The Polish Experience through World War II explores Polish history through the lives of people touched by the war. The touching and terrible experiences of these people are laid bare by straightforward, first-hand accounts, including not only the hardships of deportation and concentration and refugee camps, but also the price paid by the officers killed or taken as prisoners during WWII and the families they left behind. Ziolkowska-Boehm reveals the difficulties of these women and children when, having lost their husbands and fathers, their travails take them through Siberia, Persia, India, and then Africa, New Zealand, or Mexico.
Ziolkowska-Boehm recounts the experiences of individuals who lived through this tumultuous period in history through personal interviews, letters, and other surviving documents. The stories include Krasicki, a military pilot who was on of around 22 thousand Polish killed in Katyn; the saga of the Wartanowicz family, a wealthy and influential family whose story begins well before the war; and Wanda Ossowska, a Polish nurse in Auschwitz and other German prison camps. Placed squarely in historical context, these incredible stories reveal the experiences of the Polish people up through the second World War.