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A Homeland Denied: In the Footsteps of a Polish POW
A Homeland Denied follows the horrific journey of Waclaw Kossakowski, a young Warsaw University student whose peaceful life was changed dramatically and with far reaching consequences that fateful day of 1st September, 1939.


 
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ISBN: 9781849952644

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Description
 
A Homeland Denied follows the horrific journey of Waclaw Kossakowski, a young Warsaw University student whose peaceful life was changed dramatically and with far reaching consequences that fateful day of 1st September, 1939.
From imprisonment in the notorious Kozelsk prison to the forced labor camp in the Siberian Arctic Circle, the compelling story pulls the reader into a world of suffering and brutality it would be impossible to imagine. Forced to dig runways in temperatures as low as—50oC while under constant threat from sadistic guards, it was an indescribable living hell with death the only companion. He endured and witnessed atrocities which haunted him for the rest of his life with so many friends murdered or frozen to death in the unforgiving cruelty of Siberia.
But fate 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—in the Italian campaign, at Monte Cassino, Ancona and Bologna. Yet the intense desire to return to his homeland never left him and only memories of his idyllic life before the war sustained him when he sank to the lowest depths of despair.
Waclaw could not 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 cruelest way imaginable. Although they were ultimately the victors, they lost everything—their home, their loves, their country and nothing was ever the same again.
In a country 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 Poles 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 people were left alive to tell their story. It was only in 1989 that Poland truly broke free from the Russian yoke and its people gained the freedom they had fought so valiantly for.
This dramatic and poignant story based on the memories of Waclaw Kossakowski is recounted in vivid detail and documents a tragic period in the history of the Polish people in Europe. His story demands to be told and ensures that many other unrecognized Poles will not be forgotten.

So writes Julian Kulski a few days before the outbreak of World War II, in this remarkable diary of a boy at war from ages 10 to 16. As the war unfolds through his eyes, we are privileged to meet a rare soul of indomitable will, courage and compassion.

Kulski, the son of the Deputy Mayor of Warsaw, is a 10-year-old Boy Scout when the Germans invade Poland in September 1939. He soon begins waging his own private war against the Germans with small acts of sabotage. At age 12, Kulski is recruited into the clandestine Underground Army by his Scoutmaster and begins training in military tactics and weapons handling. At 13, he accompanies his commander on a secret mission into the Warsaw Ghetto to liaise with the leaders of the Jewish Resistance.

Arrested by the Gestapo at age 14, Kulski is incarcerated in the notorious Pawiak Prison, beaten, interrogated at Gestapo headquarters, and sentenced to Auschwitz. After being rescued, he joins the Ninth Commando Company of the Underground Army, and at age 15 fights in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.

Taken prisoner by the Germans, 16-year-old Kulski ends the war in a POW camp, finally risking a dash for freedom onto an American truck instead of waiting for "liberation" by the Soviets.

- See more at: http://www.polandww2.com/color-of-courage/color-o...
Features
  • Softcover
    118 pages
    2017
    Black and white photos
    Size 6.1" x 9.2"


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