A walk in Poland’s forests with my family
I have just returned from an amazing research trip to Poland and will be writing many articles related to WWII history and travel in Poland and England in the months to come. These will usually be posted as a blog on this website and in the permanent article section.
I will also be completing my historical novel “War in the Wilderness” (working title) this year. The novel is set during WWII in the villages near Blizna and Niwiska in Poland. It tells the story of the villagers’ experiences living amidst the largest SS training camp outside of Germany, working as forced laborers for the Nazis, real villagers’ experiences in German concentration camps such as Magdeburg and Ravensbruck, and also the impact on the locals when Hitler brought his top research V1 and V2 missile program to Blizna in 1943 after the bombing in Peenemunde. So many fascinating people in Poland, Sweden, and the USA have been providing me information.
This story is unique as it is the first time much of this information has been made available to English speaking people. Many of the Polish villagers’ stories have NEVER been revealed because of the brutality of the Soviet occupation from 1944 to 1990. Most feared for their lives if their partisan involvement was discovered. One of my husband’s relatives was executed by the Russians in 1948 because of his AK activity during the war, and his body was recently just discovered in a mass grave. Poland was a harsh place to live for many decades, and WWII didn’t end for them in 1945. The war more correctly ended in 1989 when Poland became a free republic.
The story is told from the point of view of the Christians who lived in the villages. Many of the movies and books we see in America tend to emphasize the Jewish tragedy, but an equivalent number of Polish people died in this Holocaust (three million Jews and three million Poles). This novel is the Polish Christian villagers’ untold story.
This photo is of a house similar to the homes of the people in Niwiska at the beginning of WWII
Here are some places and topics to be featured in the articles and will include many photos:
Castles and Palaces: Malbork (the largest brick castle in the world), Wawel Castle in Krakow, Lancut Palace and the Castle in Przeclaw
Museums: the new WWII Museum in Gdansk, the Museum of the Armia Krayowa (AK- Polish Home Army during WWII) in Krakow, the Museum of Rzeszow, and the Museum in the former Oskar Schindler Enamel Factory
History of World War II: The Polish Home Army (Armia Krayowa or AK), Operation Wildhorn III, and the story of the American airplane crews’ emergency landing in Niwiska- truly amazing stories!
World War II sites: Blizna (the site of Hitler’s top secret VI and V2 missile/rocket research and launch sites), the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau, and the Pustkow Concentration Camp
Sleeping areas for prisoners of Auschwitz Birkenau often occupied by 6-7 prisoners on one slab
Stories and Information from researchers and historians I had the privilege of interviewing.
Stephen Batory, AK officer killed by the Russians after WWII
Churches of Poland: St. Mery’s Church and St. Peter and Paul’s Church in Krakow and St. Nicholas in Niwiska
Wooden Churches in Poland in Lutcza, Kolbuszowa, and the All Saints Church in Blizne.
Zakopane: our trip to the beautiful Tetras mountains not far from Krakow
Helpful information for English speaking visitors to Poland: transportation, hotels and apartments, restaurants, flights to and inside Europe, communication, etc
Travel in England: London, Southampton, Canterbury
Please check out these future articles when they are posted and share them with your friends and family. In the meantime, you can find many interesting articles by checking the website menu.
My wonderful family (Krutys and Haracz) from Niwiska