In accordance with my orders I report to Dr Różalski, the head of the divisional health HQ with some trepidation…what sort of man is he? But he turned out to be a pleasant old gentleman who, prior to becoming a major, was a civilian official with the Silesian Department of Health. He tells me: “You … Continue reading Will There Be War?
…nothing good would come of “getting lost”; it seems I am at fault for him losing me! Some Background In August 1939, at the end of the last extract Józef was called back to answer to the Lieut. Colonel. Earlier entries in his diaries (and his official war records) reveal that he had definitely received … Continue reading Emerging Anxieties – part two
You may remember from a previous post that Jósef had been sent from Katowice to the Pszczyna district in late August 39. As the situation worsens and the outbreak of war draws very close, tensions are clearly building. 27/08/1939 On the 27th August I pass by a new detachment of infantry and artillery that’s been sent … Continue reading Emerging Anxieties
We first visited Poland in the summer of 1962 when I was 12 years old. Here I met for the first time, all seven of my father’s brothers and sisters along with my grandfather and numerous cousins (more of this visit later). Among these was Józef’s youngest sister Łucja, who I went on to meet … Continue reading Some Family Memories
The first part of my father’s diaries contains some brief entries about his period of training in the army. I was struck by his evident pride in the Polish army which is reiterated in many further sections, but also by the hints of his disenchantment with the leadership. In early October 1938 he wrote the … Continue reading Training and Conflict
I had hoped to post something more on the blog sooner than this, but I have been trying to improve some translating I did several years ago at the start of this project. I want to post a short extract about my father’s time at the army training school in 1938/1939. He describes a little … Continue reading I’m still here!
This section was one of the first parts that I translated and my father's poignant comment has stuck in my mind ever since. 22/08/1939 On the 22nd August I received an order by telephone from Lieutenant Colonel Szebesta, to go immediately to the Pszczyna area and take up the position of doctor for the … Continue reading Some Sadly Prophetic Words
Following my father’s death in London in 1952, two Polish language newspapers – Myśl Polska (printed in England) and Słowo Polskie (printed in France) – published obituary notices. I was intrigued to read these and learn more about my father's activities as a student in Poland and after he settled in England. Below are excerpts … Continue reading My Father’s Obituaries
The first main section of my father’s diary is headed “Przygotowania wojenne” (Preparations for war). It covers a period from September 1938 to 31st August 1939. 24/09/1938 On that memorable September day in 1938 when the fate of Czechoslovakia hung in the balance, when diplomats’ planes repeatedly flew across the borders of other countries, … Continue reading Preparations for War
Over the coming months, I would like to share with you some extracts from my translation of Józef's diaries. During the first two weeks of August 1939 my father was based at Mikołów (near Katowice) as the doctor with his battalion, 23rd Infantry Division. He writes that there were clear signs of approaching war but … Continue reading August 1939
Many years ago my mother gave me my late father’s diaries, which he wrote during World War Two. They were written in Polish – which neither I nor my mother spoke. I always hoped that one day I might be able to read a little of what he had written. Although progress has been slow I'm … Continue reading Introducing…