In memory of my great-grandfather, Franciszek Wladyslaw Kozicki, 1897-1931
Franciszek Wladyslaw Kozicki was born in 1897 in Lviv, Poland (present Ukraine). He fought in the war against the Bolsheviks in 1920, for which he received the Cross of Valour. For many years he had worked as a border guard on the Polish-Czechoslovakian border. In September 1939, following the German invasion of Poland, Franciszek was conscripted to the Polish Army. In October the same year he returned to his wife and two children as a civilian. A month after, he was arrested by the NKVD and imprisoned in Maladzyechna, present Belarus.
When his wife went to visit Franciszek in the prison, at the end of 1939, she heard: “there is nobody of that name here”. Despite extensive search, no further information became available of Franciszek’s fate.
On April 13, 1940 Franciszek’s wife and children were forcefully sent down to Kazakhstan. Despite excruciating and deadly conditions, they managed to survive, and came back to Poland after six years.
As of 2017, Franciszek’s children, Wladyslaw and Halina, are still with us to tell the story.