born March 6, 1927
Bogdan Jaskulski, Czestochowa (Poland), July 1945 (private collection)
Bogdan Jaskulski was born in Ługi, near Cze˛stochowa. One of four children, he grew up in the town of Bolesławiec on the German-Polish border, where his father worked as a border guard and his mother as a teacher. After the invasion of Poland, the town was annexed into the Reichsgau Wartheland region and was renamed Bolkenburg. Bogdan Jaskulski’s family was expelled and forced to move to the town of Cze˛stochowa in the occupied Generalgouvernement.
Bogdan Jaskulski joined the Szare Szeregi underground scouting association. In the night of May 3, 1944, Bogdan Jaskulski and other scout members decorated the town of Cze˛stochowa with Polish national flags. The following day, Bogdan Jaskulski was arrested and interrogated by the Gestapo. In late June, he was deported to Flossenbürg via the Groß-Rosen concentration camp. Since Bogdan was only seventeen, the SS assigned him to Block 19, the barrack for underage prisoners. In Flossenbürg, Bogdan Jaskulski was forced to work twelve hours a day as a precision riveter in the Messerschmitt factory. Occasional letters and packages of food which arrived from his parents helped him survive the harsh conditions. On April 20, 1945, Bogdan was sent on the death march and was liberated three days later near Cham by the approaching Americans.
Bogdan Jaskulski, second from right, with other scout members, Cze˛stochowa (Poland) 1944, shortly before his arrest (private collection)
In July 1945, Bogdan Jaskulski returned to Poland, and later attended the State Maritime School in Gdynia. Until his retirement in 1987, Bogdan Jaskulski sailed in the Polish merchant marines, where he served as captain for 20 years.
Bogdan Jaskulski as merchant marine captain, 1987 (private collection)