Born: in Poland
Pen Name: None Connection to Illinois: Ladny has lived in Springfield, Illinois since 1951. Biography: Ladny is a Polish WW II veteran who has led a remarkable life, which he chronicles in his book ''It Was Worth It: The Adventures of a Polish POW in World War II''. Ladny was born on a Polish farm, became a counterintelligence officer in the Polish Army and was near the front lines as Germany invaded at the beginning of World War II. Ladny spent time as a POW in both Russia and Germany. He was captured by the Russians in late 1939, spending the winter in a Siberian POW camp. He was then exchanged with the Germans, and spent the remainder of the war as a slave laborer. Liberated in 1945, he struggled to survive, even dabbling in the black market before finally emigrating to America. He ended up in Springfield, Illinois in 1951.