My grandfather is a survivor. Many of you followed along earlier this year as we travelled together back to Poland. We travelled to Warsaw, where my grandfather grew up, and then to Auschwitz, where my grandfather spent nearly 3 years of his life imprisoned in the infamous Nazi Concentration Camp. It was a powerful and meaningful trip, filled with moments both heavy and light. We have now been invited to return to Poland this month to perform together at several events in advance of the release of my grandfather’s memoir: Once Voice, Two Lives. During this trip, we will perform at a theater in Warsaw, and then at an International Summit at the Auschwitz Museum. I will be sure to post all along the way on my blog here, and you can follow the journey with #MyPolishWisnia on social media. My grandfather’s story is one that needs to be heard, and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to help share it.
In preperation for our trip back to Poland this week, i have been fielding a lot of emails from Poland and responding for my grandfather. There has been a lot to coordinate with 2 concerts, a conference, and lots of travel logistics. Which means Google Translating just about everything. But my favorite part is the greeting: “Szanowny Panie Wiśnia,” which precisely translates to “Dear Mr. Cherry.”
and it makes me feel like a character in Clue.
I can’t wait to return to the land of my fore-cherries.
Many people have suggested that my grandfather’s story of survival should be a book. Well, it is.
The truth is that this project, ONE VOICE TWO LIVES, has been in the works for years. It just took a long time to come together and get published. But his story, in his own words as told to Robin Black, with great help from Doug Cervi and Kelly Beckler Cervi, is finally in print through Stockton University. And it just happened to be finished in time for this trip.
Right now, we are only selling books that my grandfather can give out by hand. So some of the first people to experience his whole story in uninterrupted narrative will be the people we encounter on this journey. And it’s absolutely no surprise that the first book was bought 20 minutes into our trip, in the shuttle ride to the airport, by a stranger in the passenger seat of the van. After all, it is impossible to cross David Wisnia’s path and not become an instant fan and friend. So I imagine we’ll be sold out of books by the time we get through every TSA officer and flight attendant. Before we even land in Poland.