The legacy of
Bogdan J. Kwieciński
Colonel Bogdan Józef Kwieciński – an aviator, a soldier of three wars, a military diplomat, an activist of Polish and international sports aviation. These roles would have been enough for several biographies. However, all relate to a single character. From veteran of German forces participating in the WWI campaign in Palestine to Canadian citizen involved in the United Nations' activities and from British POW to recipient of the Order of the British Empire seems a long way indeed, but these are only hints of Bogdan J. Kwieciński's story. A story that translates to an essential part of the history of Polish aviation with its ties to international aviation.
Thanks to Ms. Hanna M. Pappius, the daughter of colonel B. Kwieciński, the legacy of this exceptional man has returned to Poland. It is indeed a rarity. Usually, the Poles who during the Second World War found themselves in the West as wartime refugees, going through Hungarian and Romanian internment camps, Mediterranean ports, soviet gulags and Asiatic steppes, would retain hardly any possessions other than their own lives. In contrast, Bogdan J. Kwieciński left the country even before the war, as Polish military and aviation attaché sent to London. Moving to a place that would be his home for several years, he took with him his collection of decorations, memoirs, aviation accessories as well as his personal archive and library.
This broad and invaluable collection of photographs, accessories, prints and uniform pieces has been donated to the Polish Aviation Museum by Ms. Hanna M. Pappius. The collection is a substantial contribution to aviation heritage, that the Museum is tasked with protecting and developing. The heritage composed of a mosaic of objects, stories and images so full of tone and detail as was the aviator's life of Bogdan J. Kwieciński.
Selected objects from the collection are currently on display as a temporary exhibition on display till December 2013. The archive of Bogdan J. Kwieciński will be subsequently digitized and published online.