Anneliese and Mieczysław Koćwin

Mieczysław Jan Koćwin was born March 28, 1913 in Kielce. He passed away October 26, 1986 in Bottmingen (Switzerland).

He graduated from the Technical University of Zurich with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He continued his studies at the Technical University of Warsaw before World War II. After graduation he worked in Swiss industry. As a prestigious expert in the field of vacuum pumps, he gave lectures and seminars at the Technical Academy of Wuppertal.

In 1935 he graduated from the military academy in Toruń. From 1935 he served as a permanent active duty professional officer of artillery in the 7th Light Artillery Regiment and in the 1st Horse Artillery Command; a captain of artillery, a participant of the 1939 September Campaign in Poland (5th Heavy Artillery Regiment) and of the French Campaign as a liaison officer in the 202nd Modlin Heavy Artillery Regiment. After the surrender of France he was interned along with his regiment and the 2nd Rifle Division in Switzerland. He was the last Commanding Officer of the University Camp in Winterthur still representing Poland and he helped with the repatriation of about 600 Poles remaining there. He was decorated with the Polish Cross of Valour and Croix de Guerre which he added to his other awards.

In 1975 he became the chairman of the Polish Combatants’ Association in Switzerland. He was also the president of the National Treasure Commission for Switzerland. As a catalyst for the Polish independence movement and the growth of the Polish community, he was a member of numerous Polish community organizations.

Mieczysław Koćwin, along with his wife Anneliese continuously helped each wave of Polish immigration, including the last, Solidarity.

His wife Anneliese, née Wild, was born April 12, 1925 in Winterthur, and passed away September 9, 2010 in Bottmingen. As a Swiss, she was greatly committed to connect her professional and family life with Polish community activities, sharing the idealistic attitude of her husband. She expressed keen interest in her husband’s country of origin, Polish history and culture which were even closer to her, as she mastered the Polish language.

The married couple Anneliese and Mieczysław Koćwin strived for creating a foundation whose aim would be to support international youth education - students and Ph.D. students. The Anneliese and Mieczysław Koćwin Foundation is an implementation of their dreams.

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