The Polish 'Few'

Polish Airmen in the Battle of Britain

The Polish 'Few'

They came to fight for freedom and their country, they came to fight Germans. Men of the Polish Air Force, who had escaped first to France and then to Britain, to fly alongside the Royal Air Force just as Fighter Command faced its greatest challenge the Battle of Britain.Many of the Polish airmen joined existing RAF squadrons. The Poles also formed their own squadrons, but only four became operational during the Battle of Britain: Nos. 300 and 301, were bomber squadrons, with another two, Nos. 302 and 303, being fighter squadrons. Flying Hawker Hurricanes, both 302 and 303 squadrons were active by the middle of August 1940, just when they were most needed, at the height of the Battle of Britain, with Fighter Command stretched to its limit.The Polish squadrons, battle-hardened from their encounters with the Luftwaffe during the invasion of Poland and Battle of France, soon made their mark. In particular, 303 Squadron become the highest-scoring unit of Fighter Command.In total, 145 Polish pilots, the largest non-British contingent in Fighter Command at the time, fought in the Battle of Britain. While Winston Churchill praised the contribution of the Few, the pilots of many nationalities who had defended Britain, Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding was more specific: Had it not been for the magnificent material contributed by the Polish squadrons and their unsurpassed gallantry, I hesitate to say that the outcome of the Battle would have been the same.

Poles in the Battle of Britain

A Photographic Album of the Polish 'few'

Poles in the Battle of Britain

The Polish Air Force, which was created in Britain in the summer of 1940 from flying and ground personnel evacuated from Poland and then from France, proved to be one of the most successful formations to fight the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain. Overcoming the obstacles of language and operating in a foreign country, the Polish Air Force gained independent status, flying alongside the RAF rather than being a part of the RAF - and for the first time the Polish Air Force became a separate air arm of the Polish Armed Forces.It is stated that 145 Polish pilots fought in the Battle of Britain, many of them experienced and battle-hardened. These men fought not only for freedom of their own homeland but also for British people, of whom they often knew very little. The Poles were able to form four squadrons, two bomber and two fighter, that went into operations during the Battle of Britain. Many other Polish fliers were dispersed across the Fighter Command, joining various RAF squadrons. They all made a decisive impact, when they were needed the most, gaining the respect their British colleagues and the British public.In this superb collection of photographs, the story of the Polish Few is told from their hazardous journey from Poland to the UK and in the great struggle for control of the skies above Britain during that memorable summer of 1940.

THE POLISH PRESENCE IN NORTH-WESTERN QUEBEC

THE POLISH PRESENCE IN NORTH-WESTERN QUEBEC

In 1950, five years after World War 2, thousands of Polish nationals were stranded in refugee camps in Germany. They had been brought there as prisoners of war and were put to work on German farms to grow food for the war effort. The Poles were liberated by the Americans and were trying to put their lives back together. A great number of them did not seek to return to the homeland because of its degree of destruction. Instead, a great number of them sought to emigrate to Canada, more specifically North-western Quebec, where there were plenty of job openings in the mining sector that was in a gold rush. This move was a brave one, taking them thousands of miles from the homeland. A new era began for these rather adventurous individuals. Finally, they could work and enjoy life like every human being should. Thus began a family line that spans across four generations and will see the fifth generation soon.

The Exile Mission

The Polish Political Diaspora and Polish Americans, 1939-1956

The Exile Mission

"As the excitement of the first DP [Displaced persons] transports arriving in America subsided, Polish Americans and refugee Poles faced another challenge: that of learning how to live together within the same ethnic community. Despite hopes and expectations to the contray, everyday experience soon revealed that the groups differed in many important aspects."--Page 147.

Women on the Polish Labor Market

Women on the Polish Labor Market

Can women succeed? Gender has been an issue thus far neglected in transition economies. Drawing on official statistics, an international multidisciplinary team examines how women have been affected by the labor market reforms in Poland in the transition period of the 1990s.

Rethinking Poles and Jews

Troubled Past, Brighter Future

Rethinking Poles and Jews

Rethinking Poles and Jews focuses on the role of Holocaust-related material in perpetuating anti-Polish images and describes organizational efforts to combat them. Without minimizing contemporary Polish anti-Semitism, it also presents more positive material on contemporary Polish-American organizations and Jewish life in Poland.

Letters from Readers in the Polish American Press, 1902–1969

A Corner for Everybody

Letters from Readers in the Polish American Press, 1902–1969

A Corner for Everybody is a unique collection of close to five hundred letters from Polish American readers that were published in the Polish-language weekly Ameryka-Echo between 1902 and 1969. Ameryka-Echo, a weekly published from Toledo, Ohio, was one of the most popular and long-lasting newspapers with international circulation. For seven decades, Ameryka-Echo sustained a number of sections based on readers’ correspondence, but the most popular of them was a “Corner for Everybody,” which featured thousands of letters on a variety of topics. In these letters, Polish immigrants speak in their own words about their American experience, and vigorously debate religion, organization of their community, ethnic identity, American politics and society, and ties to the homeland. The translated letters are annotated and divided into thematic chapters with informative introductions.

The Polish Deportees of World War II

Recollections of Removal to the Soviet Union and Dispersal Throughout the World

The Polish Deportees of World War II

Among the great tragedies that befell Poland during World War II was the forced deportation of its citizens by the Soviet Union during the first Soviet occupation of that country between 1939 and 1941. This is the story of that brutal Soviet ethnic cleansing campaign told in the words of some of the survivors. It is an unforgettable human drama of excruciating martyrdom in the Gulag. For example, one witness reports: “A young woman who had given birth on the train threw herself and her newborn under the wheels of an approaching train.” Survivors also tell the story of events after the “amnesty.” “Our suffering is simply indescribable. We have spent weeks now sleeping in lice-infested dirty rags in train stations,” wrote the Milewski family. Details are also given on the non-European countries that extended a helping hand to the exiles in their hour of need.