino Zamiast rosy pily polska krew.
Przejda i wieki przemina, Pozostana slady dawnych dni
Iwszystkie maki na Monte Cassino czerwiensze bede bo z polskiej wzrosna krwi.
Runeli przez ogien, stracency, niejeden z nich dostal i padi
jak ci z Samosierry szalericy. Jak ci spod Raclawic z przed lat.
I sztander swoj bialo czerwony Zatkneli na gruzach wsrod chmur

Published by Whittles Publishing