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A Homeland Denied: In the Footsteps of a Polish POW by Irena Kossakowski Paperback


A Homeland Denied: In the Footsteps of a Polish POW
A Homeland Denied: In the Footsteps of a Polish POW
by Irena Kossakowski
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A Homeland Denied follows the horrific journey of Waclaw Kossakowski, a young Warsaw University student whose peaceful life was changed dramatically and with far reaching consequences that fateful day of 1st September, 1939.

From imprisonment in the notorious Kozelsk prison to the forced labor camp in the Siberian Arctic Circle, the compelling story pulls the reader into a world of suffering and brutality it would be impossible to imagine. Forced to dig runways in temperatures as low as—50oC while under constant threat from sadistic guards, it was an indescribable
living hell with death the only companion. He endured and witnessed atrocities which haunted him for the rest of his life with so many friends murdered or frozen to death in the unforgiving cruelty of Siberia.

But fate intervened and the icy wasteland was replaced by the blistering heat and dry deserts of the Middle East, where the student who had never picked up a gun was taught to fight—in the Italian campaign, at Monte Cassino, Ancona and Bologna. Yet the intense desire to return to his homeland never left him and only memories of his idyllic life before the war sustained him when he sank to the lowest depths of despair.

Waclaw could not know of the terrible suffering of his family or the sacrifices of his countrymen as they fought so desperately to keep Warsaw, only to be denied their homeland in the cruelest way imaginable. Although they were ultimately the victors, they lost everything—their home, their loves, their country and nothing was ever the same again.

In a country governed by Communist Russia and controlled by their secret police, it was impossible to return under fear of imprisonment or death and no knowledge of the achievements and bravery of the Poles was allowed to be known. No one was safe under the Stalinist reign of terror. Everything was strictly censored or destroyed and with the passage of time few people were left alive to tell their story. It was only in 1989 that Poland truly broke free from the Russian yoke and its people gained the freedom they had fought so valiantly for.

This dramatic and poignant story based on the memories of Waclaw Kossakowski is recounted in vivid detail and documents a tragic period in the history of the Polish people in Europe. His story demands to be told and ensures that many other unrecognized Poles will not be forgotten.
 Irena Kossakowski Clarke at PolishFestNY
Remember to visit the author's website, which includes many
photos and documents.
Top Customer Reviews

Heartbreaking history of the Polish people during WW 2.
By rectoson May 11, 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. This piece of history about WW 2 is unknown to many people. The author's story about her father and his family is what happened to Polish people during WW 2. I had to read the book in sections and then chew on what was written because the story is so sad that you feel what Vadek is feeling and thinking. It's an important story that must be told and written about. Vadek's life is woven into historical facts which makes it an interesting and easy read. I highly recommend to anyone interested in history, particularly WW 2.

By Donnaon May 15, 2017
This important story of Polish WWII history is often neglected but this firsthand account of the author's father surviving Soviet imprisonment brings a vivid telling to humanize the horrid events of that period. Accompanied by photos and documents this book gives credibility to the author's research and narrative.

By Dave Con March 7, 2017
This book is well presented with many photos and documents and a striking cover. An amazing true story with a wealth of historical information and so well written, you feel like you're there. A fascinating piece of history.

By Billon March 13, 2017
Excellent book! I highly recommend this book for everyone to read. History like this does not get passed around too often. I am writing a book about my parents during their ordeals in WWII by the Germans.This book gave me more insight as to what my father went through when he was a POW under the Russians.