MS Batory Legend Lives on
MS Batory was a famous Polish ocean liner launched in Gdynia in 1936. She was named after Stefan Batory, one of the Kings of Poland in the sixteenth century. Batory was an iconic ship designed by leading Polish artists of the time that became a symbol of Polish emigration.
During World War II, Batory became a warship and participated in the “Norway Campagin.” She also transported 480 British children to the safety of Australia. After the war, she again served as a transatlantic liner. During the Cold War, the American government closed the NJ ports to Batory after finding some spies aboard the ship. In 1957, the ship was allowed to return to North America, this time to Canada, where she transported thousands of Polish emigrants. In 1969, Batory retired after 33 years of continuous service. In 1971, she sailed for the last time to Hong Kong to be cut up and sold as scrap metal. In her lifetime, she made more than 200 ocean crossings and carried over 270 000 passengers. The legend of this iconic ship lives on.
The book “Marsz, Marsz Batory” by Barbara Caillot and Aleksandra Karkowska was published in 2019 in Polish with a short English synopsis of the book. The authors searched for passengers and crew in Poland and North America. Cailot and Karkowska conducted oral history interviews with about 40 passengers and ten crew members. The oldest passengers we spoke with were 99 years old.