Archiver > POLAND-ROOTS > 2002-09 > 1032872829

From: "Alan J. Kania" <>
Subject: RE: [POLAND] Re: Adversity to Polish Heritage
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 07:07:09 -0600
In-Reply-To: <11f.17107292.2ac1a9b5@aol.com>

That is one of the wonderful aspects of working on your family history
rather than just genealogy. By doing research on your family history,
you not only learn about who, when and where -- but you also learn the
what and how aspects of history.

In the 2 1/2 years I've been tracing my family history, I've learned
about border partitions, geography (especially after visiting Poland for
the first time last year), World War I & II as it relates to eastern
Europe, immigration and naturalization, and about life in the mill towns
of Massachusetts where my relatives settled. And I've also learned a lot
about my contemporary family because this project has brought the family
closer together (instead of just putting the "fun" into

Why didn't we hear about this in our history classes when we were in
school? Probably for two reasons -- (1) there isn't enough time in a
school day to cover everything we should know about the world and
ourselves, and (2) we missed opportunities to learn first-hand about it
when our grandparents were still alive. More positive learning should
take place outside the classroom than it does inside the classroom.

Let's not make the same mistake in passing down our heritage while WE'RE
still around to do it. You won't be able to interest younger generations
with names and dates from tombstones or phone books -- but you will
spark some interest by putting things into perspective.

When I last saw my brother's grandchildren, I saw they were looking at
the three-ring binder where I keep copies of my research. That was my
opening. Want to know about the Austro-Hungarian Empire? This is a photo
of your great-great grandfather in an Austrian Uniform, etc. etc. etc.
Want to know about World War II? Your relatives were in the Polish
Underground and this is what they did to try and stop Hitler from
exterminating even more of the six million Poles that he did kill. Not
only will they learn, but we all learn about the heritage of our
ancestors. Afterall, even WE are participants in history. We're the
ancestors of future generations who will be wondering what we were like.

-- Alan

-----Original Message-----

I thought that Poland fought off Hitler at first but was then
overwhelmed by
Stalin on the East. Later on during the course of the war, the Poles
regrouped under General Anders and were the only soldiers who could take

Monte Cassino in Italy during WWII and were the only ones who made it to
top of the hill to oust the Germans. It was at a great cost of human
and many Poles, probably most of the soldiers died there fighting. The

question which I have is that this was a great battle and was the
point of the war in this area. why did we not hear about this in our
classes when we were in school? The Poles have an outstanding military
history which we were never taught.

This thread: