ON THIS DAY - The Warsaw Rising Aug. 14, seventy-four years ago, was the 14th day Warsaw's 65-day uprising against their German occupiers. By Aug. 14, the Polish insurgents had managed to lay a telephone line through the sewers to connect the Underground Army's headquarters in the City Center with their HQ in Old Town. Ukrainian fighters hired by the Germans, however, had managed to capture the Royal Castle and launch an attack from there toward the southern end of Old Town. The fictional character in my historical fiction YA novel, Rising Hope, was lying wounded in a hospital as the historical figure of Father Waclaw tried to bolster the young Boy Scout-turned-insurgent's flagging spirits.
A few months ago I was able to visit CA and meet once again with my Polish friend, Halina, now age 89. I met her three years ago at a Polish Festival in Martinez, CA where I shared about my YA historical fiction book, Rising Hope.
When she and her daughter saw the book, they told me Halina had been a member of the Polish Girl Guides (like the American Girl Scouts) in 1939, at the age of 10. Later, at age of 15, she joined the Zoshka Battalion during the Rising. My fictional character in the book, like Halina, was a Scout who joined the Zoshka Battalion during the Rising.
Halina and her daughter bought a copy of the book, and Halina later emailed me to say she felt like she was reliving the events of the Rising as she read Rising Hope. It was a great confirmation as to the accuracy of the historical elements included in this fictionalized account.
When Halina and I got together again a few months ago, I shared with her a video I created from an interview I had with her three years ago. When I conduct author visits in schools to speak about the book, Rising Hope, I also share Halina's story and this short video clip. It encouraged Halina to learn that the students are very inspired by her story. When I showed her the video clip and she saw the image of her Zoshka Battalion's captain, Andrzej Morrow, she laughed. She said, "All the girls in the battalion thought he was so handsome!" You can see the video clip and hear Halina share some of her story at the link in the comments section below. ... See MoreSee Less