Contact Us

WIBX’s Julian Noga To Be Honored During “CultureFest”

Joerg Koch, Getty Images
Joerg Koch, Getty Images

Julian Noga has seen the world, both at its best and at its unbelievable worst.

But, this Saturday at the Stanley Theater, Noga’s years of work as a Polish Community Advocate and as a voice for his countrymen will be rewarded by the area he calls home.

This weekend, the 91 year-old will receive the CNY Cultural Ambassador of the Year Award during the inaugural “CultureFest: A Festival of Nations,” with State Senator Joseph Griffo presenting him the honor.

Noga was born in Poland in 1921, where he lived until he was arrested and deported to Austria in 1939 after getting caught hiding a rifle. The deportation turned out be a blessing. While performing farm labor, Noga met and fell in love with the landowner’s daughter, Frieda. However, their storybook love was not yet meant to be…

Relationships between Poles and Austrians were still socially unacceptable and, in this case, punishable by law.

During an interview with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, he talked about the relationship.

“I fell in love with Frieda, the landowner’s daughter, and she loved me too,” Noga said. “When her father objected, she moved to another farm. We continued to meet secretly even though Nazi law forbode romance between Poles and Germans. The Gestapo warned me, “If you see Frieda again, you’re going to be hanged.””

Noga was arrested again in 1941 and deported to the Flossenburg Concentration Camp in Germany, where he performed quarry work.

He remained at the camp until April 1945, when U.S. troops began to close in. He was forced to march toward Dachau with about 9,300 other prisoners from Flossenburg and another 7,000 from Buchenwald. Though nearly 7,000 people died during the march, Noga was lucky. He was liberated by incoming U.S. soldiers and later reunited with his lost love, Frieda. The two married, then emigrated to the United States.

Since those dark days at Flossenburg, Noga’s love story with Frieda has been turned into the book, “The Courtship of Julian and Frieda” by Krista Perry Dunn, and his prisoner jacket has become a display item at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

Noga has also become the voice of the Polish community. Each Sunday, he hosts WIBX’s weekly Polish music show, “Polonaise,” America’s longest running Polish language program.

Senator Joe Griffo says it’s an honor to present the award to someone who has experienced so much in his life.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Though he’s seen the worst the world has to offer, Noga has kept his spirits high. This weekend’s award proves to many in the community that even in the most unenviable situations, a person’s spirit and will to survive can continue to flourish.

Best Of WIBX950

Recommended For You

Best Of The Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for IBX INCENTIVE CLUB quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive IBX INCENTIVE CLUB contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.