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A Polish Son in the Motherland: An American's Journey Home

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  19 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Searching for the remnants of his family, Leonard Kniffel left Chicago in 2000 to live in Poland. A Polish Son in the Motherland is the story of a search for roots and for the reasons why one family’s ties were severed more than fifty years ago. Along the way, we see what half a century of communism did to Poland and how the residue of World War II lingers.


The author’s sea
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Hardcover, 246 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Texas A University Press (first published February 25th 2005)
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Vicki
Mar 05, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir-biography
There are moments when things feel a little too documentary in this book. For example, when the author begins to list his findings, paragraph-style, about his family tree. Something he says he never had an interest in, but that we are made to sit through. And the author uses the phrase, "My grandmother must have seen/touched/been here when this statue/house/event happened" way too often. Enough to almost render the thought powerless. Sometimes I wish we knew more about the author's life and the ...more
Ms. Wayne
Apr 18, 2007 added it
Shelves: poland
From the Publisher

Searching for the remnants of his family, Leonard Kniffel left Chicago in 2000 to live in Poland. A Polish Son in the Motherland is the story of a search for roots and for the reasons why one family's ties were severed more than fifty years ago. Along the way, we see what half a century of communism did to Poland and how the residue of World War II lingers.The author's search begins inauspiciously, but he soon meets a local wine merchant and her son, who are eager to reveal the
...more
Ruth Soz
My father grew up in Hamtramck, Michigan, the same Polish community where the author's mother lived. I think genealogy is fascinating and found myself living vicariously through his journey. But for a 3 day trip to Gdansk, Poland several years ago, I have yet to see where my father's side of the family comes from. While it was interesting to learn about the author's discoveries of Polish life and culture and his own family, I found it hard to keep track of all the different people and the passag ...more
Anna
Mar 15, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
At the same time I was reading Shtetl by Eva Hoffman, which was far better for someone who starts reading about Jews in Poland. A Polish Son In The Motherland: An American's Journey Home is more about an American coming to Poland in a search of his roots.
Carol Dunn
Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs, travel, genealogy


Good read, and it was interesting to get a feel for life in a small town in Poland.
Elyse83
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Personally meaningful to me-my greatgrandparents were born in Poland. Unfortunately, I never met them. He compares and contrasts a Polish/American life, and finds his grandmother's "people."
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