After a Polish Admiral of German descent Józef Unrug was taken prisoner during WW2, his former Imperial German Navy friends came to visit him. Unrug refused to speak German with them, saying that he had forgotten that language in September 1939 the day Germany invaded Poland

Józef Unrug

Józef Unrug (German: Joseph von Unruh; 7 October 1884 – 28 February 1973) was a Polish admiral who helped reestablish Poland’s navy after World War I. During the opening stages of World War II, he served as the Polish Navy’s commander-in-chief. As a German POW, he refused all German offers to change sides and was incarcerated in several Oflags, including Colditz Castle. He stayed in exile after the war in the United Kingdom, Morocco and France where he died and was buried. In September 2018 he was posthumously promoted in the rank of Admiral of the fleet by the President of Poland. After 45 years his remains, along with those of his wife Zofia, were exhumed from Montrésor and taken in October 2018 to his final resting place in Gdynia, Polan… Continue Reading (4 minute read)

8 thoughts on “After a Polish Admiral of German descent Józef Unrug was taken prisoner during WW2, his former Imperial German Navy friends came to visit him. Unrug refused to speak German with them, saying that he had forgotten that language in September 1939 the day Germany invaded Poland”

  1. MateDude098

    Fun fact, he bought the first marine ship for Polish Navy because the Germans after WWI didn’t want to sell it to the Poles

  2. UncleDek

    Another cool fact: he was only recently exhumed from France (Montrésor) to be buried in Poland. One of his last wishes was to buried next to his officers the day Poland finally knew peace. Negotiations pulled through and the Polish Navy finally took him by boat to Gdynia in October 2018 to have an official burial ceremony. He now rests at peace next to his fellow officers !

    Source: proud great great grandson

  3. Beachy5313

    “To the irritation of the Germans, Unrug would always insist on having a translator present or communicating in French, when speaking with the Germans, even though he was a native German speaker.”

    I am here for this level of petty; he deserves a slow clap.

  4. Brausepaul77

    Thanks for sharing. Any information on why he left Germany at all?

  5. HydrolicKrane

    helps to better understand why Ukrainians refuse to speak Russian since 2014

    If anyone has not read the book ‘Ukraine & the United States’, I strongly advise you do

  6. J_G_B

    The fact that he lived to the age of 88 makes me happy (being a POW of Nazis and shit usually shortens the lifespan).

  7. yuzhnan

    This is the most surreal story I’ve heard in a while. A Germany-born German fought to defend Gdańsk during WW2, and refused to switch side after being captured. At the time he wouldn’t have known Soviets and Allies would crush Nazi in a few years, but he pulled through anyway. Take my respect, sir.

  8. Huck84

    One side of my family fled from Turek, PL. The other side fought in the European theater and was captured during Battle of the Bulge and taken to Stalag 9B Bad Orb. It’s one thing both sides of my family could agree on; a hatred of Germans and Nazis.

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