Oral History

Mieczyslaw Madejski describes underground organization and activities

Mieczyslaw and his family were not Jewish. When Germany invaded Poland, Mieczyslaw was working for an organization formed for self-defense against German bombings. Later, he worked for the Polish underground group ZWZ (Zwiazek Walki Zbrojnej; Union for Armed Struggle), which became the AK (Armia Krajowa; Home Army). In 1943, he was conscripted for forced labor at a BMW plant in Warsaw. He escaped, and participated in the Warsaw Polish uprising in August 1944. After the uprising, he left Warsaw and went into hiding.


In 1939, in De...December, I remember this exactly, in December they, I met a, friends which have connection with the, uh, like a main organization. They called Zed vo Zed [ZWZ], this was the like organiza...organization which supposed to fight with the arms against the occupation. My friend, I have a friend, met a friend and he thought, "Listen, we start organize, I already have connection. Organization will be five." This mean we have to have five guys, we have to find more four guys, they would be together five, because this was organization, that would be very difficult to discover by the German. Uh, that's mean if the German find they only find one guy and one small group, no more. Will be no connection, between the group was completely no connection. You know, was, uh, this system of the, uh, organization. And this start in the, exactly I remember was December ... in 1939. And in the beginning was training--that mean we have to, uh, know how use the guns. We already have the guns because during the, the, the, uh, war, I hide few different guns and I hide few different radio apparat[us]. The German, because German when come they take all radio apparat[us], you have to bring to the German, they destroy. I hide this time, the people get it, I hide it, you know, on different places, usually on the attics, in the basement. In the basement was a big hole in the wall, in the wall, I remember, that I put the, uh, cover with the, with the, rubber, with the fabrics, you know, because was no plastic this time, and hide it, I put, uh, you know, wall, and I covered this. Then when we ... then we start learning how using the arms, and how we start using the radio, listening the BBC, because BBC was in the Polish language, all information.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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