John de Summer-Brason



Missing: Ludwik Summer-Brason

 Ludwig Adolf Maria Ritter von Summer-Brason

Do you have any hints or information about my grandfather, missing in action (MIA) on the Eastern Front April 1944?

Ludwik Adolf Maria Summer-Brason joined the Polish Home Army after the Soviet forces had besieged the German-controlled Polish-Ukrainian town of Tarnopol. Ludwik was at that time steward of Folwark Zagrobela, an estate under management of the Polish government in the western outskirts of Tarnopol. He was held in 'estate-arrest' through the war in order to manage the production of agricultural products to Hitler's forces. The last my grandmother Maria Franz heard from him was two postcards - stamped 'Generalgouvernement 27.4.1944' - from an interimistic Soviet- and Polish military training camp in Tarnopol, were he reminded her to take care of their children and the experimental seeds. The estate in Zagrobela, with 20 people employed, was a kind of agriculture experimental station.

Ludwig was born in Stary Sacs July 2nd 1887 as eldest son of Dr. Alois Ludwig Johannes Ritter von Summer-Brason, an Austrian-Hungarian political official, who became president of the supreme court in Krakow. Ludwig's mother Wanda Zathej was of Hungarian origin. As young officers Ludwik and his brother Stefan december 17, 1918 left the disintegrated Austrian-Hungarian army in favor of the new Polish army and marshal Jozef Pilsudskis military expedition against the intruding Russian communists. Ludwiks first destination was Piotrkow: Declaration from the Polish army of the transfer of Ludwik Summer-Brason from the Austrian to the Polish army 1918

Ludwik hold academic degrees in both engineering and agronomy. When the Germans and Russians invaded Poland in 1939 My family was invited to join the German cause as Reichsdeutsche when the Germans and Russians invaded Poland in 1939. My family refused! As a consequence of resistance, Stefan was jailed in Konzentrationslager Dachau and Ludwik was under the German occupation 1941-44 held in 'estate-arrest' guarded by 5 German soldiers, who had Schiessbefehl, if the manager made any attempt to escape.

My grandfather is still missing in action. For my father, who died in 2000, it was painful to remember the liberation of Tarnopol. Hitler had declared Ternopol as a Fester Platz, to be hold to the last man. My father remembered frightened German soldiers fighting to the last man. My grandmother hided in a the basement of the stately home during the campaign, were she gave birth to my uncle Ryszard. The fields was after the battle full of dead German soldiers. For several weeks the family lived by the canned food my 7 years old father could find in the backpacks of the dead Germans. His playtoys in that period was German side arms - Luger and Walther pistols - from the dead soldiers. More information on the battle of Tarnopol here.

My father visited - just after the collapse of the USSR - who 1957 defected in favor of Denmark and Western Europe (where the Brasons originally came from), Folwark Zagrobela. Nothing was left. Nowadays concrete buildings stands were the estate once produced food. According to old people of Polish origin most of the Polish officers and decision makers was either exiled to gulags or killed by the NKVD.

If you have any hints to the whereabouts of my grandfather, I would be pleased to hear from you.

My grandfather was born Ludwig Adolf Maria Ritter von Summer-Brason, which was spelled Ludwik Adolf Summer-Brason under the Polish Republic. Under communism my family shortened our name to Brason. By theway; The Danish family of my mother, Hansen or Hansen Stokkeby, originates from the hamlet of Stokkeby on the island of Ærø. I got the names Hansen Brason on my birth certificate.

As a young defector, with a Bsc in engineering, my father Robert were met by the Danish society with modest jobs; construction worker, picking apples and so. When he had got his first decent job in the 1960'ties, he choose to modify his name to the Latin version of his catholic birth certificate. He was keen about that his eldest kids should do the same. Thanks to his gifts and talents he gained a position as sworn interpreter, librarian and examiner at the Copenhagen Business School.

The surname Summer-Brason emerged in 1888 after the adoption of to fatherless Brason-boys by the Viennese public prosecutor Johann von Summer. According to the Institut for Navneforskning at the University of Copenhagen the name Brason originates from the northern part of France and the southern part of England. We were told that the name was brought to Austrian-Hungary and Poland through the Habsburg dominans of Lorraine or Lothringen (were our Brasons are said to come from).

You can find the last greetings from Ludwik of 27th of April 1944 below. Notice Ludwiks registration of fellow (missing?) Polish soldiers.

Joanna Franz-Stepniakowska, the daughter of Marias nephew, has following good remark to the last whereabouts of Ludwik:

I looked again at your grandfather's postcard and I'm not sure if I understand where he was - in one sentence he says that he had to "stand before a doctor " and despite his "weaknesses" he was admitted - but where (it sounds very naive - but was it army? prison camp?), he is afraid that they would be taken for manual work or "to Zbaraz" (that was an old city famous for a castle and prison).

The two last postcards from Ludwik to his wife Maria

from Ludwik to Mrs. Maria Brason, Folwark Zagrobela, Tarnopol

On the blanc paper my father has emphasized the fellow Polish soldiers mentioned in the postcard of Ludwik

Copyright © 2004 John de Summer-Brason