Why this Impression? What Do We Do Anyway?
As "Living Historians" our goal is to teach people about a particular unit within a particular era of history.
We believe that by portraying, or recreating the image of 10th Dragoons of the Polish 1st Armored Division, we are bringing attention to this unit which served with distinction during the dark days of the Second World War. We are also using our impressions to teach people about the contribution of the entire Polish Military of WW2 by extension.
The Polish Military fought the nazis for a longer period of time than any other nation. By war's end, She fielded the fourth largest military of all the Allies! Polish soldiers fought the Germans in the skies over Britain, they fought to liberate Rome and Paris, they even fought alongside the Soviets in the capturing of Berlin, finally bringing the nazi government of Germany to it's end! Yet, the full scope of the Polish contribution largely remains forgotten. The main reason as to why Poland was never given full recognition for Her contributions, is not an issue of prejuidice, but rather one of politics:
Stalin wanted Poland. The Allies had to make the difficult choice of standing up to Stalin and "saying no", or handing Poland over to Stalin to avoid any further confrontation in Europe. In the end, Poland was sacrificed, and ended up on the wrong side of the post war "Iron Curtain". The Polish nation was then thrown into a bitter civil war, in which several political factions fought against each other for dominance.
The Communists won. With no help from the West and Stalin backing any Polish Communist movements, that was of little surprise.
There She remained for about 50 years. Schoolbooks in the West barely touched upon the Her contributions during WW2, and as a result, so many Americans know very little about what Poland did for our freedom and theirs.
In truth, the little that is taught about Poland in WW2, is very often incorrect!
A classic example is that of Polish Cavalry charging German tanks in the 1939 campaign - the fact that such a thing never occurred has not prevented it from being represented as fact time and time again.
We have entered the ever-growing realm of Living History to teach and inform folks about Poland's role in WW2, and in our own small way, "undo" some of the injustice thrust upon the brave soldiers of Poland who fought under the banner of Freedom in the Second World War.
What sort of things do we do?
A couple times per year, we will set up a living history display at a selected event. At such an event, we will answer questions from the public, recruit new members, and display related militaria and memorobilia. We may give a weapons demonstration, recreate a scene from a related movie, or even interrogate a German prisoner......our imaginations and creativity are our only limitations. Another activity in which we participate, is the actual recreation of a battle. At such an event, one can get an idea of what it might have been like to have participated in one of the famous battles of WW2. We use actual weapons firing blank rounds. Mines, bombs, grenades, etc, are simulated by safe pyrotechnic devices not unlike those used in Hollywood movies. Every reenactor, whether they be American, German, British, or Polish, is required to wear the authentic uniform of their recreated unit. One may even spot an actual WW2 armored vehicle or two.