Have You Forgotten?
In a restrained, poignant, affecting memoir Zamoyska-Panek, writing with freelancer Holmberg, re-creates her childhood in Poland on an ancestral estate, an aristocratic life that would become yet another casualty of WW II. A note of perhaps inadvertent hauteur, a sense of her hereditary consequence, surfaces as the countess recalls a privileged time, before her removal to occupied Krakow, a hospital job, joining the Resistance and nursing Allied soldiers. We read of wartime devastation as experienced by Zamoyska-Panek and of desolation across Poland from contemporaneous news stories reprinted here. Liberation found the 19-year-old escorting refugees into Czechoslovakia under Red Cross protection, while also on the same trains she smuggled others fleeing the Russian victors. Arrested in Poland and tortured, Zamoyska-Panek in her turn was helped to escape and eventually emigrated to the U.S. with a husband she met along the way. Members of her family would follow. Yet, disappointingly, only in a brief epilogue do we learn of their new life in Boston: Zamoyska-Panek worked in physical rehabilitation; her mother, as a housekeeper. Photos not seen by PW . ( Sept.)