“Passing the Keys” of Barracks #9 to the Town of Szubin

On September 21, 2018, six family members of ex-POWs from Oflag 64 met in Szubin Poland with members of the local Polish government for the “passing of the keys” ceremony. The Plenipotentiary of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivode for Culture, National Heritage and Historical Policy, Jarosław Jakubowski passed the keys to Mayor of Szubin, Artur Michalak and to POW descendent, Cindy Sharpe Burgess, the Founder of the Polish-American Foundation for the Commemoration of POW Camps in Szubin. Other American guests included Glenn Burgess (son-in-law of ex-POW 2nd Lt. Wilbur Sharpe), Su Holder and Randolph Holder (daughter and son of ex-POW 2nd Lt. “Boomer” Holder), and Dave Stewart (son of ex-POW Captain Donald Stewart).

Attendees of the ceremony stood for the national anthems of the United States and Poland, and the Voivode’s representative, the Mayor, and Ms. Burgess gave brief remarks. Presentations followed, including video remarks by ex-POW Wilbur Sharpe, a recap of the reenactment events of 2017, and an overview of POW camps in Poland by Jan Daniluk (History PhD and director of the University of Gdansk Museum).

Following the day’s activities, the Americans joined Mayor Michalak, Mariusz Winiecki, Jan Daniluk, and Sebastian Halas, the new Principal of the MOAS school (adjacent to Barracks #9) for a working meeting. A key element of these discussions focused on the importance of gathering artifacts for the museum now.