Blanka Klimczak Peters
Blanka’s father, George J B Klimczak, was born in Kalisz in 1912, one of eight children. He was studying law in Poznań when he was captured by the Russians, but escaped on the way to Katyń and eventually made his way to Scotland. He became a Lieutenant and was wounded at Monte Cassino, then served with the 1st Polish Armoured Division at the Battle of Falaise in Normandy. He had met his wife Helen, who was of Scottish/Irish origin, at a dance. She was in the Land Army, and they wrote to each other till he returned from action. They married and had three children, who grew up with many stories of Polish and Irish Scottish history from our parents and family, learning of the Poles’ bravery and culture.
George had considered studying medicine, but as the Polish Faculty of Medicine at Edinburgh University was closed when he returned, he took a B Com degree in economics. He was offered a commission in India, a lectureship at the London School of Economics and in Canada, but Helen didn’t want to leave her family in Scotland. He worked as an accountant with James Condie and Co before opening an accountancy business in Edinburgh.
Blanka studied science at Edinburgh University and then went on to teacher training, then studies for an MA in Education. Her career has been in a wide range of educational sciences, community work and counselling. She now teaches Iyengar yoga and paints in encaustic pigments and tempera, as well as working with metals.