the Panel of Elders

  • THE WARSAW SCHOOLBOY - Jan Mokrzycki remembers the events of the early war years; the defeat and dismemberment of first, his country, then his family (his father and grandfather to be shot by the Gestapo, his mother to be sent to Auschwitz).

  • THE LONDON SCHOOLBOY - Tom Holloway lived in London throughout the blitz and remembers seeing American soldiers for the first time "with their strange clothes and amazing build - like Martians...". He now runs an Email Charity for children with special needs.

  • THE VIENNESE SCHOOLGIRL - Lotte Evans lives in Melbourne, Australia, but remembers her schooldays in Vienna vividly, and the discrimination because of a jewish great-grandmother.

  • THE DUTCH SCHOOLBOY - Kees Vanderheyden describes life under the German occupation. "The war was very literally in my backyard with a German General's staff, his radio listening post, the allied airmen hidden far away in the garden, and later the Canadian military field hospital in our living room with blood and wounded soldiers around us."

  • THE BERLIN SCHOOLBOY - Eberhard Weber lived in Berlin during the war and remembers during one period "spending more time in the shelter than out of it". He now lives in California, USA.

  • THE POLISH EXILE - Feliks Chustecki was Headteacher of a Polish school in Coventry and is now retired. During the war he was deported with his family to a slave labor camp. In 1944 he arrived in England (via Tajikistan and Persia) to train as a pilot in the Polish Air Force.

  • THE SURVIVOR - In 1942 Dr Janina Parafjanowicz saw her husband and father taken to the notorious PAWIAK Gestapo Headquarters, where they were summarily shot. She herself was later to go to to Auschwitz, an experience that she survived. You can read her story if you click here.

  • THE AMERICAN SOLDIER - Phil Bernheim was in England during 1943/44 and recalls "the awesome sight of airplanes from horizon to horizon on D-Day...". He lives in South San Francisco.

  • THE CROATIAN SOLDIER - as a teenager, Zvonko Springer was forced into a German Uniform and made to fight. He survived the 'Croation Death March' of soldiers who surrendered to Tito's partisan army. He now lives in Salzburg, Austria.

  • THE CANADIAN AIR FORCE PILOT - Raymond Delaveaux served as a Pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force in several occupied countries. After the war he was seconded to the Allied Military Government of the Occupied Territories to assist in the process of post-war recovery.

  • THE VIENNA SCHOOLBOY - Ernest Blaschke was just seven years old when the German Army marched into Vienna and fourteen when it was captured and occupied by the Russian Army. He emigrated to Canada in the 1950s and now lives in Toronto.

  • THE LONDON SHOPGIRL - Dot Baker was 13 when she got her first job during the war. After two years of hard manual work (shovelling 'slag' in a steel-works) she moved to London and discovered the excitement of a city determined to enjoy itself while it could.....

  • THE POTSDAM SCHOOLBOY - Heinz Barthel was still only 8 when the war ended, but in the flight from the Russian Army, then fast approaching Berlin and Potsdam, he saw and suffered at first hand the chaos, hunger and misery that modern war brings to civilians caught between warring armies.

  • THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR - Arthur Pay was a member of the 'Peace Pledge Union' at the outbreak of war. He said to the wartime tribunal before which he was taken... "I refuse on moral and rational grounds to take part in any military activity or to assist the military machine in any way. I believe that the method of War is wrong and futile". What happened to him after that you can read here.

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