Oral Histories: Polish Girls of Santa Rosa, Mexico and Detroit, Michigan


(Photo: Archives of the Felician Sisters, Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Province, Livonia, Michigan)

Currently, The Polish Mission is completing plans to honor the Catholic Poles who came to Michigan after WWII. We  received a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council to document the campus museums. The grant also allows us to record the stories of Catholic Holocaust survivors, Displaced Persons, and Poles who settled in Michigan as the result of World War II. We’re holding a weekend event in September and will publish a museum(s) catalog. We are also developing lesson plans for teachers. We are collaborating with the Director of Warsaw’s Muzeum Wojska Polskiego who is developing a similar project.

In light of the forthcoming commemoration, we are researching the children in exile- those expelled by the Russians from their homes and sent to the Soviet “gulag”. We have compiled a a list of the 25 young women who came to the Guardian Angels Home after World War II (listed below). We found a great deal of information on ancestry.com and have articles from Sister M. Elaine, Archivist, Felician Motherhouse in Livonia, Michigan.

The girls arrived in the US via the SS Hermitage sailing from Bombay, India to San Pedro, California on 24 Oct 1943. They were taken to the Polish refugee camp of Santa Rosa in Leon, Mexico. They left Santa Rosa by train and entered the United States at Laredo, Texas 10 May 1946.

Polish Girls of Colonia Santa Rosa, Mexico and Detroit, Michigan

  • Beltkowski, Teresa
  • Bera, Emilia Rozalia
  • Birecka, Romualda
  • Brochocka, Kazimiera
  • Huk, Maria
  • Jarzab, Apolonia
  • Karpowicz, Waldyslawa
  • Kolesnikowicz, Lidia
  • Kolesnikowicz, Maria
  • Kolesnikowicz, Nadzieja
  • Kowalska, Wictoria
  • Kuzmicz, Krystyn
  • Katkowska, Kazimiera
  • Kwiatkowska, Teresa
  • Lew, Janina
  • Mazurczak, Maria
  • Michalska, Irena
  • Michalska, Waclawa
  • Mitura, Lucyna
  • Mrorzik, Genowefa
  • Pakiet, Lucja
  • Pluto, Antonina
  • Pluto, Wanda
  • Rajchel, Janina
  • Saraniecka, Stefania
  • Sedziuk, Leokadia
  • Kuc, Danuta