In 2002, after the death of my mother, I discovered an old leather suitcase in which I found some handwritten Polish journals, together with some paintings and drawings.  It became apparent that the journals and artwork were the work of my father, and all had been done between 1940 and 1945. They had been  untouched for over sixty years!

This book is an English translation of these war-time journals written by my Polish-Jewish father when he was in his early and mid twenties. He wrote about his arrest by Germans in September 1939, his subsequent escape and return to his mother in Lodz, and then, urged by his mother who was worried for his safety, his journey to Lwow to avoid being recaptured by the Germans. He gives an account of his arrest by the NKVD in Lwow and his deportation to a Soviet gulag and the subsequent, so called 'amnesty', which allowed my father, with many other Poles, to join the Polish Army to fight in Italy against the Germans, including at the Battle of Monte Cassino. Written in real time, this is a moving and emotional account of his experiences, immediate and untainted by the passing of time and failing memory; a first hand account and primary source of information about how it felt to be a teenager at the outbreak of war, and six years later a young man in his mid twenties, with both his youth and his country lost.

238 pages of text, and 24 colour plates of some of my father's paintings and drawings, photos and documents.

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All my father's original journals, documents and photographs and most of his paintings and drawings are in the USHMM Collection.