Thursday, 14 February 2013
I am based at the University of Manchester where I am undertaking research into the growth and evolution of the Polish Post World War II Diaspora with particular emphasis on Great Britain. Both my mother and father were Polish: my mother was born in a small village called Natalin, near Wołkowysk in the Białystok Voivodeship in the Eastern Polish Kresy region, now part of Bielorussia; my father was born in Poznań in Western Poland. My mother was deported along with many members of her family to a Siberian labour camp - part of Stalin's Gulag system. After an odyssey of many thousands of miles, she and the surviving members of her family arrived in England in 1947. My father came through Germany and France arriving in England in 1944. They met in a Polish Resettlement Camp in Chorley, a small mill town some 20 miles north west of Manchester. In this blog I attempt to tell the story of their individual odysseys - just one tiny thread comprising the, at once, tragic, noble and glorious story of the Post World War II Polish Diaspora.