A young girl stood quietly watching what was going on. Although there were many people around her she felt strangely isolated and detached from them. She was ten years old and was watching her father being buried.
That girl was me, and it was February 1967.
35 years later I stood in the exact same spot, watching as my mother joined my father in their deep, dark, lonely grave.
Some time later, I found myself looking through my parent's belongings, including paperwork. In an old leather suitcase I found………what??? What was all this? Handwritten notebooks; old and discoloured; written in Polish and completely incomprehensible to me, together with numerous drawings and paintings. Very frustrating!
Several years later, by chance, I heard of a translator who was willing to work on the translation of these notebooks. I desperately wanted to know what all this writing was about. Scans of the first pages were sent to the translator. He offered to put his translation onto voice files to make the exercise less expensive.
I received the first voice file, and with a certain amount of trepidation, switched on my machine, and started to listen. A man's voice with a heavy Polish accent began. A shiver went down my spine. It was as if my father was speaking to me, telling me what had happened to him during the war; how it felt to be a teenager in September 1939; how he was arrested by the Soviets and taken to a Gulag and later how he joined the Polish 2nd Corps and fought with the allies in Italy against the Germans.
'Lost Between Worlds' is my father's wartime journal.
Written in real time, it 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 my father's paintings and drawings, photos and documents.
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