I haven’t read a single book in about 4 months. I think this is the first time in many years, that I got through such a long time without turning a single page of a book. But yeah, sometimes life goes in the way stopping your from doing what you really love. What made me even more upset is that I haven’t been reading history books for about a year now. Since I stopped at Antony Beever’s The Second World War summary, I haven’t touched a history book.
I’ve studied history at university for about 8 moths before changing my major finally to law. I have more than enjoyed those months. Up to now, I wonder whether my choices that I made were the right ones. When I was leaving my local university before coming to London, I have promised myself, that no matter what, no matter how old I will be by that time, I will, eventually finish my history degree. It may have been influenced by many factors. My family is deeply involved with modern polish history ( a great story which I may explain in details eventually, but it deserves to be told in details). It may have been because of my father, who love history as much as I do, or even more. Regardless of the reason, through muy whole education I was always interested in history as my favorite subject.
There are couple of books which I consider as my main sources of influences when it comes to history. As someone who haven’t’ got any academic background and, at the moment treat history simply as a passion, I had to make my choices, and establish my views based on books, rather than academic discussion which usually takes place at universities’ classrooms. Year after year it started to become more clear to me, that as with everything, there is no straight answer, there is no black and white situations, and just like with almost everything, politics is involved. History views that have been introduced to me once I was 8 years old, are completely different to the ones that I have now, as 22 years old. I do understand that even though history is based on facts, logical connections between them. During months that I spend on studying history at university I have only managed to get through ancient history. And even though, I try to approach history from “wide angle” my main interest remain focused on modern history, eastern front of second world war. Numbers of books have been written on that topic. It is hard for me to point to the one which is my favorite, but it is very easy for me to choose the one which was most influential to me. It is now about 5 years since the first time I was holding Rising ’44 by Norman Davis in my hands. The book which made me cry and gave me goose bumps more that any other book. The book which, for me was the beginning in my long journey in creating and establishing my very own views on the topic of Warsaw Uprising in 1944.
It was a long journey in which i have lost my faith in validity of the decisions made by Polish Home Army. Decision which lead to total destruction of one of the main European capitals. Decision which have lead to death of hundred of thousands. Decision which have influenced the world, and showed everyone around the globe that Polish Patriotic Spirit is simply unbreakable. For people whose nation have never experience the fear of biological destruction of its nation, it is hard to imagine the risk of the decision. It is so controversial that it still remains as the issue which is splitting the nation in half and leads to stormy discussions even after almost 70 years.
I have been always trying to justify my views based on sometimes more, sometimes less biased opinions of numerous authors of books through their own political analysis of the circumstances of the uprising as well as methodical analysis of a division political powers back then. I tried my best to find the best arguments to justify my views, I have realized that during my long discussion with my father. He, as my mentor when it comes to II world war history, have similar views as I do, bases his views on logical reasoning. Many times we have exchanged different theories, tried to find a that one, rock-solid argument which could have been a closing-case argument behind full legitimacy of the decision. Sadly, given the number of factors behind the decision it will remain impossible to give a straightforward answer. Political reasoning was my main field of interest, until very recently, when I received a very unusual present from a very special person. I dont usually get history books as a present, as people know how fussy I am with my choices. The book which I have received somehow opened my eyes and helped ralised something very important which I have been failing to see during those 5 years.
The book “Love and Warsaw Uprising 1944” (Miłość podczas Powstania warszawskiego) takes competently different approach regarding main issue of Warsaw Uprising. Instead of describing in details political decisions which have lead and have been made before, during and after the fail of The Uprising, it focuses on stories of a people who have taken part, fought and died. It forgets about people making decision behind strong walls, miles miles away from actual front line, instead trying to define the faith of polish nation during 63 days of glory. It shows the daily routines, the daily struggles, and most importantly, the normal side of life – which, even at the eve of total death remains as much powerful as usual – falling in love. The writer- Sławomir Koper describes the faith of people, couples. Stories which includes people well know to all more or less interested in modern history of eastern Europe (like Jan-Nowak Jezioranski), or one of the most talented polish writers Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński, as well as people who remain anonymous to a common reader. For the first time, while reading a book which is based on the Uprising I have found myself in the situation of total forgetfulness about the betrayal of soviet army, about betrayal of British Empire. I have been focused on wonderful stories, wonderful people who during the impossible – for us, people born decades after the war to imagine – times, while facing incomprehensible evil remained human, and were able to love, smile and be happy even for a split of a second.
I want to thank everyone of you who managed to get through those long and boring thoughts of mine. I hope that at least one of you, who is not familiar with fate of polish nation during WWII, will google Warsaw Uprsing 1944 and learn something new about how strong and unbreakable human spirit truly is.