The Tailor of Inverness
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The Tailor of Inverness is a story of journeys, of how a boy who grew up on a farm in Galicia (Eastern Poland, now Ukraine) came to be a tailor in Inverness, Scotland. He was taken prisoner by the Soviets in 1939 and forced to work east of the Urals, then freed in an amnesty after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. He then joined the thousands of Poles who travelled to Tehran, then Egypt, to join the British Army, fighting in North Africa and Italy. He was then resettled in Britain in 1948, joining his brother in Glasgow. This is the story he told.
meticulous. If I did that I probably would have a big book to write! Wouldn’t be any point to go back there, aye. No, no. I would go back if it was free passage and see what happened. But to stay there, no! Adam say you wouldn’t recognise it at all. Nothing, nothing, nothing would resemble what you would know. So there you are, aye. 7: War My father’s brother Kazik 1939 I’d been in about 9 months. That army you know how it is, there’s a lot of square-bashing, there’s a lot of bullying going
That was the command. To this day, most of us think that it was all planned. By Churchill and Roosevelt. To appease Stalin. Because Sikorski was demanding too much. He wanted Poles to fight on Polish soil, nowhere else. And he wanted Polish sovereignty guaranteed. I was made a sergeant but I got a field commission. So I was the first lieutenant, in charge of a company. One time I got lost in the desert. The certain point have to be taken, certain height on that desert. And when we very
coalition of radical reformers and conservative technocrats. Kadar’s Hungary mixed populism and nationalism with repression and has been described as ‘the happiest barracks in the camp,’ an eloquently ironic comparison with the other Eastern Bloc states. His deposition ushered in the end of one-party rule and the preparation of multi-party elections, which took place in spring 1990. On May 2 1989, Hungary’s communist regime had begun removing its fortifications along the border with Austria. The
bank, I noticed a figure slowly cross into our path. She walked about 50 metres ahead, matching our pace, a tall, statuesque woman with black hair and a long black skirt which hugged her hips. They swayed slowly as she walked. The sight of this woman attracted and disturbed me. She reminded me of the black Mercedes, sleek, forbidding, tantalising. She stayed ahead of us, maintaining the same distance for perhaps ten minutes until Julian announced it was time to turn back for dinner. She kept on
seemed as if Communism’s rulers had produced a shape-changing metallic monster to control us. But we had our own little metallic monster to protect us, our red Vauxhall Cresta, our capitalist V-sign. Up yours, Brezhnev, look at us! We never felt quite so gung-ho then as we travelled inside the Iron Curtain, but the sight of us and our relative wealth probably had that effect on some. We were quiet, respectful and curious, and sometimes I felt a little guilty to have come from a luckier part of