THE “Brechin Advertiser” has been contacted by a Polish man who is seeking information on a local woman who played a role in helping some of his countrymen during the Second World War.
Sebastian Rakowski is researching a book, which he hopes to have published shortly, featuring stories and memories of the Polish resistance.
Members of the 14th Cavalry Regiment of Poland were stationed in Brechin during hostilities and a number of their men and officers went on to take part in one of the Second World War’s most blood-sapping battles at Monte Cassino in Italy.
Sebastian said: “I am getting in touch to ask for help in finding descendants of a citizen of your town, Mrs. A. Graham, who lived at 6 Cookston Road during World War II.”
Sebastian enclosed a letter said to have been written by Mrs Graham to the headquarters of Polish Army in England.
Mrs Graham was keen to learn of the whereabouts of a Lieutenant Jozef Czuma, the soldier she had opened her home up to while the Polish servicemen were in Brechin.
Sebastian went on to explain that he is writing a book on Polish resistance, precisely on a unit of partisans commanded by Lieutenant Jozef Czuma.
“The enclosed letter suggests that between June 1940 and August 1942 Lieutenant Czuma lived at Mrs. Graham and her husband’s place.
“I am looking for any trace of Lieutenant Czuma’s stay in your town.
“At that time he was a soldier of 14 Cavalry Regiment in 10 Armoured Brigade of the Polish Armed Forces based in the neighbourhood of Brechin.
Perhaps there are still people who can remember Czuma. Perhaps some descendants of Mrs Graham and her husband still live in the town. I am interested in all kinds of documents, photos and information.
“Lieutenant Czuma was dropped by parachute onto the area of occupied Poland in April 1943, where next he commanded a unit of partisans.
“He was arrested by Gestapo in July 1944 in Warsaw and murdered. Lieutenant Czuma is a very important person in the history of our region, and the memory of him is still vivid.
“I would be very grateful for the assistance of the people of Brechin in my search.”
Sebastian’s story is one that not only contains some fascinating stories relating to the Polish resistance’s on-going struggle after Germany invaded the country, but also underlines some of the great acts of bravery carried out by its members in far flung corners of the world.
Anyone who wishes to get in touch with Sebastian can do so by writing to Sebastian Rakowski, Museum of Otwock Land, (Muzeum Ziemi Otwockiej), Ul. Narutowicza 205-400 Otwock, Poland; or by email at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com