Tatra Highlander Folk Culture in Poland and America
From John Guzlowski: Thaddeus Gromada, a retired professor of European History and one of the great authorities on Tatra Highlander culture, has written a book that sets the record straight on the Górals.
The book consists of a series of short, very readable essays on the people of the highlands, their history and their ways and what happened to them when they came to America. A number of these essays talk about Prof. Gromada’s own roots in the highland.
From writers in Australia
Four self-published workers from writers in Australia at Favoryta including Moja Emigracja/My Migration, an exploration of the cross-cultural experiences of Polish migrants to Australia. It is a collective study of migrant experience by twenty one contributors in Polish and English. Also, Okruchy/Crumbs by Aleksander S. Pęczalski, a volume of poetry and autobiography in Polish.
From John Guzlowski: In the last few years, a number of excellent books about what happened to the Poles who were taken east to Siberia by the Soviets during World War II have appeared. To this short list must be added Matthew Kelly’s Finding Poland. Part memoir, part history, part family biography, part eulogy for a generation quickly receding, Kelly’s book will touch any Polish-American who has ever looked at old photographs of grandparents whose names have been forgotten or stared at yellow pages written in Polish sixty, eighty, or a hundred years ago.
And as an adult, a historian teaching at the University of Southampton, UK, he set out to answer the questions that he must have asked himself as a boy: Who were those people in those fading photographs, why were they taken from their homes, what did they suffer, and how did the suffering change them?
The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery
Captain Witold Pilecki had the distinction of being the only known person to smuggle into Auschwitz, so he could report back to the Allies about the conditions there. They didn’t listen. They thought he was exaggerating.
Pilecki, who was one of 150,000 Polish prisoners, was at Auschwitz from September 1940 to April 1943, and witnessed its transition from a P.O.W. camp to an extermination camp before he escaped. Like so many others Polish freedom fighters, he was tortured by Communist authorities after the war. Pilecki was executed at their hands in 1948. Compared with the Communists, “Auschwitz was easy,” he said after his sentence was pronounced. His body has never been recovered.
A Polish Book of Monsters/Spellmaker
Among the short form finalists for the 2012 Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Awards (for works published in 2011) is Spellmaker by Andrzej Sapkowski, translated from the Polish by Michael Kandel (A Polish Book of Monsters, Michael Kandel, PIASA Books). Spellmaker contains five stories of speculative fiction from dystopian science fiction to fabled fantasy, these dark tales grip us through the authors’ ability to create utterly convincing alien worlds that reflect our own.
Lune de Miel
From John Guzlowski: From the first stanza of the first poem in this amazing collection, you know Amy Nawrocki is ready to transport you through the magic of her poems to some exotic, crazy, and unimaginable place, a lover’s Paris.
Walking on Ice
Agnes, a young girl in Poland, shares her life with us as she tries to find her place in her family and her country. But the more she learns, the more out of place she becomes. When Comrade Stalin dies, Agnes’s father pushes the limits and is sent to prison for crimes against them. So now Agnes and her mother are alone in the icy waters of an oppressive system run by an unpredictable government. Agnes starts to learn the difference between truth and lies, how things may appear and how they really are.
Strangers in the Wild Place
In 1936, the Nazi state created a massive military training site near Wildflecken, a tiny community in rural Bavaria. During the war, this base housed an industrial facility that drew forced laborers from all over conquered Europe. At war’s end, the base became Europe’s largest Displaced Persons camp, housing thousands of Polish refugees and German civilians fleeing Eastern Europe. As the Cold War intensified, the US Army occupied the base, removed the remaining refugees, and stayed until 1994. Strangers in the Wild Place tells the story of these tumultuous years through the eyes of these very different groups, who were forced to find ways to live together and form a functional society out of the ruins of Hitler’s Reich.
Kaia, Heroine of the 1944 Warsaw Rising
Kaia, Heroine of the 1944 Warsaw Rising tells the story of one woman, whose life encompasses a century of Polish history. Full of tragic and compelling experiences such as life in Siberia, Warsaw before World War II, the German occupation, the Warsaw Rising, and life in the Soviet Ostashkov prison, Kaia was deeply involved with the battle that decimated Warsaw in 1944 as a member of the resistance army and the rebuilding of the city as an architect years later.
Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin
Professor Timothy D. Snyder was honored with the prestigious Polish award – Kazimierz Moczarski Award for Historical Research – for his book “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin.” Professor Snyder also received the 2012 Jerzy Giedroyc Award.
Americans call the Second World War “The Good War”. But before it even began, America’s wartime ally Josef Stalin had killed millions of his own citizens — and kept killing them during and after the war. Before Hitler was finally defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At war’s end, both the German and the Soviet killing sites fell behind the iron curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness. Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power.
Daughter of Poland: Anna Bibro
The suffering of the Jewish people during WWII has been well documented, but we have heard little about the lives of others during the war. Anna was an ordinary citizen growing up in prewar Poland. She graduated from a teaching seminary and was married shortly thereafter. The bliss of married life ended August 1939 when Polish troops requested that her husband report to the local armory immediately. She would not see him again for nine years. By early September bombs began dropping and food was scarce for her and her two-year-old son. Russian troops soon invaded and travel was restricted. Farmers were not allowed to bring their goods to market. Anna barely escaped getting sent to Siberia.
Coal & Ice
The revised second edition of Coal & Ice, an original memoir of fiction and poetry, includes fiction and poetry published in various literary journals including The Paris Review, The California Quarterly, The Rocky Mountain Review, The Minnesota Review, Aspen Anthology, Green House, and The Ohio Journal. Passionate, gritty poetry, Phil Boiarski magically weaves the emotions poetry is meant to evoke. His ability to stitch the memories of yesteryear, when humanity was more aware of nature and the settling of North America by the old Europeans, is stunning.