My father died in 1967 at the age of 46.  In 2002 my mother died. 

Some time later, I found myself looking through my parent's belongings.  In an old leather suitcase I found………what??? What was all this?  Handwritten notebooks; old and discoloured; written in Polish and completely incomprehensible to me, together with numerous drawings and paintings.   Very frustrating!

Several years later, by chance, I heard of a translator who was willing to work on the translation of these notebooks.  I desperately wanted to know what all this writing was about. Scans of the first pages were sent to the translator.  He offered to put his translation onto voice files to make the exercise less expensive.

I received the first voice file, and with a certain amount of trepidation, switched on my machine, and started to listen.  A man's voice with a heavy Polish accent began. A shiver went down my spine.  It was as if my father was speaking to me, telling me what had happened to him during the war; how it felt to be a teenager in September 1939; how he was arrested by the Soviets and taken to a Gulag and later how he joined the Polish 2nd Corps and fought with the Allies in Italy against the Germans.

'Lost Between Worlds' is my father's wartime journal.

Written in real time, it is a moving and emotional account of his experiences, immediate and untainted by the passing of time and failing memory; a first hand account and primary source of information about how it felt to be a teenager at the outbreak of war, and six years later a young man in his mid twenties, with both his youth and his country lost. He does not write about battles or military action but puts his thoughts and feelings onto paper so as to try and come to terms with what is happening to him and his compatriots.  A lost generation whose lives were changed irreversibly by war.

The book comprises 238 pages of text, and 24 colour plates of my father's paintings and drawings, photos and documents.

You can read more about this book and the author using the links shown at the top of this page.

All original journals, documents and photographs and many of my father's paintings and drawings are in the USHMM Collection.

'Lost Between Worlds' is available to buy from me, via the contact page, at the reduced price of £6 plus the cost of postage.
Edward Herzbaum journal
ISBN 978-1848766-037

The journals have also been published by KARTA in Warsaw in their original Polish as a book and an e-book. Titled 'Miedzy swiatami. Dziennik andersowca 1939-1945' the book was short listed for the Nagrody Historyczne Polityki 2017.