Introduction

Chris Hendzel was born in 1967, to Anna and Frank, in Southmead Hospital, Bristol. His parents were born in Poland, and made their separate journeys to the UK after the events of World War Two forced them to leave their home country.

I have been to Chris’s home in Yate many times before. However, our conversations before this one always covered what we had been doing the last few weeks, not what we had done in the first few years of our lives. We discussed the local news or what was on TV, never thinking to talk about our family histories.

Today, I sit with him and his wife Maria in their front room, the early afternoon sun warming us through the window. The ice in our glasses of squash begins to trickle down onto the placemat, and I eat a chocolate chip cookie from the table before they begin to melt.

We chat for a while about Here and There and I switch the dictaphone on as Chris begins his story.

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