Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict
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Saturday, 1 September 2012

September 1st: Anniversary of the War - a personal reflection

This day, 73 years ago, the forces of satan crossed the Polish border and unleashed on the world a torrent of bloodshed. In the early hours of that fateful day, Nazi aircraft began to bomb Warsaw leading to the eventual occupation of that nation with co-conspirator, Soviet Russia. The Bolsheviks attacked Poland on the 17th, following the secret protocols in the vile Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact. In fact, Nazis had even been training in the Soviet Union in the late 1930s. The right and left hand of satan met at the river San - the dividing line between the two totalitarian States. Eventually, due to far greater organization and international connections and assorted fellow travelers,  the communist empire would devour more than half of Europe and lead to its monstrous extension over the globe leading to such a death count, that even the fiendish Hitler would end up looking like a choir boy. 

Stalin directing Hitler into a losing war 
The result for Poland was the virtual extermination of Poland's Jews - protected by King Kazimir the Great centuries earlier, when Jews were being hounded out of other European states. Nazi hatred for the Catholic Church too was on display with arrests and executions of priests. Mass was proscribed, with the sole Mass at the Wawel Cathedral under the eye of the Gestapo. It was in this environment that the great Archbishop Sapiecha would take on a seminarian named Karol Wojtyla. 

My father was a witness to Nazi brutality. Early during the war, he and my grandmother on a number of occasions would sneak food to the Jews of Przemysl and pass food through the wired off area where the Jews were kept, prior to deportation to the death camps. My father always remembered this, and he remembered to his horror seeing behind the wire a young teenage boy from his class in school. Eventually my father would be arrested in a "Lapanka" (or street catch) and sent to Germany for slave labour. He then ended up in Norway on an island doing tree cutting; transfered to a camp near the Swedish border, he and another teenager escaped up into the mountains and to freedom in Sweden. He always remembered seeing the German Army motorbikes traveling along the road far below looking for them. In fact, this escape was even more daring for two young men had tried it earlier and had been shot. From Stockholm he eventually he would end up in Scotland in the armed forces... from then, onto London where he met my very English mother (who spent her war years in Llandudno, Wales) - and the rest is history. 

So, please pray for Poland that she may remain true to her ancient Faith. 

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