A lot of important artifacts were lost during World War II, but some memorabilia have a way of resurfacing. And when they do, museums do their very best to preserve them for prosperity. But why are they so important? They’re a link to the past. Some of the items found, like weapons and uniforms, once belonged to the soldiers who fought to stay alive while trying to keep the world safe. But while some items belonged to those who are no longer with us, there are some things that belong to people who are alive and breathing. And what the Ogniwo Polish Museum Society found in the pocket of one uniform, was simply impossible to accept.It was a World War II uniform, which was once worn by a soldier in the Polish Army. The uniform also came with a pair of brown leather boots. But when the museum’s archivist, Marta Dabros, looked inside one of the pockets, she noticed that there was more to this uniform than met the eye.
The photographs were black-and-white and taken in the army. It also gave Dabros a look into the life of the man who had once put on the uniform over 70 years ago, and it was clear that this soldier had a very rich life in the military.
Her investigation paid off. The uniform used to belong to a medical officer in the Polish army named Lucas Kulczycki. After the war, Kulczycki decided to move to Manitoba, and he left his uniform behind him.
Dabros learned that Kulczycki had lived in Boston and then Washington, and he had specialized in the study of cystic fibrosis. He was also one heck of an amazing pediatrician, according to Dabros. But the question remained, was he still alive?
Dabros was eager to return the uniform to the former Polish soldier because it was the right thing to do. Eventually, she reached out to his daughter, Dorothy Kulczycki Schilder, and Schilder couldn’t believe that her dad’s 70-year-old uniform was still around.
Dabros made sure that the uniform was delicately placed inside the box, so it could be given to Kulczycki’s daughter, who graciously accepted the uniform from Dabros and the museum. Then, she decided to give her dad one of the best surprises of his life.
Kulczycki was able to try on the uniform, which brought back so many memories. His daughter told Global News that: “We put the jacket and the hat on him and it still kind of fit, it was a little snug fit. He smiled and he seemed to have some recognition of some of the items and photos.”
Sadly, the veteran passed away on May 3rd, just a few weeks after he got his uniform back. But at least he had some time to reconnect with his past, and thanks to the museum, his story will continue to go on and on.
She felt that her father would have wanted the story of his military history to be shared with everyone as opposed to having the uniform locked up in some cabinet inside her home. At least now, the donated items will have a special place.