Elbing 1945 - Odnalezione wspomnienia

Tomasz Stężała

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Tomasz Stężała was born in Elbląg ( Poland)…some time ago. Raised in a patriotic environment  (opposed to the communistic system), considers basic values: God, Honour and Fatherland as his moral skeleton. Master of science, teacher of biology and English in III Liceum in Elblag. A supporter ofconservative moral issues and liberal economics.

He started his adventure in writing in 2008. Two of his books were published by ERICA : Elbing 1945. ( part I - Odnalezione wspomnienia  and part II Pierwyj gorod) and Porucznicy 1939.  Some of his short stories and books are waiting for proper time.

He has been working simultaneously on the next part of the Trzy Armie ( Three Armies) trilogy Kapitanowie 1941( The Captains 1941)  as well as a publication about Elbing before WWII.

 Elbing 1945.

The idea of creating that title arose when the author heard in the local media about the“anniversary of liberation” of his hometown by the Soviets. Such opinion was repeated in the press without any opposing viewpoints. At the beginning he wanted to write a non-ficticious account of the Soviet assault, but quickly ditched the idea.

 Laborious gathering of personal memoires, data, reports, pictures, maps, etc brought a wealth of material, that painted the history in a series of  personal reports. The Germans, Russians, Poles  describe their action which lead to the final attack on the “Festung Elbing”. In spite of the variety of characters,  volume of facts and technical data even not an ardent history fan can imagine the story of those people, who lived through that terrible time. There is a lot of cruelty portrayed in the book on both combatant sides, but the author does not judge his heroes and heroines, remaining impartial. We can feel empathy and sympathy, we can understand their behavior and imagine, how would we have acted if we had been in their shoes?.  The language is simple, but war is simple and there is no place for poetry or sophisticated phrases. Instead we can feel the horror of war and desire to not want it anymore. And when you visit Elblag, you will be able to follow in the footsteps of the characters thanks to the vivid description of the settings.

 The of appendecies of “Elbing 1945” : short biographies, index of geographical places, list of websites with additional information and author’s website are an adventure in their own right.

 Porucznicy 1939. ( The Lieutnants 1939)

Mr Stężała's, grandfather, Bolesław Nieczuja-Ostrowski, had great influence on his childhood and hisoutlook on life. Two years after his death Tomasz decided to write his biography, but in his own unique manner. The first task was detailed research, including his own memories, where he found a wealth of amazing stories, which had been told by his grandfather. It was revealed, that during the war trail of lieutenant Ostrowski ( 115 infantry regiment of 41 Reserve Infantry Division) several times met the one of military units of German Wehrmacht of Elbing. Ex- Soviet sources claim, that the many of the companies from Elblag were spied by NKVD. These facts accumulated by the author were the basis of his new, incredible story. It starts in 1937, when young officers of the three armies meet their fate, love and everyday life. With coming war, we can observe the preparations and dramatic changes in them. The second part of the book is about the bloody battles, where armored Germans meet brave Poles, who fight bravely defend their fatherland. But from the east appears a red spider, which bites the Poles in the back.

The story ends in 1940, when all sides are preparing to new campaigns.

Porucznicy 1939 was well received by both the readers and critics. Tomasz Stężała is often compared to Hans Hellmut Kirst or Leo Kessler. Well one thing is for sure, he is not worse.

 

 

 

 

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