My Silesian and Polish background

In theory I am Polish, but I grew up in Silesia, the second most developed region in Poland with own culture and language (dialect). In my village until now operates a coal mine, in which my father used to work as a young man. Silesia is a specific place, where are living Silesians and citizens of the rest of the world. People that migrated here have never stopped being strangers for local society. It took time, before my grandparents accepted mixed couples between my cousins and non-Silesians.

My silesian family and who they are

My mother was born and grew up in my village – Suszec. Although she couldn’t speak proper Polish (Silesian only), her parents migrated to Silesia from other parts of Poland. They met each other during the Second World War when both were taken for works to Germany. My mother met my father when she was 16. I was born 12 years later. She told me once, that in the age of 28, she felt really old. She died over a year ago, unexpectedly.

The grandparents from my father’s side were born in Silesia. The house of my grandmother was placed next to a road that during war was a front line. On one side of the road were Germans, on another – Soviets. This road is passing even my house, we call it “road of death”. In the wood, a kilometer far from my home, 35 political prisoners died during the evacuation from Auschwitz in 1945. Auschwitz is only 40 km far from my place.

My grandmother is a hairdresser. She founded her business (still existing) in 1970. She is the oldest active hairdresser in her town (60,000 inhabitants) and the only one alive from my grandparents. She was the enterpreneur with capitalistic blood our family. She run the business over the communist time, when in theory private companies could not exist. Her firm was so successful that soon she reached a high social status.

My grandfather, used to work as a taxi driver and was crazy about his cars. One, when he decided to sell after 15 years of usage, had still a plastic cover on the back seat that producer put there. No one dared to touch his car.

Silesian means honourable and respectful

My father was the only one in his family who decided to study at the university. My grandfather, who expected his son to be a butcher, never forgave him this choice. My father could stay at the university and become a scientist, however my mother insisted on coming back to the village. This is how he became an enterpreneur developing his business in crazy postsovietic 90-s. He always regreted he had done that.

It is my father who taught me all principles of the life. He taught me:

  • to respect my family
  • to respect my homeland
  • what it means dignity and honour