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Re: do you know of any descendents of General Maczek's soldiers

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  • pauper2118
    Greetings, I will try to be brief, but there is so much to say and my family has so many connections to this specific discussion. My father, Marjan Kuropatwa,
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 30, 2010
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      Greetings, I will try to be brief, but there is so much to say and my family has so many connections to this specific discussion.

      My father, Marjan Kuropatwa, was born in Lublin in 1923. He and his Boy Scout friends were grabbed by the Soviets and sent to work in Siberia. His own father, who worked at the local airport, had previously been taken by the Soviets. My dad never saw his family again, nor did he ever learn of their fate. From what we could best determine, he was put to work in a textile factory. When he, along with the other forced labourers were released in Siberia, he declined to join the Soviet forces and subsequently made his way to Scotland to join the Polish Free Forces and spent the rest of the war years with them.

      He had a variety of experiences, but much of his time was with the tank corps. He saw action in many campaigns as well as Operation "Market Garden". He was part of the liberating forces for Breda. It was there, he met a young woman who he subsequently married. After the war, he was unable to return to his homeland so settled in Breda and started raising a family. I was born in Breda.

      They say that nowhere in the world are the Poles treated better than in Breda. I can vouch for that.

      In the mid 1950's we immigrated and started a new life in Canada. We have returned to Breda a number of times and am pleased to say that my family there continues to honour the contributions of the Poles.

      My uncle, Jan Faes, was a policeman in Breda and conductor of the police band. He composed the General Maczek March, a musical tribute that has been performed at military tatoos.

      I am the proud owner of our family heirloom, a specially designed plate commemorating the Freeing of Breda by the Poles.

      Two years ago, my wife and I took a special trip to visit Poland. It was a very emotional journey. We were impressed with the beauty of the country and the warmth of the people. We visited the war memorials in Warsaw as well as other areas. We also spent a week in Lublin, spending time with a local guide and a geneologist.

      One of my father's proudest moments was when Pope John Paul II visited Toronto and my father was attendance, along with thousands of others.

      Shortly thereafter, my father passed away. He carried many untold memories to his grave, for they were too painful for him to recount.

      As a footnote, if any of you visit Breda, you can't help but feel the sense of gratitude that the residents have towards the Poles. The people have not forgotten the sacrifices made by the Polish forces. There are many visible signs, statues, street names honouring them.

      Naturally, I am very interested in learning more about his early life and wartime experiences. If any of you have relatives that may have known him or served with him, I would be most pleased to hear about it.

      Kindest regards

      John Kuropatwa
      Canada






      --- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com, John Halucha <john.halucha@...> wrote:
      >
      > Lucyna et al.
      > My late father, Jan Hałucha, joined Gen. Maczek's 1st Polish Armoured Division
      > on Aug. 28, 1942.
      > He had been captured by the Soviets while in uniform in September 1939, and
      > spent nearly two years in their prisons and gulags (principally Pieczorłag /
      > Pechorlag) before joining Anders' army and exiting the USSR in April 1942. He
      > volunteered or was volunteered to transfer to the 1PAD, and from Persia he went
      > to Iraq, Palestine and Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, before landing in
      > Scotland.
      > He was an ammunition truck driver and was with the Division through France,
      > Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. I followed the same route by bicycle this
      > summer (along with the Division's path through Scotland and England) and have
      > many photos, including monuments and cemeteries.
      > I have been doing a some research on the Division as well, and would be
      > delighted to share/exchange materials with your friend. Please feel free to pass
      > along my address and my part of this message.
      > Those who are on Facebook can check out the group "1st Polish Armoured
      > Division".
      > John Halucha
      > Sault Ste Marie, Canada
      >
      >
      >
      > ________________________________
      > From: Sheila Bannister <sheila@...>
      > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
      > Cc: richardpach@...
      > Sent: Tue, November 30, 2010 10:43:55 AM
      > Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] do you know of any descendents of General Maczek's
      > soldiers
      >
      >
      > Forgot to mention that my grandfather Hipolit was born in Balta near Odessa
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Sheila Bannister
      > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
      > Cc: richardpach@...
      > Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 3:39 PM
      > Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] do you know of any descendents of General Maczek's
      > soldiers
      >
      > Hello Ricahrd
      >
      > My fater was born in Bydogoszcz in 1922 (his father was stationed at the
      > military school there) and at the outbreak of ww2 lived in Czortkow. His father
      > major Hipolit Wojciechowski was commendant of Czortkow PKU. Wojciechowski is a
      > very common name in Poland like our Smith. I intend to visit Breda hopefully
      > next year.
      >
      > Kind regards
      > Sheila
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Richard Pach
      > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Monday, November 29, 2010 10:21 PM
      > Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] do you know of any descendents of General Maczek's
      > soldiers
      >
      > My father Ryszard Boguslaw Pach also served under General Maczek and took part
      > in the action at Breda. I have a question for you Shiela. Where did your father
      > come from? I note your surname. My great grandmother was Petronella
      > Wojciechowska who married Maximilian Pach.
      >
      > Richard Pach
      >
      > ________________________________
      > From: Sheila Bannister <sheila@...>
      > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Sun, November 28, 2010 8:02:20 PM
      > Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] do you know of any descendents of General Maczek's
      > soldiers
      >
      > Hi
      >
      > My late father Wojciech Stanislaw Wojciechowski was one of his soldiers
      >
      > Sheila Bannister (Wojciechowska)
      > Chesterfiled, UK
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Jan Prygoda
      > To: kresy-siberia@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Sunday, November 28, 2010 1:21 PM
      > Subject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] do you know of any descendents of General Maczek's
      > soldiers
      >
      > There is a general Maczek museum in Breda (the Netherlands). The Poles of Maczek
      >
      > liberated Breda.
      >
      > http://www.maczekmuseum.nl/
      >
      > Jan
      >
      > To: 300PolishSquadron@yahoogroups.com; Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
      > From: lucynaartymiuk@...
      > Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2010 22:11:26 +1100
      > Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] do you know of any descendents of General Maczek's
      > soldiers
      >
      > http://historyton.pl/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=12468
      >
      > I have recently established contact with a gentleman researching General
      > Maczek's formation if you know of any one pl contact me
      >
      > Lucyna
      >
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    • henrykter
      Hi John, John & all! Re Breda, this site caught my eye:http://www.the-polish-soldier.nl/ My own father was in Breda, some sort of military traffic police I
      Message 2 of 10 , Dec 1, 2010
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        Hi John, John & all!

        Re Breda, this site caught my eye:http://www.the-polish-soldier.nl/

        My own father was in Breda, some sort of military traffic police I believe. I am just in the process of getting hold of any records.

        About 30 years ago my dad and I stopped off in Breda on the way back(to UK) from a trip to Poland. He wanted to look up an old girlfriend :)
        We found someone, it got a bit confused, but he thought it was her - married to another Polish ex serviceman. Her name had been 'de Laat'
        This is all I know for now.

        Sounds like maybe many Polish servicemen took up with local Breda girls!
        Regards, Henryk

        ps. some severe winter weather in Poland / kresy today!
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