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Video Part II

Stolen Childhood: A Saga of Polish War Children

by Lucjan Krolikowski
ISBN: 9780595168637

The post-WWII adventures of 150 Polish children deported to Russian and ultimately rescued by a Franciscan priest who was branded a kidnapper by a Communist government.

Stolen Childhood is the story of what happened to some 380,000 Polish children who, with their families, were rounded up by Stalin’s orders in 1939 and deported into Asiatic Russia. Lucjan Krolikowski, a young seminarian also deported there, shared and witnessed the suffering of his fellow Poles.

Freed by an “amnesty,” he joined the Polish Army, and when it moved to the Middle East, Lucjan resumed his theology studies, pronounced his vows, and became a chaplain to a Polish military hospital in Egypt. Reassigned to refugee camps in East Africa, Fr. Lucjan and the wandering Polish children met again in 1947–a meeting that began a long and loving relationship.

In 1949 when the Warsaw Communists claimed guardianship of the Polish orphans in Africa and demanded their repatriation, Fr. Lucjan was forced into a world of international intrigue. Called by the Communists “a kidnapper on an international scale,” to his orphans, he was the good shepherd who led them to Canada, where he helped his charges overcome the theft of their childhood and become secure adults in a new world. Stolen Childhood is the book of memories he wrote for them, and a cautionary history for people of good will.

Fr. Lucjan Krolikowski, born in 1919, now lives and works in Chicopee, MA.