In Episode 71 you will hear:
This happened during WWII, after the Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east just 17 days after the Germans attacked Poland from the west, thus beginning the second world war. Thousands of Polish families were forcefully deported to labour camps in Siberia and other parts of the Soviet Union, where many of them died of starvation, disease and exhaustion. Then, when Germany attacked its Soviet ally in 1941, Poles were freed by Stalin and made their way south, to Persia, Iraq and India, and then to Africa, where between 1942 and 1952 over 18,000 Polish women and children lived in refugee camps.
A Montreal-born Polish Canadian Jonathan Kolodziej Durand heard this story from his grandma, late grandmother Kazimiera Kolodziej (née Gerech), who was one of the kids growing up in Africa. The result of many years of his research is his haunting documentary “Memory is Our Homeland”.
Joanna Gierak-Onoszko spent two years in Toronto with her husband, a journalist working for Bloomberg. Herself an award winning journalist, she worked on a book which was finished after her return to Poland and published there. “The 27 Deaths of Toby Obed” tackles the painful history of Canadian residential schools, shown through the life of Labrador residential school survivor Toby Obed and many others. Her book has poved to be an incredible success.