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Youths wanted to know

History is our passion but when we can share it with children or youths we treat it very special. New generation wanted to know more about the past. Luckily, they know war only from books or movies but sometimes they have trips. That's how a delegation of partnership region from  Scotland spent their time in Toruń. Youths from there,  apart from gingerbread tradtion,  learn something more about martyrology and stories connected to Stalag XXA. We had pleasure to show them places and told stories which are important for us as a Poles and for them as a awared people how must protect dialogue and respect for each other. That was very a important day for us.
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Memories hidden in names

September is important month for Poles. We think about the occupation and people who lost their lives during the war. But for people whose relative fought in different fronts all over the world is also specific time. Brunskills family came to Poland to leran something more about their father's life during the war as a prisoner of war of stalag XXA and XXB It is rather typical that ex POWs didn't speak  about their life behind the barbed wire.  The Brunskills daughters  remember only stories about strong winter and lack of food. Even during childhood after the war, one of common memories is shouting father when he saw wasting food! Ladies during the trip told us that even their names were also connected to his imprisonment and he treated it as a symbol. Based on memories we saw parts of Stalag XXB to see how looks today, places from the best time of his life which was stolen by WWII.

Manuscripts didnt forget

That was very interesting beginning of August. Since first messages from Jason, we knew that it will  not be a random trip. His grandfather was a prisoner of war who spent in Stalag 20A all war. During his imprisonment he sent a lot of letters and postcards which almost all survive! Thanks to that, it was very easy to see and knew more about places where he was. What is more, it was an excellent source to see how Germans organised system of support for local farmers and industry. Finally we heard a lot of interesting stories about Russian prisoners of war who helped western soldiers during The Long Marches To Freedom.

Happy end of Edward Wally Smith story

Very often we publish here stories about Edward 'Wally' Smith, a prisoner of war who was also in Stalag 20A in Torun. He escaped from here, fought in Warsaw Uprising 1944, finally he survived the war and who knows, maybe Karol Wojtyła (John Paul II) who talked with him in Krakow was one of the person thanks to whom he survived the war. Apart from this story, we had a great honour to guide  his family who wanted to see the footsteps of their relative. That was very emotional trip, full of new facts which we probably wouldn't know without this meeting.

Official stories needs daily facts

During our research, very often we find out that offcial documents are not complete when it comes to detail information. It was like that when Paul visited us during his trip on war footsteps of his Father. Thanks his documentation we know that space offically dedicated do the officers were occupied by regular soldiers. What is more, we confirmed also place where was a dentist and we heard  many  stories about his proffesional work in Stalag XXA (20A).

Forgotten places but not forgotten people

      Six years ago, we initiated actions to build a new monument in Lisak village, app. 40 km from Toruń. During the IIWW there was located a hard labour camp (Stutthof subcamp) for civilians. Those people were captured and forced to built fortifications at the Drwęca River againts Soviet counterstrike. From memories we also know that there worked also Prisoners of War camps. Thanks to our initiative, local organisations, passionates and Institute of National Rememberance got interested into the topic. Now INR is conducting an investigation. Because we are almost sure that there is a massive grave of people who were killed during the evacuation.      There are plans to do exhumations, clean up the area, and demarcate a new path to the monument. Here a radio programme about the topic

Untold fathers story

     This month we had great plasure to help Carole and her brother Terry in researching their father's war path. Thanks to memories and pictures, we were able to show places connected to his history. There were also new facts about Stalag XXA and treatment of POW by the Germans; sometimes far from offical statement based on Geneva Convention.      We also vistited Malbork to pay tribute to their father's friend who was shoot just because he made an ugly comment ...