Forgotten Force - Polish Women in the Second World War
Forgotten Force is an oral history project by Pilsudski Institute of London aiming to give first-hand evidence of the past by audio and video recording stories of Polish women survivors of the Second World War who have been residing in the UK for the past seventy years. Gathered stories will be archived, interpreted and presented to public by various means: a multimedia display at the Institute, talks, social media and radio broadcast. The subject is particularly important on the eve of the 80-tieth anniversary of the world war outbreak as we are at risk of losing living heritage. Women’s contribution to society, often overlooked, was paradoxically made more visible by wars usually perceived as a masculine domain. Once they left the confinements of domesticity, women became increasingly involved in struggle for freedom on the fronts of all wars but they also kept protecting their families on home fronts. Blurring the lines of gender divisions the unsung heroes served wherever required from hospitals and driving ambulances to serving in kitchens and shedding blood in trenches. We wish to reveal a host of fascinating and inspirational stories to help remember the bravery of those long forgotten. Due to the living history aspect the project is of utmost urgency. We believe that the stories we want to tell are universal and will help to piece together missing parts of wartime story and secure it for the future. The aim of this multimedia project is first and foremost to give voice to those who feel underrepresented in history, but also to create an easy available resource to support research into women, refugees and war.
The project is kindly supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.