My father was a professional soldier in the Polish cavalry. He was a disciplinarian and an authority figure. When he married my mother, he took over the store that she had inherited, which sold clothes and raincoats. I used to play between the racks of clothes. My mother had been a mathematician before working in the family business doing the books. She was very bright and emancipated and went to the university. She also smoked and wore make-up definitely not the usual woman of the day. Artur, my brother, was six years older than I was. He was tall, blonde and thin.
Because we lived so close to the border, everyone spoke Polish and Ukrainian. I listened to the stories the maids told. Later, when I hid as a Catholic during the war, all their stories about the Russian Orthodox Church helped me tremendously.