My brother Wiley wrote some other moving posts about our Mom’s experiences in Poland.
About Warsaw: “Growing up my Mom shared chilling accounts of her experience during WWII as a courier in the Polish Underground Army and a medic during the Polish uprising. The German response was to level Warsaw destroying / leveling over 85% of the city. My mom survived, not without physical injuries and she required over 22 plastic surgeries to piece her scull and face back together. She was forever changed by the war. She was always concerned about how her face looked. I never noticed anything wrong, she was just my mom. In retrospect she suffered from what today is called PTSD and I am convinced passed the trauma of war on to her four kids. Visiting Warsaw, seeing the images of the leveled city and walking through the Old City (that was rebuilt and recreated after the war), makes these memories and stories become very much more real.”
About Dębinki, the estate Mom lived on as a child. It’s about an hour outside of Warsaw, near a town with the regrettable name Tłuszcz (Fat):
“Mom spoke to me about her Pony, yes like the Seinfeld episode, but mostly about the wonderful gardens, meadows and trees of her childhood. Visiting this estate located in a small town about an hour by train outside of Warsaw was a very emotional experience. The town is Tluszcz, and the estate is Debinki, please don’t ask me to say these words.
“The house was taken by the German’s during the war and did sustain some bomb damage. Never returned to its original state, it is currently used as an orphanage.
“Mom lived here from the age of six to 12 and than moved with her family to a villa in Warsaw along the Vistula river.
The villa was destroyed by German bombs during the war and today the land is a park and roadway.”