AC2019.10.01 – Koucky Doll

A Story of Survival

Mary Ann (Ladic) Koucky made this doll as a child in a Second World War Japanese prison camp. Her family moved to the Philippines in 1937, where her father worked in the Baguio gold mines. The Imperial Japanese Army invaded the islands in 1941, reaching Baguio that December, and took Mary Ann and her family prisoner.

She lost all her possessions as she was moved to various camps. However, with the help of some English women, she made this doll out of a towel and cloth they had been using to make dresses. Mary Ann carried it throughout her time as a prisoner of war, using it for comfort as she witnessed the beatings and other physical punishment of fellow prisoners. American forces (including her cousin) liberated Mary Ann in 1945 and she kept this doll as a reminder of the hardship and perseverance she experienced during her captivity.

Gift of Mary Ann Koucky, 2019


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