Tomasz Ziarski-Kernberg

Tomasz Ziarski-Kernberg was born in 1959, to first generation Polish migrants who moved seperately to Scotland because of the war, where they met. Both of his parents were deported to Kazakhstan with their families, where his father joined the Polish army at 17 and was injured in the battle of Monte Casino, and came to Scotland to convalesce. After being moved around different refugee camps throughout Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa, at the age of 18 Tomasz’s mother joined the Polish Red Cross and came to Scotland, where she met her husband while caring for him in hospital as a nurse.

Tomasz talks here about his memories of growing up in Scotland as the son of Polish parents, and how his experiences of and relationship to Poland have developed through his upbringing in Edinburgh. Tomasz studied history at St. Andrews, and has continued his interest in the Polish community academically, by undertaking a PhD on the Polish community in Scotland at the University of Glasgow and through writing his book, ‘the Polish Community in Scotland’ (2000).