Fonds A-2020-004 - Maslanka Family fonds

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Maslanka Family fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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CA OPMA A-2020-004

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Physical description

0.1 m of textual and photographic records (22 photographs).

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Jan was born on January 10, 1923 in Trembowla, Poland, to Wojciech and Agnieszka Maslanka.
During the Second World War, Jan was a Military Engineer/Sapper, serving with the 5th Sapper Battalion of the 5th Infantry Division of the Polish Army. He served in the Polish II Corps in Italy, and saw action at Monte Cassino, later receiving the Monte Cassino Commemorative Cross on June 19, 1945. Jan was enlisted into the Polish Resettlement Corps in 1947 and released to the Reserves in 1949 in order to work as a tailor in Nottingham, England. He was officially discharged from the Resettlement Corps in 1949. In February 1950, sponsored by his brother Ignacy who had already emigrated to Winnipeg, Jan departed for Canada via Liverpool. He sailed from Liverpool to Montreal on the Franconia, departing on June 29, 1950 and arriving in Canada on July 6, 1950. Jan married Jozefa (Josephine) Drapala on October 4, 1952. He obtained Canadian Citizenship on June 22, 1956. He was a member of the Canadian Legion British Empire Service League, A. Mynarski Branch #34. He had one child, son Chris, together with his wife Jozefa (Josephine).
Jan died October 25, 2012 and was interned at Holy Ghost Cemetery in Winnipeg.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Jozefa was born on June 12, 1928 in Wola Korybutowiecka, (Wolyn) Poland, to parents Wawrzyniec and Karolina. At the outbreak of the Second World War, the Drapala family was displaced to Wisniowiec, Poland, following invasion by the Soviet Union and by Ukrainian nationalists. In 1940, the family was again displaced, ordered by Russian soldiers onto train cars bound for Siberian labour camps. Jozefa remained in various camps until 1942, at times seperated from her father and her brothers Mieczyslaw (Mitch) and Tadeusz (Tad). In 1942, Jozefa’s mother and her brother Mieczyslaw left for training with the Red Cross for Pachlevi, Iran. Jozefa remained in an orphanage in Russia. Eventually, she was reunited with her mother, and the pair made their way to Tehran to locate Ted, who had been hospitalized there due to tuberculosis.
Jozefa received her grade school education in various displaced persons camps: in Tehran (1942-1943), in Ahvaz (1943-1944), and in Nazareth (1944-1946), where she joined the Army School for Girls.
Under the Polish Resettlement Corps, the Drapala family made their way to England, where Jozefa completed her schooling at Foxley Camp before being discharged in 1948.
The Drapala family landed in Quebec in 1948, and travelled by rail to Winnipeg. Jozefa married Jan Maslanka on October 4, 1952. She worked as a tailor and seamstress at Mallabar Apparel and Chateau in Winnipeg. Together with husband Jan, they had one child, son Chris.
Jozefa died on November 14, 2016.

Custodial history

The custodial history of the fonds was not noted at the original time of donation; it is likely that the records were donated to the Museum in 2012 by Josephine (Jozefa) Drapala.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of textual and photographic records related to the military service and resettlement/emigration to Canada of Jan Drapala. The fonds also consists of textual and photographic records related to the education and resettlement of Jozefa (nee Drapala) Maslanka. Of note are the photographs showing the living quarters at the Displaced Persons’ camp in Nazareth, Israel, where Josephine completed her schooling. The fonds also contains some handwritten biographical notes of Josephine Maslanka.

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Physical condition

The items are in fragile condition and should be handled with care under the supervision of an Ogniwo Polish Museum staff member.

Immediate source of acquisition


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  • Polish
  • French
  • English

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There are no restrictions on access.

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Users must abide by relevant copyright legislation.

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The finding aid was created and uploaded in 2020.

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  • English

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