It’s sometimes too much to expect individuals to transmit memories of great suffering, as my father’s life showed

Antony Lerman, Saturday 5 September 2009 11.00 BST

The manipulation of history is the continuation of politics by other means, to coin a phrase. And this week we have been served a double dose of it by the Russians and the Poles as their leaders sought to assert their own versions of the past in the run-up to the ceremonies remembering the beginning of the second world war. It was an unedifying spectacle, especially since memories of those years remain incredibly sharp for so many people in so many countries. Watching some of the Czechoslovak “children”, saved from almost certain death by Sir Nicholas Winton in 1939, boarding a special memorial train to London at Prague Railway station, or hearing the memories of evacuees from London was to come closer to the stripped down truth about the war