Łódź, 4 November 2003

The Central Archives of Modern Records

Dear Professor!

In response to your letter dated 26 October 2003, I would like to inform you that my colleagues – Adam Łukaszczuk, and Wincenty and Franciszek Śliwiński – were soldiers of the Home Army in the Home Army post in Pobołowice, headed by Feliks Śliwiński (nom de guerre “Jaskółka” [swallow]). I contacted them on 21 July 1944, when we were escorting the Jews from one forest – where the bunker was located – to another, where the Russian army was stationed. The Germans and the Soviet army were fighting at the time and artillery shells were flying over our heads.

We then marched as the Home Army Company commanded by our Lieutenant, nom de guerre “Robert”, to the assembly point of our 3rd Division of the Home Army in Surhów (district of Krasnystaw) – in the course of Operation Tempest at the beginning of August 1944. We stopped to get some rest 10 kilometers away from Surhów. Our intelligence reported that the Home Army units which had arrived in Surhów had been surrounded by the Soviet army and were being disarmed.

Our commander ordered us to withdraw, we hid the weapons in the forest and then we were sent home. Adam Łukaszczuk was enlisted into the army in September. I don’t know what happened to him later.

My colleagues Wincenty and Franciszek enrolled into a gymnasium in Chełm, where we would see each other around until 1946, for I also continued my studies in this gymnasium. I know that after Wincenty passed the Matura exam in 1947, he started studying at a technical school in Gliwice, where he was tragically poisoned with gas during a bath on 31 December 1947.

Having graduated from the gymnasium, Franciszek Śliwiński started working in Chełm. We lost contact in 1946 because I was forced to run from the Security Office. In February 1946 I settled in Łódź, where I live to this day.

I learned from my sisters who live in Chełm that Franciszek Śliwiński died a couple of years ago.

As for the forester Władysław Charliński – according to my father’s journal from 1969, Charliński passed away, but father did not state the exact date of his death. I don’t know whether anyone from the Charliński family is alive.

My mother, Albina Raczkiewicz, née Zarek (deceased), was selflessly helping Jews by baking and passing on to them additional loaves of bread, as I have already mentioned in the addendum to my testimony given on 2 September 2002. She also prepared various vegetables and potatoes which the Jews collected at night.

I am grateful for your thanks. Kind regards.

Zbysław Raczkiewicz