|Six Polish civilians moments before death by firing squad. Photograph of six Polish civilians moments before death by firing squad. Dated 1939. (Photo by: Photo 12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)|
In Gary, we had Polish, Catholic neighbors who had been in concentration camps. They'd rather put it out of their mind completely than talk about it. They ignore it. They try to forget it. The Nazis came and took my mother's brother. He was never seen or heard from again. We have no idea what happened to him. We don't talk about it. Better to leave it alone. Why get your hopes up? Better not to get your hopes up. Better to just not know.
My grandfather died in Poland. My mother couldn't attend the funeral. She couldn't get the time off from work.
I'm very proud of my parents. They have good jobs. My mother is a cleaning woman in a hospital. She works with hazardous waste. My father works in a steel mill. I am in the army to pay for school.
Some people say we have white privilege. I completely blow up. I get really mad. I end up bashing people. I don't want to. It just happens. I feel comfortable around all races. But I have to be really cautious around non-whites about what I can and cannot say. They don't understand what my parents went through. African Americans want to blame all whites. We weren't even here ... My parents pulled themselves up and made a great life for their kids. They can, too. There are jobs. But nobody knows what we went through. There's nothing on TV and it's hard to find books that tell our story.
My mother cries because she says the czarni destroyed Gary.
Informant was an eighteen-year-old student and solider