From 1940 Kazachstan to 2022 Canada
Today’s episode is a “long time no hear” episode. POLcast has many friends – apart from our listeners, POLcast keeps in touch with many of well over 100 people I have interviewed so far. I value these friendships.
Today I am speaking to two women whom I have interviewed before to give you an update on what they have been up to.
ALICJA EDWARDS (born in 1924)
Alicja Edwards is a writer, a painter, a pianist and an antique expert and dealer. She will turn 98 in August. She lives in Eureka, Montana.
She was born and lived in a small town in Eastern Poland until the age of sixteen. In 1939 Germans declared war and Poland was also attacked by the Soviets from the east. The Soviets deported her and her family to Kazakhstan into forced labor for three agonizing years. After being liberated and transported to Iran, Alicja met her Army husband, Lt. Ernest E. Edwards, and came to the United States as a war bride.
After traveling the world as an “army wife”, she settled in Illinois to raise a family until the death of her beloved husband of fifty years. Her son Chris, a Vietnam veteran, retired architect and Native American enthusiast, convinced her to move to where they live now – Eureka, Montana.
I first interviewed Alicja in 2016. In these six years, not only hasn’t she really aged but she has done a lot: she has started her third book and her paintings showing the traumatic years in Kazachstan are now telling this incredible story of survival as part of Alicja Edwards exhibit at the Muzeum Pamieci Sybiru (The Sybir Memorial Museum) in Bialystok, Poland.
Alicja’s daughter Tina Zagone has instrumental in this and other of her Mother’s projects.
In this episode you will hear both – Mother and Daughter.
Alicja Edwards’ website
Recollections of Polish diaspora still haunt Eureka woman – this article contains many details of Alicja’s life
Kresy-Siberia Group on Facebook
Siberia and Polish war plight stories and interviews on POLcast:
A Polish Canadian professionals’ organization, whose launch we celebrated on POLcast in 2018 – Konekt has been growing and expanding.
I interviewed Loiuza Szacon, its co-founder and chair, twice – in 2018 and in 2020:
This is our conversation four years after Konekt’s launch.
Both “Gazeta” and POLcast are proud partners/supporters of Konekt.
“Ukrainian Village” is a piece composed and performed by Derek and Brandon Fiechter, musicians (twins!) from Indiana:
POLcast recommends their beautiful music – on YouTube, listened to by thousands of people charmed by their music: