Couriers Sadeccy on a commemorative postcard

The Polish Post commemorated the Sądecki Couriers, patrons of Primary School No. 17 in Poręba Mała, which celebrates its 120th anniversary this year. The prepared postcard presents photos of the patrons of this historical educational institution, who served the Polish Underground State during World War II.

The official presentation of the postcard took place on December 29 this year at the District Museum in Nowy Sącz. The idea of issuing the card was to commemorate selected patrons of the school. The card is addressed to young people so that they never forget thanks to whom the next generations can live in a free Homeland. The current school building was put into use in 1978. Founded in 1840 in Zeleźnikowa, the educational institution witnessed many important and often dramatic events, including world wars. It was occupied by various invaders, and the fights between them, such as during the Soviet-German struggle during World War II, caused a lot of destruction.

The school gained current patrons in 1998. And it was they who became the heroes of the graphics of the philatelic issue. Photos of the patrons of the school couriers of the Polish Underground State: Jan Freisler, Roman Stramka and Klemens Gucwa, the author of graphics Błażej Targosz placed against the background of bricks of the wall next to the illustration of a stone in front of the school with a decorative inscription: TO LOCAL COURIERS SĄDECKI IN ARMED STRUGGLE. On the other side there is an illustration of the façade of the school in the background, exposed so delicately that content can be applied to it.

The Polish Post is pleased to accept the invitation to participate in this unique event commemorating 120 years of the history of the Primary School in Poręba Mała. Our contribution is the publication of a historical greeting card, which is a kind of tribute to the local community and patrons of this educational institution, i.e. Kuriery Sądeckie. Nowadays, we should pay special tribute to the memory of heroes fighting for freedom for the nation and future generations – said Andrzej Bodziony, Vice-President of the Management Board of Poczta Polska.

Jan Freisler „Xavier” (1914–1964) was one of the most outstanding war couriers. He moved people and delivered parcels in the realities of the Soviet and German occupation. He was also active on the route to Budapest. In the last months of the war he fought in the Home Army partisans. In 1945 he escaped to the West. After completing his last mission as a courier of the Special Branch of the Commander-in-Chief’s Staff to the leadership of the post-Home Army underground in Poland, he was arrested and sentenced to death. After being pardoned, he spent 10 years in prison.

Klemens Konstanty Gucwa was a pre-war sportsman and soldier, and during the war a courier of the Polish Underground State. He was shot by Slovak border guards near the Hungarian Košice, during a courier mission to Budapest. He was a friend of Jan Freisler from the family yard. He was awarded the Virtuti Militari Cross.

Roman Stramka was a guide and courier of the Home Army and the „W” outpost in Budapest across the „green border”. He was a great cross-country skier, vice-champion of the 1953 Polish in the 53 km run, coach and ski instructor. During the war, he became famous for daring escapes from the hands of the enemy, including the Gestapo prison in Nowy Sącz. For his merits he was awarded the Virtuti Militari Cross.

Photo: Uruszula Sikoń