#105 The 80th Anniversary of the outbreak of World War Two

Polish kid in the ruins of Warsaw September 1939

Polish boy in the ruins of Warsaw September 1939. Julien Bryan caption of the image from 1958:

A BOY’S WEARINESS: Ryszard Pajewski was a study in dejection when I saw him sitting on a pile of rubble. Only nine, he had suddenly been made the family breadwinner – and there was no bread to be had. Now a truck driver, he remembers that when he saw me last, I was carrying two “boxes”-my cameras. [1]

In September 1959 Julien Bryan wrote more about it in Look magazine:

The spot where nine-year-old Ryszard Pajewski sat atop a pile of rubble in 1939 is now a smooth lawn. But a friend saw my picture of this scene and told Pajewski. He came to see me. The rubble pile had been near his home, and he had taken time out from a search for food, for his mother and brother, to rest. His father was later taken away by the Nazis, and he never returned. Pajewski, who is divorced, now lives alone outside Warsaw.

At the beginning of September 1939, the German Army invaded Poland. The British Government gave the German government an ultimatum which was ignored and, as a result, on the 3rd of September 1939 Britain was at war with Germany.

My grandfather, Fred Wooll, a Platoon Sergeant Major in the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, was stationed at Dover Castle when war was announced. His wife, Leah, was three months pregnant with my mother. A chain of events had been set in motion which would irrevocably alter their lives and the lives of millions of others in Europe and around the world.

To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War Two, I have decided to offer the ebook of my novelised version of their story, Fred & Leah, for free from September 12th until September 25th.

In lieu of paying me for the book, I hope that you will consider donating to one or both of the following charities, the value you would have paid.

The International Committee of the Red Cross were lifesavers for prisoners of war, delivering care packages and messages from home. There were times when the contents of these care packages were the only things the POWs had to eat.

MIND is a UK based mental health charity. Had Leah, my grandmother, had the support of a charity like Mind then the resolution of my grandparents life stories might have been very different.

You can see me reading the opening chapter of Fred & Leah here.

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About M J Dees

M J Dees lives and works in Sao Paulo, Brazil with his wife, daughter and two cats. He has written three novels, Living with Saci, The Astonishing Anniversaries of James and David, Part One, and When The Well Runs Dry. He is currently editing the fourth and writing the fifth. You can sign up for more information on his book launches at http://eepurl.com/cTnAD5 and receive a free copy of Living With Saci.
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