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Sharing Polish Immigrant Experience.

Elizabeth at the St. Paul skyway , 2019. Photo: K. Litak

Unexpectedly and quite providentially, I met my first teenage love in Poland, then again ten years later in the United States. This event changed my life forever.

Kalejdoskop Polski MN project connects stories of Polish post-WWII immigrants" in Minnesota. MPMS has completed two phases of the project focusing on WWII survivors and Solidarity era political prisoners turned refugees. Third phase focuses on the stories of those who immigrated from behind the Iron Curtain. Elizabeth Suszynski is one of the participants who agreed to share her story about Cold War-era immigration.

Elizabeth grew up in Poland under an oppressive socialist regime. She arrived in the US in 1976. Suszynski shared stories about her childhood in Poland, her immigrant experience, and the family and life she has built in the US in her book "Journey Through an Immigrant's Life with Faith, Hope, and Love. How Faith Gave Me Hope to Find Love and Meaning in Life," self-published in 2022. Elizabeth hopes to inspire love, provide solace, and share wisdom.

Although I loved (and still love) Poland, the people, and the culture, I joined the ranks of immigrants who came to America to find freedom, work hard, and opportunities.

Elizabeth is not a stranger to sharing her immigration story with Minnesotans. Suszynski participated in another project about 58 Minnesota immigrants, created by an artist Nancy Ann Coyne, "Speaking of Home," that opened in 2017.

Photo of nine-year-old Elizabeth, was on display in the St. Paul skyway system. In a 2017 conversation with Star Tribune reporter Jim Walsh, Suszysnki commented on the photo was taken 'when the storyboard of her life was empty, and the future was bleak, and in the US, she found a life of limitless possibilities.'

The terrible political and economic environment in Poland during the 1970s led to my unexpected, permanent stay here. Minnesota became my home when I started my own