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> Resources > CCU - Community Cohesion Materials > CCU - History > CCU - History - Resource 5

Resource 5

The Historical Association History

Community cohesion and the prevention of violent extremism
A resource for teachers to use in the classroom

Resource title
Anton Witkowski's story
and see attached Classroom Activity Worksheet
This is part of the BBC's Archive of World War Two Memories – written by the public and gathered by the BBC. It simply relates the experience of Anton Witkowski during the war. A Pole, he fought the Germans in September 1939 and fled the country following the defeat of Poland. He eventually arrived in Britain and re-joined the Polish Air Force, with Squadron 306. After demobilisation, he married an English girl and settled in Yorkshire.

This resource shows clearly the impact of war on families, and on countries. Even though his country no longer exists, he escapes and continues the fight. His experience illustrates that people migrate for many reasons, and that Poles have lived in England for much longer than the current influx.

There are other Polish experiences during WW2 in the same archive:

These show that Anton was not a singular experience – there were many more Poles who felt and acted the same way.

The classroom activity will help teachers and pupils enter into discussions about who fought in WW2, on which side, the contribution of Empire etc. This also provides opportunity to explore the contribution of many groups of people, to many aspects of life in both the 20th century and earlier.
Links across other subjects within resource
Additional support
There is a 'Poles and WW2' website which explores the impact WW2 had on that country, and the experiences of it's people and armed forces during WW2

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