You don't need to be Polishby John Koenig on 04/03/13
Since publishing Danuta, I’ve met some fascinating people around the globe who share an interest in the Polish experience in World War II. Most of these are the offspring of those who suffered at the hands of the Nazis and Soviets. But not all.
One who stands out is Derek Crowe. A Scot who works by day as a senior web developer at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Derek maintains in his off hours a website (www.derekcrowe.com) devoted to “Photography, Poland and Railways.” The offerings there include 85 blog posts on Polish topics, a listing of 65 books on Poland, and a searchable archive of photos of the graves of many of the 2,100 Polish servicemen and women who are known to be buried in the United Kingdom.
To my surprise, Derek told me in an email exchange that he is not of Polish descent. “I don't have any Polish blood in me, but have always admired the Poles for the sacrifices they made in World War 2 and for their refusal to give up,” he wrote. “We owe them a debt of gratitude. The story of how they were invaded by both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, the murders at Katyn, the deportations to Siberia, the escape from the Soviet Union, Solidarity, martial law in 1981, and the long wait of 50 years before they regained their freedom, it's an incredible story!”
It is an incredible story – one that you don’t have to be of Polish descent to appreciate.