Stowarzyszenie Rodziny Deskurów

History of the Deskurs SRD Curiosities News


Family Name - French Roots - Diaspora - Emigration to Poland - Beginnings in Poland - 20th Century

20th Century

Every branch of the family suffered either deaths, the horrors of prison camps or material losses due to WWII and communist rule which followed. Serving either in the Polish army or in the underground “Home Army” (AK), many Deskurs earned decorations and honors. Colonel Jerzy Deskur fought with the allied armies through Normandy, later becoming the commandant of the German city of Quackenbrück after the WWII. He was awarded many decorations including the Virtuti Militari. His son Kazimierz, who at the end of the war was a prisoner of war in the Austrian prison camp Mauthausen, emigrated to the USA where he established the first American branch of the family. Jacek Deskur emigrated to Canada, where his many children form the Canadian branch.

Cardinal Andrzej Maria Deskur, who was born in the palace of Sancygniów, left Poland during the Stalinist period to study in Switzerland.  He received his priestly ordination in France in 1950. As a part of the internationalization of the Roman Curia in the 1950s, he was posted to the Vatican Secretariat of State in 1952 as one of the first non-italians to enter the Curia. He rose to the presidency of the Papal Communications Commission in 1973 and in 1985 was created cardinal. His pivotal role in making cardinal Wojtyła better known to the voting cardinals just before his election to the papacy in 1978 is recorded in many biographies of Pope John Paul II.

1991 saw the first international reunion of 178 Polish Deskurs and the French Descours at the Archdiocesan Seminary in Poznań, Poland. In addition to valuable personal contacts that were forged at that summer encounter, the inspiration to publish the three language annual periodical the Herald of the Deskurs, Zwiastun Deskurów, Héraut des Descours was born in Poznań . Further fruits of this event can be found in the fact that both the French and the Polish branches formed officially registered associations for the purpose of further promoting the family ties and cultivating the family history. Polfamille and the Stowarzyszenie Rodziny Deskurów (SRD).  In 1993 Polfamille organized its own “Grande Réunion”, which was held in Les Estables, France, near the cradle of the clan attracting an estimated 400 “cousins” 30 of which came from Poland, USA and Switzerland. Since its inception the SRD has primarily concerned itself with historical projects such as the restoration of damaged patrimony, erecting commemorative plaques for ancestors whose graves are lost as well as preparing historical and informational publications. At the unveiling of each major project a small reunion is organized.  The construction and maintenance of this website is the latest initiative of the SRD.

Author Edward Deskur


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