Tag Archives: #weremember

Remembrance 2020 – 7Y2D COVID-19 Diaries Week 34

A few years ago G was asked to do some school work about the Second World War and contacted my Gran to ask for copies of any photos she had of her and my Granddad from that time period. These were duly sent, along with some memories my Gran had of that time and in was handed a very personal reflection of WW2. Two years later, or thereabouts, M was asked to do something very similar and as well as using those sent to G, he also asked for any photos or information about my Dadcu* and also Mike’s grandparents.

These are the images the children received with a small insight into the work their great-grandparents did during the war:

Walter (Mike’s paternal Grandfather): volunteered as a sailor during WW1 and was injured when an explosion happened as he was boarding a ship which led to him being sent home to recuperate. During WW2 he again volunteered, but this time was late in joining the Canadian war effort and the war ended just 2 weeks after his paperwork had all been completed.

Dudley (Mike’s maternal Grandfather): was still in Jamaica during the time of WW2 and so didn’t fight.

 

Daniel (my maternal Dadcu): Joined the RAF during WW2 and was based in Canada and the USA for most of the war years. We have a wonderful photograph album of his time there, which I remember pouring over both before and after I travelled to Ottawa for university. It was amazing to think that my grandfather had spent time in the same places and walked the same roads that I did so many years later, although it was near impossible to identify where many of his photos had been taken. He also spent time in Berlin after the war before returning home to the Welsh Valleys.

Josef (my paternal Granddad): made the decision to leave Czechoslovakia before Hitler’s invasion and joined the Free Hungarian Army to fight for the Allied forces in Egypt. From there, he then joined the Free Czech Army and eventually ended up in England, where he met my paternal Gran, who was also doing her bit for the war effort. They married before starting their family in the post War years and then settled permanently in the UK. I wish I knew more about my Granddad’s wartime experiences and those of the family he left behind in Czechoslovakia, but sadly most of those stories have died with them before we had time to capture them.

#timetoremember #remembranceday2020

* Dadcu = Welsh for Grandfather

 

 

#Auschwitz75

Today, 27 January 2020, marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Auschwitz was established in Poland in 1940 by the Nazi party and was initially created for 3 main purposes: to imprison enemies; to use forced labour; and to kill certain categories of people. An estimated 1.1 million people were killed at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp between 1940 and 1945 and when it was liberated by the Soviet Army in 1945, fewer than 7,000 of the approximately 1.3 million deported there were freed.

The Germans had already moved 60,000 of their prisoners from Aushwitz-Birkenau to other camps and many of them died on those death marches.

Of the 7,000 liberated by the Soviet Union, nearly half were too ill, malnourished and exhausted to survive for long after they were given their freedom.

It is thought that up to 17 million people: 6 million Jews and 11 million from other groups such as the Roma, homosexuals, people with disabilities and those persecuted for their political or religious views; were killed from as early as 1933 and with an increasing intensity during the Second World War.

Zalmen Gradowski – Polish Jew, born circa 1910, transported to Auschwitz December 1942 and killed October 1944.

#WeRemember #Lestweforget #Auschwitz75