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In 2017, the Museum debuted the exhibition My Name Is: The Lost Children of Kloster Indersdorf. This series of blog posts highlights the photographs and biographies included in the exhibition.

Sofia Karpuk at Kloster Indersdorf
Sofia Karpuk at Kloster Indersdorf

Sofia Karpuk was born in 1935 in Pinsk, Poland. Her father was a highway engineer who joined the Polish resistance in 1943. That year, Sofia, her younger brother Janusz, and their mother were abducted and forced to work on a farm in Lower Bavaria. Their mother worked in the fields while Sofia did housework and Janusz tended the cows. They were given little to eat, and their mother became very ill. In February 1945, their mother died and a teenage laborer looked after Sofia and Janusz until the war ended. Sofia and her brother came to Kloster Indersdorf where they were relieved to have enough to eat, decent clothing, and other children as companions. Sofia enjoyed caring for the babies, and nicknamed one “little fish” in Polish (rybka). A staff member at Indersdorf decided to name the baby (who had no known name) Sofia Rybki—a nod to both Sofia Karpuk and the nickname.

Sofia and Janusz were repatriated to Poland and raised in orphanages. Sofia eventually became a chemist in the textile industry, and Janusz became a successful handball player for the Polish national team. The teenage laborer who had cared for the siblings at the end of the war never forgot them, and after decades of searching, found them in 1980