Pawel Lew Marek
Biographies of Syndicalists and anarcho-syndicalists
Pawel Lew Marek (originally Melajach Lew) was born on the 16th of August, 1902, in Radymo, near Przemysl (now in the south-eastern part of Poland). He started work when he was 14. In 1918 he started the Independent Organisation of Working Youth (Samodzielna Organizacja Mlodsiezy Robotniczej), which united young Polish, Ukrainian and Jewish workers. He was an organiser of two strikes and a member of a workers’ council.
In November 1923 he took part in fights in Przemysl (when Communists attacked a socialist meeting), where he moved closer to the ideas of syndicalism and anarchism. In 1924 he did his military service. In 1926 he was one of the founder members of the Anarchist Federation of Poland (AFP).
In 1930 he emigrated to Paris and co-operated with a group of Polish anarchists there. After his return to Poland he was a secretary of the AFP (1931–37) and editor of an illegal anarchist newspaper Class Struggle (Walka Klas). He was a worker at Schenka & Co. in Warsaw, where he organised a stay-in strike. Then he was a manager with the Hartwig shipping company.
In 1939 Pawel Lew Marek took part in the defence of Warsaw. In 1941–42 he was imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto. After his escape he was the organiser of a revolutionary syndicalist group. He took part in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. He was organiser of the Syndicalist Uprising Platform (Syndykalistyczne Porozumienie Powsrance) and editor of Syndicalist (Syndykalista) newspaper. After the defeat of the Uprising, he made his way to Krakow, where he was arrested.
After the liberation of Krakow he worked in the Regional Committee of Worker Unions (Okregowa Komisja Zwiazkow Zawodowych). He was an exponent of co-operatives, initiator of the Union Housing Co-operative (Zwiazkowa Spoldzielnia Pracy) and its chairman. IN 1946–49 he was also chairman of the Co-operative Publishing House “Word” (Spoldzielnia Wydawnicza “Slowo”) in Lodz. In 1949 he joined the Polish United Workers Party (the governing Communist Party).
From 1951 he lived in Warsaw and worked on the union newspaper Voice of Work (Glos Pracy). He died on the 7th of November 1971.
Mieczyslaw Bankowicz – born 1st October 1908. Lawyer, journalist. After WWII publicist of Trybuna Mazowiecka (Mazowsze Tribune) and Szpilki (Pins satirical magazine), for 20 years columnist of Gazeta Handlowa (Newspaper of Trade) chief editor of Prasa Polska (Polish Press), head secretary of Stowarzyszenie Dziennikarzy Polskich (Association of Polish Journalists), vice-chief editor of Agencja Robotnicza (Workers Agency). Died 14th August 1971.
Ignacy Głuchowski – alias ‘Morus’, born 1892, worker in Państwowy Monopol Tytoniowy (State Tobacco Monopoly) factory, syndicalist activist in Związek Związków Zawodowych (ZZZ: Union of Workers Unions) and Robotniczy Instytut Oświaty i Kultury (Workers Institute of Education and Culture). In October 1939 became vice-chairman of workers section in Zwiazek Syndykalistów Polskich (ZSP: Union of Polish Syndicalists). Sergeant, chief of 104 ZSP Company, took part in the fighting in Stare Misato (Old Town) and Srodmiescie. Died 24th September 1944, during the fighting.
Władysław Głuchowski – born 27th July 1911 in Lipniki near Siedlce, teacher and anarcho-syndicalist. 1931–1932 editor of Życie Uniwersyteckie (University Life) in Poznan, activist of Zwiazek Polskiej Mlodziezy Demokratycznej (ZPMD: Union of Polish Democratic Youth), graduated from the History Faculty. After studies he worked as a teacher in Belorussian secondary school in Wilnus [Vilna]. 1934–1939 anarcho-syndicalist activist (they also called themselves revolutionary syndicalists) in ZZZ (Union of Workers Unions). At the same time member of Anarchistyczna Federacja Polski (AFP: Anarchist Federation of Poland). Published in Front robotniczy (Workers’ Front, newspaper of ZZZ). In 1935 became a section secretary of ZZZ in Krakow. Arrested 10th January 1937 after rally in Chrzanow, accused of calling for overthrow of the state. In October 1937 acquitted by the court after police and workers’ testimony. 1937–1939 secretary of section of ZZZ in Czestochowa. Strike organizer. Initiator of many workers common-rooms in Upper Silesia and people’s house in Czestochowa. With the lawyer Zygmunt Choldyk was an initiator of underground Polski Zwiazek Wolnosci (PZW: Polish Association of Freedom). In 1940 joined Syndykalistyczna Organizacja ‘Wolnosc’ (Syndicalist Organization ‘Freedom’). 12 June 1940 arrested by the Gestapo and send to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. 19 January 1941 died of infected wounds as prisoner no.17710. He left a daughter, Helen.
Zofia Hajkowicz-Brodzikowska – alias ‘Basia’ born 1913. Daughter of professor of mathematics at Technical High School of Wawelberg and Rotwand. Graduated secondary school in Warsaw. She was influenced by Wlodzimierz Bochenek, an activist of Zwiazek Mlodziezy Plskiej (Association of Polish Youth). After a year of studies at the State Institute of Theatrical Arts, moved to the High School of Journalism and graduated in 1938. From 1931 she was a member of Union of Polish Democratic Youth (ZPMD), and after the split in its left wing joined the break-away Stowarzyszenie Mlodziezy Syndykalistycznej (SMS: Syndicalist Youth Association). At the same time she was an activist of Anarchist Federation of Poland. 1938–39 she was a chairman of Youth Section in Workers Institute of Education and Culture and editor of its publications e.g. Through syndicalism to Poland. With her husband, Witold Brodzikowski, she took part in an anarcho-syndicalist propaganda group in ZZZ. In October 1939 she was an organizer of temporary mobilization centre for revolutionary syndicalists in Warsaw. In November 1939 she joined Union of Polish Syndicalists. From 1940 leader of Syndicalist Organization “Freedom”. She was responsible for internal communication and contacts with other organizations e.g. Komitet Pomocy Zydom (Committee for Aid to Jews [AKA Council to Aid Jews or Zegota]). Also responsible for printing fake documents, weapon transportation, underground printing. She was arrested 23rd December 1943 while carrying arms on Koszykowa St. Warsaw. Probably betrayed by Major ‘Ketling’ from Polska Armia Ludowa (Polish Popular Army) who was accused after the war of collaborating with the Gestapo. She was tortured in Pawiak (infamous Nazi prison) committed suicide by hanging in January 1944.
Franka Hoffman-Zgodzinska – Anarchist Federation of Poland activist. She lives in Canada. She was one of publishers printing a Yiddish anarchist paper in Warsaw Jewish ghetto, the Voice of Freedom.
Stefan Kozakiewicz – alias ‘Marcinek’ (‘Little Martin’) born in 1914. Professor, arts historian. Before WWII worked in the National Museum in Warsaw. During occupation took part in so-called ‘Pruszkow action’ – saving cultural relics. Member of the radio monitoring section of syndicalist bulletin Iskra (Spark). In Iskra he edited a bulletin section instructing how to protect art relics during battles. After WWII vice-director of National Museum in Warsaw and lecturer in Warsaw University. Died in 1974.
Stefania Karolina Marek – nee Brojde, alias ‘Kruk’ (‘Crow’). Born 1906. Office worker, anarchist. In secondary school she joined Anarchist Federation in Czestochowa. She was arrested for being an anarchist. She was one of the first members of Warsaw Housing Cooperative. Spoke three languages: English, German, French. Wife of Pawel Lew Marek (author of On the edge of life – memories of anarchist 1943–44). During WWII hidden by (among others) Stanislaw Rosloniec. During Warsaw Uprising, fought in the Old town with I Mechanized Division of Narodowe Sily Zbrojne (National Armed Forces) alias ‘Stefania’, she worked in English and German radio monitoring sections of Voice of the Old Town uprising newspaper. With soldiers of NSZ she managed to get to another fighting district, Srodmiescie, where she joined the Syndicalist Brigade. She worked in radio monitoring section of syndicalist bulletin Iskra. After capitulation of the Uprising she was a so-called ‘Warsaw Robinson’ – she survived by being buried alive with 40 other people in bunker until 18 January 1945. After WWII worked in Interstate Trade Centre. Never joined the Communist Party. Died in 1985.
Tomasz Alfons Pilarski – alias ‘Janson’, ‘Rylski’, ‘Kompardt’ and others. Born 6th July 1902 in workers family. Before WWII one of the leading activists of anarchist movement in Poland. 1917–1921 draughtsman in agronomic office in city hall of Raciborz. In 1918 joined Upper Silesia Communist Party and in 1919 anarcho-syndicalist workers union Freie Arbeiter Union Deutchlands. Until 1933 he was an activist of the FAUD. Resistance organizer against Hitler. In 1929 initiated paramilitary anarchist organization Schwarze Scharen (Black Ranks) 1928–1932 editor of Freedom published in Wroclaw (Breslau) and Raciborz. Accused by Third Reich regime of high treason, fled to Berlin where he was hidden. With help of Polish diplomat he managed to flee to Poland where he got political refugee status. 1933–35 scholar in Institute for Ethnographic Research in Warsaw. He was active in Union of Workers Unions (ZZZ) as an anarcho-syndicalist. 1934–36 secretary of Union in Zaglebie Dabrowskie. He represented Polish anarcho-syndicalists during IWA congress in Paris in 1938. From 1939 in Central Section of ZZZ. Published in Front Robotniczy (Workers’ Front) as ‘Jan Rylski’. From May 1939 he worked in a German-language anti-Nazi programme in Katowice radio station. From July 1939 member of ZZZ board. After September defeat went to Mozejki near Wilnus [Vilna]. He joined Zwiazek Walki Zbrojnej (ZWZ: Association of Armed Struggle, precursor of Polish National Army [Home Army/ AK]). Worked in an office preparing fake documents for underground. In 1942 he came back to Warsaw as a Swedish citizen. Took part in so called ‘N-action’ (disinformation in press and leaflets for Eastern Front German soldiers). He joined Syndicalist Organization ‘Freedom’, published in Walka Ludu (Peoples Struggle). Took part in Warsaw Uprising in the ranks of Polish Popular Army. 8th August 1944 wounded. Joined Syndicalist Brigade. After defeat of Uprising, together with his wife and daughter, evacuated to Ojcow near Krakow. From January 1945 worked as secretary of propaganda section of District Committee of Workers Unions in Krakow. In June 1945 went to Silesia where he organized reconstruction of industry. After the war he maintained contact with German anarcho-syndicalists. In 1947 he joined Polska Partia Robotnicza (Polish Party of Workers) then Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza (Polish United Party of Workers – communist regime party). 1948–50 worked in office in Ministry of Western Lands. In 1950 expelled from the Party for ‘anarchist aberration’. In 1953 imprisoned for months without sentence. He worked in Warsaw in Dom Słowa Polskiego (Polish Word House) and Panstwowa Centrala Handlu Ksiazkami ‘Dom Ksiazki’ (State Central of Books Trade ‘Book House’). He refused to receive decorations and honorable awards. Died 3rd February 1977 and was buried in Powazki Cemetery in Warsaw.
Wieslaw Protschke – alias ‘Wieslaw’ born 1913 in Lwow (Lwiw), his father was an architect. Graduated law faculty in University of Jan Kazimierz in Lwow. During his studies cooperated with Sygnaly (Signals) periodical. 1935–39 activist of Union of Polish Democratic Youth (ZPMD) and Workers Institute of Education and Culture. Great propagator of cooperative ideas of Edward Abramowski (famous Polish ‘anti-state socialist’). Member of Union of Workers Unions (ZZZ). Protschke was member of editorial staff of Front Robotniczy (Workers’ Front), Glos Pracownika Umyslowego (Intellectual Workers’ Voice – ZZZ paper 1934–37), Przebudowa (Reconstruction – ZPMD paper). His article ‘Bakunin – the freedom fighter’ in Workers’ Front was the cause of his conflict with Stanislaw Cat-Mackiewicz (famous conservative, editor of Slowo paper) who appealed for police intervention against ‘Bolsheviks in ZZZ’. In November 1939 together with Boleslaw Stein founded underground anti-soviet organization Rewolucyjny Zwiazek Niepodleglosci i Wolnosci (Revolutionary Union of Independence and Freedom) which was created by syndicalists, socialists and peasant organization members. The organization was destroyed in January 1940. From 1940 Protschke was chairman Syndicalist Organization ‘Freedom’ Central Committee. During WWII he was working in publishing cooperative ‘Czytelnik’ (‘Reader’) in Krakow. Protschke together with Tomasz Pilarski represented SO ‘Freedom’ in Centralny Komitet Ludowy (Popular Central Committee). After unification of military division of SO ‘Freedom’ with Polish National Army ([Home Army or] AK) he became an political officer of AK. In September 1944 during Warsaw Uprising arrested and sent to Auschwitz concentration camp, then to Mauthausen where he was murdered in January 1945.
Pawel Jan Rogalski – alias ‘Pawel’. Born 18th August 1908 in Warsaw. Before WWII worked in Ostatnie Wiadomości (Last News) paper. In 1924 one of editors of socialist paper Nowy Zew (New Call). From 1926 student of political and social sciences faculty in Free Polish University. Also from that year involved in self-education anarchist group of Benjamin Wolman. From 1927 member of Anarchist Federation of Poland, comrade of Jerzy Borejsza. Worked in underground printing house Walka (Struggle). In 1929 arrested in Warsaw for participating in a celebration of Peter Kropotkin. In 1930 emigrated to France where he worked as workman and studied in the Sorbonne. In 1932 returned to Poland. During WWII he was hidden himself and help others to hide. In October 1939 together with Roman Jablonowski (before the war member of Communist Party of Poland, then close to syndicalists, activist and last leader of ‘Zegota’ (Council for Aid to Jews) initiated socialist resistance group. In August 1942 escaped from Warsaw ghetto. During Warsaw Uprising arrested together with his family by the SS Division Galizien. He escaped again. To the end of occupation he was hidden in Nadarzyn. In January 1947 invited by Rose Pesotta (union activist and member of anarchist group publishing Freie Arbeiter Shtimme Yiddish language paper, who visited Poland in 1946) Rogalski went to the USA. There he gave a series of lectures about Warsaw ghetto and Warsaw Uprising. After his return to Poland was interrogated by Urzad Bezpieczenstwa (Public Security – secret police). In 1946 with other anarchists and Roman Jablonowski opened Spoldzielczy Instytut Wydawniczy ‘Slowo’ (Cooperative Publishers Institute ‘Word’) where among others, books by Peter Kropotkin were printed. Cooperative was stigmatised by Central Committee of Polish Workers Party (Communists) and was forced to close in 1949. From 1949 until retirement Rogalski worked in ‘Ksiazka i Wiedza’ (‘Book and Knowledge’) publishing house. Died in 16 March 1993 in Warsaw. He asked to engrave: ‘Militant of Anarchist Federation of Poland’ on his tombstone.
Bronislawa Rosloniec – (Bronislawa Frydman) born 1912. Activist of Anarchist Federation of Poland (AFP). Before WWII worked as a clerk. During the occupation, evicted to ghetto from where she fled and was hidden in her husband’s flat. After WWII lived in Lodz (central Poland). Died in Uppsala, Sweden, 8th November 1991.
Stefan Julian Rosloniec – alias ‘Julek’ born 1911, before WWII activist of AFP which was the cause of frequent arrests. During occupation helped to hide people. He rescued a few dozen people who escaped from the Warsaw ghetto. Awarded the title ‘Righteous Among the Nations’. After the war, an intellectual worker. Activist in Esperanto movement, member of Polish Esperanto Association board. Died 10th May 1988 in Uppsala, Sweden.
Boleslaw Stein – born 29th April 1907 in Biecz. Doctor and syndicalist. In November 1926 co-founder of Organizacja Mlodziezy Radykalnej (Organization of Radical Youth) in Krakow. From November 1929 chairperson of ZPMD in Krakow. Expelled from University for political reasons. Continued his studies in Wilnus [Vilna] (nowadays Lithuania). Worked in Liga Samopomocy Gospodarczej (League of Economic Mutual Aid). Since 1936 chairman of District Council of ZZZ in Wilnus. In April 1938 stood up court accused of libelling Stanislaw Mackiewicz, editor of conservative paper Slowo. He was also penalized for publishing a leaflet and taking part in a strike. After his studies, worked in a military sanatorium in Rabka (southern Poland). Since 2nd April 1939 member of Central Department of ZZZ. In 1939 mobilized in Vilna, but managed to get to Lviv (nowadays Ukraine) where he was co-initiator of anti-soviet conspiracy Rewolucyjny Zwiazek Niepodległosci i Wolnosci (Revolutionary Union of Independence and Freedom) which included syndicalists, socialists and peasant movement activists. Organization was crushed in January 1940. At the same time Boleslaw Stein organized the evacuation of children from the TB hospital in Rabka. During WWII member of ZWZ-AK. From 1940 lived in Krakow. As director of St. John of God Hospital, he provided help to soldiers of AK (National Army [or Home Army]), AL (Popular Army), Jews, English pilots and others. After Warsaw Uprising he helped Warsaw fugitives. In 1945 he joined PPS (Polish Socialist Party) – after unification he stayed in PZPR (Polish Unified Workers Party – communist regime party). Died 21st October 1969 in Krakow.
Stefan Szwedowski – alias ‘Wojciech’, ‘Szwed’ born 26th December 1891 in Janowice. In 1905 (during revolution) participated in school movement. Interrogated by tzar’s secret police (Ochrana). First time arrested in 1913, spent 2 years in prison. In the same year joined ‘Warsaw Battalion’ of Polish Legions. At the end of WWII in executive group of ‘Zet’ (Association of the Polish Youth). In 1919 ended his studies in the law faculty of Warsaw University. In 1922 one of organizers of Zwiazek Obrony Kresow Zachodnich (Western Frontier Defence Association) and Zwiazek Rad Ludowych (People’s Councils Union). From 1931 involved in ZZZ. 1935–39 member of Central Department of ZZZ. In October 1939 one of the underground initiators of Zwiazek Syndykalistow Polski (ZSP: Union of Polish Syndicalists). Since 1943 head secretary of ZSP. Co-initiator and ZSP delegate in Council for Aid to Jews. From February 1944 vice-chairman of Centralizacja Stronnictw Demokratycznych, Socjalistycznych i Syndykalistycznych (Centralization of Democratic, Socialists and Syndicalist Groups/Parties). During Warsaw Uprising fought in the Old Town as soldier of 104 company of ZSP. In Srodmiescie he was co-initiator of Syndykalistyczne Porozumienie Powstańcze (Syndicalist Uprising Agreement – syndicalist and anarcho-syndicalist coalition). After WWII together with anarchists and co-operative activists worked in Publishing Cooperative ‘Slowo’ and other cooperatives. Died in 1973 in Warsaw.
Halina Świerczyńska – alias ‘Halina’. Born in 1923. During Warsaw Uprising, soldier of Syndicalist Brigade, messenger. Now active in providing social help.
Bernard Konrad Świerczyński – alias ‘Aniela’, ‘Kondek’. Born 20th August 1922. Since a young boy, he was inspired by his father’s involvement in anarchist movement. During occupation provided help to hidden Jews, organized hideouts and escapes from the Warsaw ghetto. Many times sneaked into the Warsaw ghetto carrying food, medicines and letters for people inside. During Warsaw Uprising soldier of Syndicalist Brigade. Never a member of any party. After WWII awarded the title ‘Righteous Among the Nations’. Journalist of cooperative movement press. Member of Polish Journalists Association. Died 31st October 2002 in Warsaw.
Konrad Świerczyński – alias ‘Wicek’. Born 19th February 1888 in Warsaw. Participant of Winter Palace assault in 1917 in Petersburg. During interwar period leading light of anarchist movement, bookseller, poet. Many times imprisoned for anarchist activity. During Warsaw Uprising soldier of Syndicalist Brigade. ADC [aide de camp] of General Skokowski in PAL (Polish Popular Army). After WWII lived in Tarnow (south Poland), power plant worker. Died 29th February 1956 in Tarnow.
Tadeusz Tyszka – alias ‘Lord’, ‘Tadeusz’, son of fighter of 1905 Revolution. Before WWII, member of ZZZ. Captain in Main Military Department in SO ‘Freedom’. Worker in underground printshop on Francuska St. in Warsaw. Shot dead by police 5th February 1944 during siege of the printshop.
Aniela Franciszka Wolberg – born 14th October 1907 in Czestochowa. Student of Jagiellonian University, and Montpellier University in France. Chemistry MSc, assistant in Free University. Since 1926 AFP activist, co-editor of Class Struggle paper. In France cooperated with Combat Syndicaliste. Deported from France for anarchist activity. In 1932 became Secretary of AFP. In 1934 arrested, released for lack of evidence. In 1936 she joined in the Spanish Revolution. Died in 1937 in Warsaw from postoperative complications. (Obituary in KSL Bulletin 39)
Edward Wolonciej – alias ‘Czemier’. Born 30th September 1919. During WWII student of secret classes, syndicalist soldier. In 1941 joined AK (National Army [or Home Army]). Took part in Warsaw Uprising. 1–15 September 1944 member of ‘Gustaw-Harnas’ battalion. After Old Town capitulation, captain commander of Syndicalist Brigade in Srodmiescie. After surrender of Uprising imprisoned in Pruszkow camp, from where he fled to Krakow. In 1947 student in law faculty in Jagiellonian University. OM TUR [Organizacja Mlodziezowa Towarzystwa Uniwersytetu Robotniczego – Youth Organisation of Workers University Association] and PPS (Polish Socialist Party) activist. In 1950 graduated diplomatic department of Academy of Political Science. Since 1953 solicitor. Also studied at State Theatrical High School in Director’s Faculty. He wrote diaries, stories and plays which weren’t published during communist regime for their ‘incorrect content’. He was victimized for anti-communist struggle. Died 3rd February 1999 in Warsaw.
Kazimierz Zielinski – born 1913 (or 1915). Graduated from Warsaw University. Member of ZPMD. In 1935 he joined revolutionary syndicalists circle in ZZZ. He studied in France, where he cooperated with French syndicalists. Husband of French communist activist. Came back to Poland just before the war and joined the army. After September defeat together with Zofia Hajkowicz and Zygmunt Dymka organized mobilisation center for revolutionary syndicalists. In 1939 arrested by accident during a Nazi street roundup. Went missing without a trace.
Jerzy Zlotowski – alias ‘Poreba’. Born in 1911. Architect engineer, took part in the defence of Poland during the Nazi invasion. From November 1939 member of Central Committee of ZSP. Superintendent and then commanding officer in sabotage Combat Units of the Headquarters of the ZSP. During Warsaw Uprising officer in 104 company of ZSP (Old Town) and Syndicalist Brigade (Srodmiescie). 30 September 1944 fell in combat on the corner of Krucza St. and Wspolna St.