Get well soon, Sir Max

Great to see and hear Sir Max Hastings speak about his new book THE SECRET WAR: Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939–1945 at the Wimbledon Bookfest on Sunday.

I hope your voice returns!

Sir Max talked about the big picture stuff as well as the single agent or courier toiling away in a corner of Nazi German occupied Europe.  My thoughts turned to Maria Kotarba, running her errands between the different Polish partisan groups, until she was betrayed…

Max Hastings Event

64 hours later…

Well, that’s it.  I have completed listening to all my recorded interviews with Lena from 2003 and 2004.  174 hours.  Mostly played back at 50-100% speed.  Originally recorded on a Sony MiniDisc player, then converted to mono 20 minute MP3 tracks.

Listening has given me some new information.  I have additional insights into Lena’s childhood and teenage years.  One is crucial to the story.  So has the listening time involved been worth it?  Yes, as it has helped me get into Lena’s character and helped me with the timeline of those two years we spent together.

Here is a snapshot of Draft #2.  No printing it out this time.  Just thinking of the trees…

Snapshot

I will then edit this Draft #2 to remove the duplications and add background material from other sources.  Quite a list of source material to get through, including many works by Sir Martin Gilbert.  This will give me Draft #3.  This should be ready by the end of this month, or early September.

Draft #4 will be the first draft in narrative form, as opposed to bullet points.  I am hoping that this will just be converting my notes into narrative but who knows how that will go?

110 hours later…

Well, I have just got through listening to my conversations with Lena from 2003, lasting 110 hours.  Now I am moving on to listening to 64 hours from 2004.  I have some new material that allows me greater insight into Lena as a teenager.

Here is Lena in full flight, telling me her story on 10 July 2003.

DSCF0016blog

Lots of listening. Again

I am listening to my recorded conversations with Lena in 2003.  Listening to hear her “voice” and checking in case I might have  missed something important.  During 2003, I recorded 18 sessions with Lena, totalling around 110 hours, from early July.

When someone has lived through and been impacted by all of the major events of the Holocaust, which ones to include and which ones to gloss over in a biography?  Can you “gloss over” anything in the Holocaust?