- The Warsaw Uprising broke out on August 1, 1944. Among the rebels were many people who had made their careers after the war.
- Alina Januska Note. Alina was a liaison officer in the Kilinsky Battalion. For her heroic position, she was awarded the Commander’s Cross with the Star of the Order of Bologna Restituta
- Danuta Szaflarska ps. “Młynarzówna” gave performances to fighters and civilians in the field theater along with others among others Irina Kwiatkowska, Michislaw Vogg and Mira Szyminska
- Leon Niemczyk dealt with moving people through sewers. After the uprising fell, he escaped from transport to a camp in Pruszków. He entered the area already occupied by the Allies and joined the 444th Anti-Aircraft Battalion of the 97th Infantry Division of General Patton’s Third Army.
- You can find more of these stories on the Onet homepage
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It is often said that life writes the best scenarios. Without a doubt, the fate of our heroes is an ideal material for a novel or a movie. However, modern people living in times of peace may be afraid of the fact that they had to fight with weapons in their hands for freedom and dignity. They have seen their friends die before their eyes and their beloved city turn to dust… No wonder we respect and admire the Warsaw rebels.
The inhabitants of the occupied capital showed courage and great hearts. Years later, some of them spoke openly about their experience in August and September 1944. They were later among the stars of the theater and cinema. What did they do during the Warsaw Uprising? What do they want to pass on to future generations? You will find out later in our article.
You can read the rest of the article below the video:
Warsaw uprising. These stars fought for the Polish capital
Alina Janowska She made her debut in “Forbidden Songs” directed by Leonard Buczkowski. However, when I stood in front of the camera right after the war, The acting school graduate wasn’t without worries. The six-year armed conflict took its toll on her family, and she suffered from it. Besides, nothing indicated that the actress would spend the war in the capital of Poland. I grew up in yrowice near Sonim (Now this is the territory belonging to Belarus) in a typical landowning family.
Her father, Stanislav Janowski, was a director of forestry and agricultural schools. After the Soviet troops entered yrowice, he was arrested, and Alina with her mother and younger brother managed to get to Vilnius. The whole family gathered in Warsaw. It was not a quiet time. The Germans occupied the capital. The population suffered from severe poverty and oppression. The actress miraculously avoided deportation to work in Germany.
Alina Janowska began working as a laborer in the palace gardens in Wilanów. Soon, she began studying at a technical dance school and lived with her aunt in Aleje Jerozolimskie. Their apartment was a point of transportation for weapons, where a hiding place was organized for Jews who managed to escape from the ghetto there. In 1942, she was accused of collaborating with the subway. She spent up to nine months in Serbia, the women’s department at Bwick. She was interrogated several times. She was saved from being transferred to Auschwitz. Then her friend Elsa Glinka helped her.
Alina Janowska cooperated with the Polish underground state for almost the entire period of the occupation. No wonder that when the Warsaw Uprising broke out, she volunteered to fight. She was a liaison officer in the “Kelinsky” battalion. Her colleagues in arms knew her by the pseudonym “Alina”. It is interesting, however, that they are often called “hundreds”, because it has been discovered that they are always reliable.
Alina Janowska did not have much experience “up front”. Before the war she did not deal with the army. Years later, she remembered that she used the gun well. It was her father’s advantage.
In the report of the Oral History Archives of the Rising Warsaw Museum, she acknowledged the following:
During the Warsaw Uprising, liaison officers had a lot of responsibilities. Not all of them were related to military actions. They dealt with, among other things supply. And while it sounds cliched from our point of view, during the uprising it would have been costly in our lives.
In the report of the Oral History Archives of the Rising Warsaw Museum, Alina Janowska said, among other things, that the night she and a friend from the battalion had to deliver a pot of soup. It wasn’t easy. German snipers could shoot them at any time.
“First, before you got the PAST you had to bring food, but I had no idea what the PAST was and how far it was from us, but I had an order to carry a round pot of food to the street with the ‘Lilka’ Królewska (…) Of course, It was bloody heavy and had to be carried at night, due to German bombing. After all, there were a huge number of those who shot from rooftops. This burden had to be reduced, and they were still across Marszałkowska Street – not too high, but still – the barricades”
Alina Janowska was eager to meet her fans. In interviews, she also did not avoid the topic of the Warsaw Uprising. However, in an interview with Natasha Kapska on “Życie Warszawy” She stressed that she has one important thing to pass on to the next generation. And not martyrdom, but… love.
“You need strength to develop love for your neighbor And not just for those who show it to you. But also to the hostile person, for example. It’s a great art not to get frustrated and not wave your hand afterwards. You can’t leave unclean personal things“
Alina Janowska left the burning capital on the last day of the Warsaw Uprising. She was able to safely reach her parents, who were living in Torquay at the time. After the war, she settled in ód, where she studied choreography and performed as a dancer at the soldier’s house. In 1947, she returned to Warsaw for good. She has been honored many times for her position during the war. She was awarded a Knight of the Order of Bologna Restituta, an Officer’s Cross of the Order of Bologna Restituta, and a Commander’s Cross with a star of the Order of Bologna Restituta.
She had slightly different, but equally unpleasant memories from that period Danuta Zavlarska. However, the actress, unlike Alina Januska, had already started her career before the war. In 1939, she graduated from the Alexander Zelorovich State Institute of Theater Arts. Soon, she began performing in Vilnius at the Pohulance Theater. In 1941, there was a significant shift in international politics – the Third Reich attacked its former ally – the Soviet Union. The actress returned to Warsaw in the same year. There she joined the underground theater of the delegation of the Government of the Republic of Poland in Poland.
When the Warsaw Uprising broke out, Danuta Zavlarska had many roles not only in her account, but also in her private life. She was a wife and a mother. During the battles of the rebels, she had to fight not only with the occupier, but also take care of her only one-year-old daughterAs well as mother and beloved husband Jean Eckert.
In mid-August 1944 she officially joined the rebels. She took the nickname “Młynarzówna”. She performed for combatants and the civilian population in the field theater side by side, among others Irina Koyatkovska, Michislow Fogg and Mira Ziminska.
However, the fact that she was mainly engaged in artistic activity does not mean that the uprising did not affect her. In the memoirs of the actress published by TOK FM in the biography “Danuta Szaflarska – her time” we read:
“The bomb fell downstairs, killing eight people. The young man was covered in blood, his jaw was torn. The nurse fell into hysteria, the lady had already begun to pray for death. Ex-stretcher. I say to Janek: “Take the stretcher.” And he: “I am here. I have things, wealth means ‘Throw these things away.’ We go out into the yard. The young man is already dying, we carry him. I looked up and there was a plane with a gun and bullets were flying.
“One well in several blocks of streets. Lined up to the water. Around the grave. We sat on the graves, telling funny stories. For example, about an old woman who sat in the cellar day and night, went out once and was shot. It was fun for me too “
Danuta Szavlarska left Warsaw with the civilian population. Then she was in a temporary camp in Pruszków, from where she arrived in Krakow. She returned to the capital in 1949. In subsequent years, she was awarded the following decorations: Commander’s Cross of the Order of Bologna Restituta and Commander’s Cross with a star of the Order of Bologna Restituta “in recognition of the outstanding merits of culture and achievements in artistic work”.
No less interesting story could be told about life in occupied Poland Leon Nimczyk. His life is a topic for a separate article. So let us focus today on this short but tragic period in which he faced death more than once.
Leon Nemechic worked as a painter after the outbreak of the war. Soon he took part in the activities of the underground Polish state. He joined the National Army, where he obtained the rank of apprentice. At that time, life was especially difficult. According to Onet Film, years later, remember:
However, he returned to the capital. In August 1944 he joined the rebels. For 63 days of fighting, he was also lucky, although it was not easy to get a weapon at that time. The future actor dealt, inter alia, leads people through sewers.
Leon Nemczyk did not allow himself to be arrested after the fall of the Warsaw Uprising. He escaped from a transport to a camp in Pruszków. He entered the territory already controlled by the allies, more precisely the army of the United States. There, too, he achieved himself as a soldier. He belonged to the 444th Anti-Aircraft Battalion, 97th Infantry Division of General Patton’s 3rd ArmyWhere, among other things, they trained to become commandos. He also worked as a driver. Moreover, together with the allies, he liberated one of the camps on the territory of the Czech Republic.
Leon Nemeczyk has made no secret that he does not intend to return to Poland. He did not see for himself any future in the homeland occupied by the communists this time. However, he decided to find his mother and only then went to one of the countries of Western Europe.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work. And although he found his mother and siblings, he was caught at the border. He spent the following months in custody for the Mujahideen. Koszykowa in Warsaw. After his release, he became interested in acting. First, as a worker at the shipyard in Gdansk, he tried his hand at amateur theater. Then he managed to play in the Wybrzeże Theater. Seven years after the end of World War II, he passed an exam outside his walls.
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