Memories from a foreign country

Kahan, Danny

Growing up in Poland 1936-1958.

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As a child in Warsaw, like so many others, Danny suffered many of the horrors of the Nazi occupation: the loss of his father, who never returned from forced labour; the daily fears of a child in hiding, whose mother was living on a false identity card; and the terrible carnage of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. Unlike many others after the war, Danny and his mother chose to remain in Warsaw, where Danny completed a degree in English Literature at Warsaw University. While working at Radio Warsaw, Danny travelled abroad for the first time and experienced the freedom of a non-communist society in England, which fuelled his later desire to come to Australia.

Told in vignettes of early family life, the war years and his school, university and working life, the memoir also reveals the author’s penchant for philosophical observation and humorous self-reflection.  Often written with a kind of third-person objectivity, the book also shows the author’s devotion to his mother, his love of learning and his determination to survive the tragedies of his past.