Henryk Lewandowski distinguished with the Sports Activist Medal

Henryk Lewandowski distinguished with the Sports Activist Medal
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On this photo the chair of the Central Comitee for Sports and Tourism is decorating me with the Distinguished Sports Activist Medal. The picture was taken in Warsaw in the 1940s. After the war I returned to Zamosc, Father took over the brewery. I was 16 at the time. I started to think about school. I felt bad in Zamosc, walking the streets; none of my friends survived, the few who were in Russia were not to return until later, and back then, in 1945, there was no-one around. I wanted to become politically active, but didn't want to stay in Zamosc, I didn't get along well with my father, which was my fault. He lived with Wanda, and I was angry at him for finding someone so quickly. I only understood years later my reproaches had been unfair - he was only 37, he was a young man. One factor might have been the rumor I heard, that he'd been fooling around with that Wanda woman back before the war. Never mind. She did help him survive the war. I decided to leave the house in the end, moved to Lublin and became a member of the Fighting Youth Union. I stayed with Halina for some time, she was finishing her studies at the Lublin Polytechnic, she was 27. I started an evening school in Lublin. I completed four grades of elementary school before the war. Here you completed two grades in one year, I finished the third and the fourth and passed the lower standard exams. I went to the gymnasium ran by the Workers Universities Society in the Staszic Gymnasium building, on Raclawickie Avenue in Lublin. I worked in the youth movement, we were creating sort of a paramilitary self-defense force; I completed a non-commissioned officer's course, I was an instructor for some time, and later the chairman of the Municipal Board of the Fighting Youth Union in Lublin. At the end of 1947, after passing my exams, I decided to move to Warsaw, to work in the National Board of the Union and to study on. I became a student of the Political Science Academy. The course lasted three years, I got my under-graduate degree there and then they transferred me to Zielona Gora, I was made the deputy district commandant of the Sluzba Polsce organization. In 1951 I was transferred back to the Warsaw branch of Sluzba Polsce, and in 1952 SP spun off a new organization, the Village Sports Clubs Association. I was there, I've brought the association into being, I'd worked there for 15 years, until 1967, when I started to work for Gromada, a hotel operator and tourist agency; in Gromada I spent 25 years short one month.

Interview details

Interviewee: Henryk Lewandowski
Anna Szyba
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Warsaw, Poland


Henryk Lewandowski
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    Hiding Jewish identity/nationality

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Also interviewed by:
USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education
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