Comments on 'the Silver Sword' by the child of a Pole who escaped from a concentration camp to fight with the Allies
I first saw 'The Silver Sword' series on t.v. some 50 years ago. The fact that my recollections of it remain so vivid leads me to conclude that the story affected me profoundly.
As World War II began my father was abducted by the Nazi's from the fields of his family's farm in Poland. Eventually he escaped from a concentration camp. With the help of many people (including Germans) who had chosen to fight Hitler's tyranny he eventually joined the Allies. As part of the Sicily landings he fought north through Monte Casino and on (in Churchill's immortal words) to "the 'soft under-belly of Europe".
Maybe the empathy I felt with 'The Silver Sword' was founded in the Polish connection. Whatever, the character, Jan, conveyed the mind-set of a youth in the midst of the prevailing madness well enough to implant a fear which even now causes the odd nightmare of being chased by Nazis.
Unlike Jan, it took my father 25 years to re-unite with his family. However, one has to remember the complications of finances, naturalisation, foreign travel, the general destruction wrought upon the European infrastructure etc. etc. which posed a very real obstacle to doing so.
'The Silver Sword' is the serialisation of a powerful story which, quite rightly, has been adopted and exploited by the teaching profession as a tool for exploring man's inhumanity to man.
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