About Damien Stewart

Director and Tour Operator

Damien's Journey

Following a 20-year career as an Australian Police Officer, Damien completed master’s degrees in psychology and entered the Psychology profession as a solo, private practice Psychologist in 2014. In his practice, Damien has a special interest in working with current and ex-serving Police Officers and Military personnel suffering from the psychological effects of their profession including depression, anxiety, burnout, and PTSD. Damien is also a member of several committees and is the current Convenor of the Australian Psychological Society’s Military and Emergency Services Interest Group.

Damien has had an interest in military history since he was a little boy and in 2018, he had the opportunity to complete a WWII tour of Poland and Germany. It was during the three days he spent in Poland during this tour that Damien became captivated by the incredible story of WWII in Poland, including the occupation of Poland, the horror of the Holocaust, and the courageous resistance of the Poles. Damien returned to Poland twice in 2019 and on returning home the second time, an idea began to germinate about how he could honour this history and bring greater attention to it around the world. The end result of that desire is Poland at War Tours.

Damien’s passion for the story of Poland during WWII has developed beyond the creation of Poland at War Tours and become a professional pursuit. Damien has collaborated with Polish institutions on projects involving presentations and workshops on the effect of trauma on the Polish population post WWII. Damien is also pursuing a PhD on the experience of intergenerational trauma within the Polish population following WWII. Damien has also furthered his knowledge of the Holocaust by attaining two micro-credentials from Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Israel: “Antisemitism: From its origins to the present” and “Teaching the Holocaust”.

About Poland at War Tours

There has been no greater loss of life in the history of the world than what occurred in WWII and much of that loss of life occurred within the borders of Poland. It is well established that approximately 6,000,000 Jews died at the hands of the Nazi’s during the Holocaust, the single greatest crime ever committed. Prior to the outbreak of WWII, there were approximately 3,500,000 Polish Jews living in Poland. By the end of WWII, approximately 3,000,000 Polish Jews had been murdered. A further 3,000,000 non-Jewish Poles also died during WWII bringing the total number of Poles killed during WWII to approximately 6,000,000. This incredible loss of life totalled approximately 19% of Poland’s pre-war population, a greater loss of life per head of population than any other country that fought in WWII. It has been said that all of Poland is a graveyard.

Yet most people are not aware of the events that occurred in Poland during the war outside of the tragedy of the Holocaust committed by the Nazi’s. Poland was the first country to fight back against the invading German Army and refused to surrender once they were overwhelmed by both the German and Russian Armies. Poland was also the only country invaded by Germany that did not form a collaborative government with them. Poland was also the only country in Europe to begin two uprisings against the German’s and indeed had the largest resistance movement in all of Europe.

Poles fought in the Royal Navy and flew in the Battle of Britain scoring greater hit rates and losing less planes and pilots than any other nation who participated in the Battle of Britain. Polish soldiers also fought with distinction among allied forces in the Middle East, Italy, and France and more Poles have been recognised as rescuing Jews during the Holocaust than any other country on Earth. Yet without being invited to the table, Poland was bargained away by the world’s superpowers to appease a dictator who murdered thousands of Polish citizens in the war.

Poland at War Tours invites you to join us in a deep exploration of the history of WWII as it occurred in Poland. During our tours we will explore the occupation of Poland, the Holocaust, and remarkable actions of Polish resistance. The ethos of Poland at War Tours is to honour victims, celebrate heroes, but most importantly never forget.

It is hoped that through greater understanding of this history, humanity will stand together and state clearly, “Never Again!”.