Photo taken in:GryfowYear when photo was taken:1955Country name at time of photo:PolandCountry name today:Poland
This my civil wedding picture. Julia and I got married on 5th December 1955 in Gryfow. I?m wearing the uniform of the Polish People's Army. We went to a professional photographer to take this picture, but I do not remember where exactly. Naturally we didn't have a church wedding. I couldn't have a church wedding as a political officer because they'd have dismissed me from the army at once and I wouldn't even have got any pension. We had a civil wedding and that's how we've stayed until now. A modest ceremony. There were a few officers from Luban and a few of my wife's friends. And that was all. It was in my wife's apartment. I met Julia in the summer of 1954. At that time it was quite fashionable, both in the army and among young people, to forge cultural and entertainment links between workplaces and the army. I was one of the ones in the army who went round workplaces and organized it all. Julia worked in Gryfow, not far from Luban, in a clothing factory. She ran this art club for the ZMP. They had a theater group in the works, an amateur one, and my wife used to come with them to us. We had this little stage in the base. I know for certain that they put on Moliere. One moment, what was it? The Nobleman - something like that. And then afterwards, after the performance, there would be a party for everyone too. My wife's maiden name was Musial, she's Polish, born on 9th January 1931 in Szczakowa. I know that as a child she used to go to the nearby villages to graze cows. Her mother was a housewife, and her father a worker, he worked in the local tannery. When the war broke out they got their things together and left Szczakowa, because they'd found out that that was going to be the Reich. And it was. The border between the Reich and the General Governorship was between Trzebinia and Jaworzno, in Dulowa. They were on the move several days, after which they went back home, because I don't think they had anywhere to go. My wife said that they had a very bad time of it under the occupation. They lived very, very modestly. After the war my wife first did a course in tailoring somewhere near Katowice or in Katowice. Then she moved to Wroclaw, because she had an uncle there who worked in secret security. Quite an important post he had. Then she learned the trade at a vocational school in Wroclaw, where she also worked in a clothing factory. And because she was quite talented that way and she was generally liked, her factory sent her to Lodz to what they called a Technical High School for Prominent Workers. Workplaces sent future employees for management posts there, ones without an education. And they had to get that education while they were working, because there was a lack of management staff. My wife ended up in Gryfow a little by chance, because after graduating from school it was there that she was sent to work. Before, there used to be employment orders, and not that you worked wherever you wanted to, only you had to work where they wanted. First she was in the post of ZMP chairperson, and then she rose to the position of head of production of a factory employing 1,700 people. She was in the party too. At that time, when we were living in Luban, the town had 20-something thousand inhabitants. What kind of life there was there? None. One cinema, but no-one went to the cinema. No television as such then, it wasn't until later years that we had a television set. And other than that we used to go for walks. We had neighbors, friends. Our children were born there. First a daughter, Bozena Anita in 1956, and later, in 1961, a son, Mariusz. The children went to elementary school there. That was the first school in Luban, the so-called secular one. Its directors were party people, and mostly officers' children went there. Those were the requirements in the army of officers, that everything be without religion. But in all in terms of our life in Luban, we did quite well. My wife earned fairly well, at first even more than me. The children had what they needed. I'd say it was like this, that I'd lived in terrible poverty, and I wanted my children not to know that kind of poverty. So I did everything so that the children would have it good. And that's why I say that I had that army career - I did it, so I did it, to have some kind of good life.