James and I listened to the music of Frederic Chopin this term. We also spent these 12 weeks reading Opal Wheeler’s Frederic Chopin, Son of Poland. Through this book and reading a few other articles, we learned that Chopin loved his homeland dearly and his compositions were very influenced by his concern over its continual oppression by outside forces.
We have a very dear friend who is researching her Polish ancestry. We spent time with her recently and she shared the pictures and paperwork she has collected at this point. In her collection is a letter from a great-uncle in Poland written to his brother (our friend’s grandfather) in America. The letter (she has both the original in Polish and a translation in English) speaks mostly of war and not just war in which Poland is involved, but wars between other countries. I remember that he mentioned China and Japan. In about 4 pages of writing to his brother across the ocean, all this man talks about is oppression and war in the world. How sad that this (I’m assuming) impoverished man has nothing else to talk about. He doesn’t talk about his crops or his hobbies or how the kid’s are doing in school, but about the world at war.
I think about these poor people just trying to survive and care for their own families. All the while you have these people “above” them plotting wars and fighting over lands. And then the poor people have to go fight the wars for the greedy land grabbers. Do the greedy land grabbers have a clue how unfair it is to make these poor people fight and die for them? And will this ever end?