Duration: 28m 23s
Filesize: 24.5 Mb
Recorded: 11 August 2022
Ray Szyfelbain shares some memories of his Polish-born father, the late Oskar Schiefelbein - better known as Steve Szyfelbain after he settled in Wick and married Violet.
"When Poland was invaded by the Germans, they were offered the choice of a German bullet or a German uniform," Ray explains. "Obviously he took the German uniform.
"He never became a solider. Photographs we saw in 1975 showed him as the equivalent of a military policeman.
"Father eventually, along with a lot of Polish colleagues, ended up in France. Knowing that Hitler was on his way out, they decided 'we've had enough'. They ran through a minefield, survived, and were captured by the British soldiers."
Oskar was later sent to the Dounreay RAF camp. He worked on farms and as a blacksmith.
Oskar was a gifted craftsman and had tailoring and cooking skills too, as well as being a fine dancer.
Ray's wife Jenny also takes part in the recording and she talks affectionately about Oskar, a.k.a. Steve.
"He was just a character - a real character," Jenny says. "I'm glad I met him."
During the interview Jenny points out similarities between some German words and Caithness dialect.
There are currently no comments for this recording