"ONE TWO THREE FOUR and a SUITCASE"

INTRODUCTION

 

"Of course it was".

"Iím sorry but you are wrong. It was definitely day."

"Itís impossible. It could not have been day, otherwise the........ etc etc."

Both Alina and Roman were describing the same event; agreed that it was the same place yet could not agree on the time. Not the "time" as in 5.35pm but much more general. This is not a detail of early or late afternoon. Night or day? Was it daylight or darkness?

Strange how such a powerful gift and essential mental tool as our memory is vulnerable to distortion. No different I suppose to a tape recording that with a lot of use gradually fades and distorts the sound. The quality fades but the essential message stays the same. Itís a reasonable analogy but I believe itís the wrong one. In reality I think that when stories are recounted of same events by different people what is recounted is the memory of what that particular person experienced. Each person can and does experience the same thing in a different way. The viewpoint is different however marginally displaced, the emphasis is diverse and values are different. We each observe and see differently.

Age, experience, expectations, fear, anxiety all flavour our perception of events.

These thoughts prompted the idea of collecting the "memories" of all four of us. We experienced, I believe, mostly the same events during our travel from Poznan to Edinburgh at and after the end of the war. I imagined that the comparisons would be fascinating as I believe they are

This story is of the Sikorski familyís journey from Poznan, Poland, at the end of the Second World War. The father, Jozefat, had been executed in Berlin by the Nazis Germans on 20th March 1942, leaving behind his widow Walentyna with four young children, Roman, Alina, Andrzej and Marek. They continued to live in their hometown Poznan and endured the German oppression as best they could but with the advance of the Russian Army in 1945 a new predicament faced the family. Will the new oppressor be endurable?

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