A Homeland Denied
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.
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.
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 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…