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Kazimir Ladny - Immigrant Stories

Kazimir Ladny is a Polish WW II veteran. He was captured by the Russians in late 1939, spending the winter in a Siberian POW camp. He was then exchanged with the Germans, and spent the remainder of the war as a slave laborer. Liberated in 1945, he married a German war widow, but struggled to survive, even dabbling in the black market before finally emigrating to America in 1951, selecting Springfield, Illinois as his new home.

Interview Links

Feature Exerpt

Coming to Springfield

Abstract

Interview Session 03 (Audio)

From German slave laborer to liberation

Interview Session 04 (Audio)

Two Kazmirs reunite

Transcript

Videos

Photos

Caption

Wedding portrait for Kazimir and Adele (Lambertz) Libertus, on the occasion of their church wedding on June 23, 1945.

Where:

Unknown

When:

June 23, 1945

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Kazimir Ladny and Kazimir Tafil. Childhood friends, both were in WWII, and each thinking the other had died in the war, met after 60 years in Siedlce, Poland.

Where:

Siedlce, Poland

When:

Circa 2005

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Tafil, at 15-16 yrs. old was taken to Auschwitz with 3 older brothers who were killed there, they were more educated, high school level. Kazimir survived. The Germans thought he was young and weak and no threat to their cause. He was there 1941-1945.

Where:

Siedlce, Poland

When:

Circa 2005

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

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Caption

Kazimir Ladny and Kazimir Tafil standing in front of the chapel that Tafil built on his property in Siedlce, Poland. Tafil built the chapel to give thanks for his survival through the "hell on earth" that was Auschwitz.

Where:

Siedlce, Poland

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The altar inside Kazimir Tafil's chapel where mass could be held. The picture on the left depicts Maximilian Kolbe, a priest who was also a prisoner at Auschwitz.

Where:

Siedlce, Poland

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo.

Caption

Kazimir Tafil shows Kazimir Ladny and Mary Efin photos outside Tafil's chapel in Siedlce, Poland.

Where:

Siedlce, Poland

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo.

Caption

Plaques at the chapel in Siedlce, Poland reading “God Honor Fatherland” and “In Memory”.

Where:

Siedlce, Poland

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo.

Caption

Plaque at the chapel in Siedlce, Poland reading: “Project and Builder, Kazimierz Tafil. Thoughtful to God for my survival through this hell on earth in Auschwitz, 1941-1945.”

Where:

Siedlce, Poland

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo.

Caption

Kazimir Tafil and a friend discussing his experiences.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo.

Caption

Stanislaw Ivanovs, Kazimir Tafil, Mary Efin, and Kazimir Ladny on August 19, 2002, standing in front of the chapel built by K. Tafil in Siedlce, Poland.

Where:

Siedlce, Poland

When:

August 19, 2002

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo.

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