The Color of Courage A Boy at War by Julian E. Kulski

The Color of Courage A Boy at War

Written by Julian E. Kulski
Illustrated by


The Color of Courage A Boy at War by Julian E. Kulski

If there is going to be a war, I do not want to miss it. So writes Julian Kulski a few days before WWII begins, 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 an inspirational soul of indomitable will, courage and compassion. At age 12 Kulski is recruited as a soldier in the clandestine Underground Army by his Boy Scout leader, and at age 13 enters the Warsaw Ghetto on a secret mission. Arrested by the Gestapo at age 14 and sentenced to Auschwitz, he is rescued and joins the commandos. At age 15, Kulski fights in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. He ends the war as a German POW, finally risking a dash for freedom onto an American truck instead of waiting for Soviet liberation.


Quite remarkable--The Boston Globe Part of a legend The Washington Post Deeply moving. The Jewish News An amazing story. The Jewish Veteran Might be considered a companion piece to Anne Frank's Diary, juxtaposing the constant question of survival with a child s fresh adolescence. Stirring account of the will to live and to fight. The Montgomery Advertiser/Alabama Journal Part of a legend The Washington Post

Deeply moving. The Jewish News

Book Diva

Chief Rabbi of Poland

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Foreword Reviews, November 7, 2014

Jerusalem Post, July 11, 2016

; readers are directed to YouTube links of footage from German and Polish propaganda reels. Although this diary might do best in a general public library collection, Holocaust libraries might find this book useful for its insights into the role of the Polish underground. Cantor, Yeshiva University, NY, Riveting...Holocaust libraries might find this book useful for its insights into the role of the Polish underground.

There is an entire world that separates war while it is raging around you, and war that is analyzed years or decades later while looking through orderly archives and sitting at one's computer. As a boy, Julian witnessed the German takeover and saw everything he ever knew as liberty taken away. It was not just the material destruction of the city, but the calculated destruction of society, the debasement of the people, that made a huge impression on him. That he, his friends, and all Poles, were condemned to live without an education, were dispossessed, their educational, cultural, and historical institutions destroyed, his family and friends arrested or killed, these are the experiences that put an end to childhood. It was a very young human being who joined the resistance, but he was no longer a boy. War is not just a killer but also a thief; it steals all your possessions, including your childhood. In the aftermath, young Julian ended up the youngest prisoner in a POW camp and finally in a hospital in England where he was treated for PTSD. His doctors suggested he write about his experiences, as therapy; For Julian it was like reliving the nightmare, but it had to be done. This book is the dramatic, heartrending result. Published by Aquila Polonica with their usual high production values, The Color of Courage includes dozens of wartime maps and photographs, plus a list of digital extras, archival wartime films, that you can access either on your smartphone or by entering the URL as indicated with each entry. Some of footage provided with these links has rarely, if ever, been available to the public. Highly recommended for history buffs. Dramatic, heartrending...Highly recommended.

Kulski, a renowned architect, wrote the original manuscript in 1945 at age 16 as a means of dealing with post-traumatic stress. In a diaristic format, it chronicles his experiences as a child soldier in the Polish Army. Kulski's father was the acting mayor of Warsaw during the occupation, and, at the time, he had a Jewish girlfriend, with whom he remained in close contact until the Nazis isolated the Jewish ghetto from the rest of the city. Because of those two relationships, Kulski was able to give shape to the wider context of the Resistance movement, including the heroic fight of the Jewish insurgents in the monthlong Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of spring 1943. The story culminates with Kulski's participation, at age 15, in the 60-day Warsaw Uprising of August and September 1944. Kulski's youthful patriotism and optimism is evident throughout his story, which is at once absorbing, inspiring, and tragic. Designed to be useful in a classroom, this new edition includes links to relevant online material and includes a list of discussion questions classroom settings. B&w photos. At once absorbing, inspiring, and tragic.

An exceptional coming-of-age story. Julian Kulski's true-life adventure as a teenage resistance fighter in Warsaw during World War II leaps off the page in this riveting diary. He is an amazing man and a real hero for freedom. --Rita Cosby, An exceptional coming of age story.

--the unforgettable true story of a boy soldier in World War II. --Susan Eisenhower, Haunting and powerful.

Quite remarkable.--Quite remarkable. The Boston Globe

President, Republic of Poland (2010-2015)

General, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.); Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL (2014-2015); Commander, NATO International Security Assistance Force (2011-2013)

President, Jan Karski Educational Foundation

Kurier Polski of Minnesota

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About the Author

Julian E. Kulski was born in 1929 in Warsaw, Poland. A graduate of Yale University (M.Arch) and Warsaw Institute of Technology (Ph.D. Urban Planning), Kulski is a semi-retired architect who as taught at U.S. universities and consulted for World Bank. He has been published multiple times and is a frequent speaker. Kulski resides Washington, D.C.

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Book Info


304 pages


Julian E. Kulski
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Aquila Polonica Publishing

Publication date

7th August 2014



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