Polish Scout and Warsaw Resistance Fighter Speaks at Tuscarora High School
Julian Kulski shared his experience as a Polish Boy Scout with Scouts from Northern Virginia. He joined an underground movement when the Nazis invaded his nation in 1939, when he was only 10.
Julian Kulski, the son of a former mayor of Warsaw, Poland, spoke to a large crowd at Tuscarora High School Wednesday night. He shared his experience as a Polish Boy Scout who had joined an underground movement when the Nazis invaded his nation in 1939. He was only 10 years old when the war began.
“I was a Boy Scout during the Second World War and the Polish Boy Scouts fought very bravely during the war,” Kulski said. “They basically saved my life … being prepared for the horror of the Second World War. In the Battle of Warsaw 1944, tens of thousands of my buddies, Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, died and it’s a story which I want people to know.”
After the Germans invaded Poland, the Nazis directed that all schools be closed and that any patriotic clubs and organizations be disbanded under penalty of death.
Concerned about his son's safety, Kulski’s father urged him to move in with his Scoutmaster, Ludwik Berger, who later revealed the existence of a secret military organization, the Union of Armed Resistance.
Berger asked Kulski if he wanted to participate. He joined in July 1941 at the age of 12.
“I was only 12 but grown up enough to understand the most important requirement of all: willingness to give one’s life in the fight for freedom,” Kulski wrote in his book, Legacy of the White Eagle. “I felt more than ready.”
Kulski's troop became part of the Polish Resistance and staged a number of events in defense of the Polish people.
On night, during a troop "outing," Kulski's Scoutmaster died, sacrificing himself so his Scouts could avoid capture and likely torture. The boys escaped and in 1945, liberation began to become a reality. Kulski was 16 years old when he became free and made his way to the United States.
Ric Terrazas, a retired Army veteran and Boy Scout leader, traveled from Purcellville with his son Bryan, 13, to hear Kulski speak.
“I’m sure he’s got an awesome story to tell,” Terrazas said. “My father served, my grandfather served, so military tradition runs in our family. And for a Boy Scout to have served his nation … this is what we can only expect from other people in Scouting.”
Virginia Del. Randy Minchew (R-10th), an active member and Scoutmaster for the Loudoun County Boy Scouts, said he had the opportunity to meet Kulski about a year ago.
“I do not ever recall hearing such an inspirational, first-hand story,” Minchew said. He decided to work with his friends in Scouting to arrange for the free event.
“I think tonight’s message is primarily the importance of courage,” Minchew said. “It seems that our young people of Loudoun do not have the chance to hear enough inspirational stories from members of the greatest generation.”
A 20-minute film showcased Kulski’s experiences prior to a discussion and the signing of his book.
“It’s one of the few programs which honor God, the country and patriotism,” Kulski said, adding that it was a great pleasure talking to the scouts. “I connect with them. I become a 12-year-old myself.”
“It’s a rare opportunity to hear somebody speak who was actually a part of World War II,” said Kulski’s friend Kim Hart. “It says that young people can do something for their country when they're asked to do it.”