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Gdańsk woman receives postcard 43 years after it was posted – and then tracks down the sender

The yellowing postcard showing views of Prague was posted from the Czech capital on 15 May 1979 when the country was still Czechoslovakia.
Katarzyna Emiljanowicz/Facebook

A Gdańsk woman turned her hand to internet sleuthing after receiving a postcard – 43 years after it was sent.

Katarzyna Emiljanowicz was left dumbfounded when the yellowing card showing views of Prague and addressed to someone called Ligia Kuśmierek  popped into her letter box.

Posted from the Czech capital on 15 May 1979 when the country was still Czechoslovakia, the postcard had a stamp with the image of Gustáv Husák, chairman of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and president of the country between 1975 and 1989.

The postcard had a stamp with the image of Gustáv Husák, chairman of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and president of the country between 1975 and 1989.Katarzyna Emiljanowicz/Facebook

Sent by from someone called ‘Joanna and W’, the message said: “A wonderful, wonderful city, more beautiful than in my wildest imagination.

“The eyes want to look, but the legs are already rooted to the ground.

“We are sitting in a bar, drinking Pilsner and eating fries with ketchup (which we don’t have in Poland).”

She ended: “I think about the hedgehog a lot.”

The sender of the postcard wrote: “We are sitting in a bar, drinking Pilsner and eating fries with ketchup (which we don’t have in Poland). She ended: “I think about the hedgehog a lot.”Katarzyna Emiljanowicz/Facebook

Determined to try and find the family of the addressee, Emiljanowicz turned to the internet for help.

Posting on Facebook group Nec Temere Nec Timide, which is devoted to the history of Gdańsk, she wrote: “Hi, I wanted to share with you the situation yesterday. The postman brought us a postcard from Prague … which traveled for 43 years!

“The date on the stamp is 5/15/79, and the stamp itself is Czechoslovakian. The postcard is addressed to the first owner of my house who is already dead.

After turning to the internet for help, Katarzyna was flooded with tips which resulted in the sender eventually getting in contact.Katarzyna Emiljanowicz/Facebook

“I know that the addressee’s husband was an assistant professor at the Gdańsk University of Technology. Maybe some of her descendants are here?

“I would like the postcard to reach relatives. The addressee was Mrs. Ligia Kuśmierek from Gdańsk.”

After being flooded with messages and tips from keen readers, within days her plea had reached the addressee’s daughter who had originally posted the card and who now lives in the US.

Delighted Katarzyna updated her post saying: “Breaking news!  Mrs.Ligia’s daughter has been tracked – she will be given my phone number – if she wants to, she can make contact, thank you to all involved people!!!” Katarzyna Emiljanowicz/Instagram

Delighted Emiljanowicz updated her post saying: “Breaking news!  Mrs. Ligia’s daughter has been tracked – she will be given my phone number – if she wants to, she can make contact, thank you to all involved people!!!”

She added that Ligia Kuśmierek was a pediatrician  and worked in a clinic on Aksamitna street.

Internet users are now speculating about why the postcard took so long to reach its destination and about what happened to the hedgehog.


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