Meeting World War II Soldier In Krakow, Poland


This was an evening after a long day in Aug 2012. I was roaming in Krakow’s old town area in Poland. One of those unstructured times during travels, where you aimlessly roam observing and absorbing the place. We suddenly saw some old soldiers marching past in their full army get up and reach what looked like some kind of a memorial. Curiously we followed them and requested our Polish guide to help us converse with these charming gentlemen. She graciously obliged and here we were talking to Major Wlodzimierz Wowa Brodecki, who was a young World War II Soldier.

Meeting a World War II Soldier in Poland
Meeting a World War II Soldier in Poland

World War II Soldier

Looking smart and handsome in his crisp Army uniform with all his medals proudly shining on his chest, with his head still looking upwards. He was more alert even at the age of 88 than anyone else around. He was the center of attraction and posed smilingly for every camera. And everyone who wanted to be seen clicked with him. Once done with the formalities of the event, that it seems was well covered by the local press, he started telling us the stories. He said he was a part of a Cavalry unit and hence rode horses.

Medals of a World War II Soldier
Medals of a World War II Soldier


He carried with him a photo album, that showed him on the horse at various places in Europe. This turned out to be the most interesting story. After he retired, every year he would ride the horse to one of the places where the war took place. And pay homage to soldiers who died there. These pictures chronicled his homage to paying journeys for many many years. One of the pictures was taken at the very place we were standing, just a few years back. I took pictures of his pictures to be able to tell his story to you.

Memories of a World War II Soldier
Memories of a soldier

The lack of a common language kept the conversation in check. We found out that he was keen to share the stories of Indian soldiers who had fought during the war and whom he had met. After some thousand photographs and briefly interrupted conversations as we were saying Good-Byes, Major told us that his mother-in-law runs a guesthouse in case we needed a place to stay in Krakow. My first thought was ‘You are 88, how old must be your mother-in-law?’ but then I quickly realized that your mother-in-law’s age need not be related to your age. And whatever her and your age may be, you must always work for her…:-)

This was one of the meetings that would always stay with me in my memory.

Recommend you to read the following Things to do in Krakow & Poland Tourist Attractions.

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Schindler Museum

Walk around Krakow Old Town

Walkthrough Zakopane – Ski Town of Poland

European Quartet – First Impressions


  1. Ohhhh! this must be an awesome experience. Actually traveling is a mysterious journey to the unknown with lots of excitements ahead.

  2. It seems an interesting experience. What he told you about the war and post war? I’m wondering what were all those badges for..

    Nice photographs btw.

    • @Explorable India

      Please, do some more research before posting a comment. The uniform and medals couldn’t be more Polish even with POLISH written on them with capital letters. Not to mention gentleman’s surname

      • Gentleman’s name is exactly how it is written on his visiting card…thank you for telling me that uniform and medals are Polish. He was a part of some Polish celebration on August 1, so I assume it has to be Polish.


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