|Stacey Fitzgerald and Ravensbruck survivor|
photo credit: Roby Robinson, Inc., Remember Ravensbruck, LLC
Memorable presentations from the "Poland First to Fight" conference.
Stacey Fitzgerald is a beautiful, elegant Southern belle who is not at all Polish. She is working on a film about the "rabbits" of Ravensbruck, Polish women who suffered under Nazi medical experimentation.
I chatted extensively with Stacey and I greatly enjoyed it. She was both knowledgeable and eager to learn more.
You can watch a preview of Stacey's work here
Christoph Schwarz is German. He has a limited English vocabulary and limited grasp of English grammar. Even so, his was one of the more memorable presentations. He spoke with profound sincerity, earnestness, and urgency. He spoke about Polish children kidnapped to Germany to be Aryanized. If they were failed at that, they were sent to concentration camps to be killed.
An article that mentions Christoph's work is here and a review of an exhibition he put together is here
Prof. Kazimierz Braun gave a moving presentation about Polish theater and its role in resistance to the Nazis. Actors, actresses, all were active in the fight.
Kenneth K. Koskodan, author of No Greater Ally: The Untold Story of Poland’s Forces in World War II spoke on how little known Poland's resistance to Nazism is.
Marcin Makowski gave a thought-provoking presentation on how computer games misrepresent WW II history.
Tim Holden used his mellifluous voice to bring home to us the poignant story of his Polish father's experiences in WW II. You can watch an interview with Tim here. Tim's graphic novel, Airdogs, has only one Amazon review. C'mon, Polonia, buy and review Tim's book! Here
Anu Radha screened her film, A Little Poland in India, about a Maharaja who invited Polish refugee children to live on his lands in India during WW II. The film is beautifully made and quite poignant. You can watch the entire film here
In the Footsteps of Slaughter of Wola is Grzegorz Kutermankiewicz grim documentary about a Nazi massacre of Warsaw residents. Survivors recount what it was like, as a child, to be a victim of a massacre, to lie among dead and dying bodies, and to live with such memories. You can watch the entire documentary here
Prof. Jan Stanisław Ciechanowski spoke on the contribution of the Polish Intelligence Service to the Allied Victory over Germany in World War Two.
After the conference, I was chatting with a person who has a PhD. This person didn't see the point of the conference. Poland was rapidly defeated by the Germans. Period. Nothing left to talk about.
I mentioned some of the contributions that Poland made to the war effort. Enigma, the V-2 rocket, Jan Karski, Polish airmen in the Battle of Britain, Monte Cassino. My interlocutor, though well-educated, was astounded.
Author and Prof. Sean McMeekin gave a very lively presentation on the Allies' efforts to make Stalin happy.
Alberto Trujillo talked about The Perception of Poland in the Second World War in the Spanish Speaking World.
Prof. Mieczyslaw Biskupski talked about Woodrow Wilson and FDR and their contemptuous, dismissive attitudes towards Poland.
There were many more presentations. All had value. It was a great conference.
Thank you again to the folks whose donations made this trip possible for me:
Teresa Rybkowska Klatka
Dr. Edward "Rusty" Walker
Karen A. WyleJoshua Zoppi