My family life in Poland

Halina’s Background 2

Poland was devastated during the II Word War 1039 – 1945.Many members of my family died, some were in concentration camps and some fought in underground groups.

“Camps were being created near the centers of dense populations, often focusing on areas with large communities of Jews, Polish intelligentsia, Communists or Roma. Since millions of Jews lived in pre-war Poland, most camps were located in the area of General Government in occupied Poland, for logistical reasons.” from Wikipedia*

My uncle Czeslaw Ostankowicz survived. After the war he couldn’t stop writing about his time in concentration camps.

The “maltreatment of the Poles was one of many ways in which the Nazi and Soviet regimes had grown to resemble one another”, wrote British historian Niall Ferguson.

The occupiers burgled and devastated much of Poland’s cultural and historical heritage, while oppressing and executing members of the Polish cultural elite. Most Polish schools were closed.

My family lost everything, again.

My Grandparents (who came from Polish old land) and Parents started new life in Poland under communist rule. They had to change their identity and family belonged to persecuted minorities. We were the enemies of the system.

I was getting education at home. My grandmother Irena de domo Jelenska, after marriage Osinska, was my tutor.

We distinguished factual Polish history, which was totally different from what they taught at schools.

My cultural distinctiveness comes from the family history. I am Polish, I feel Polish and I want my friends to accept me, the way I am.

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