The Color of Courage
A Boy at War: The World War II
Diary of Julian Kulski
by Julian E. Kulski
"If there is going to be a war, I do not want to miss it."
— Julian Kulski, age 10
So writes Julian Kulski a few days before the outbreak of World War II, in this remarkable diary of a boy at war from ages 10 to 16. As the
war unfolds through his eyes, we are privileged to meet a rare soul of indomitable will, courage and compassion.
Kulski, the son of the Deputy Mayor of Warsaw, is a 10-year-old Boy Scout when the Germans invade Poland in September 1939. He soon begins
waging his own private war against the Germans with small acts of sabotage. At age 12, Kulski is recruited into the clandestine Underground Army by his Scoutmaster and begins training in military
tactics and weapons handling. At 13, he accompanies his commander on a secret mission into the Warsaw Ghetto to liaise with leaders of the Jewish Resistance.
Arrested by the Gestapo at age 14, Kulski is incarcerated in the notorious Pawiak Prison, beaten, interrogated at Gestapo headquarters, and
sentenced to Auschwitz. After being rescued, he joins the Ninth Commando Company of the Underground Army, and at age 15 fights in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.
Taken prisoner by the Germans, 16-year-old Kulski ends the war in a POW camp, finally risking a dash for freedom onto an American truck
instead of waiting for "liberation" by the Soviets.
"I can't say I really want to die, but I can see now that there are times when one has to be prepared to do just
— Julian Kulski, age 12
- More than 150 photos, maps and illustrations
- 2 Appendices
- Contextualizing historical material
- Discussion Questions