The photo report of the Eighth Inter-district School Competition
for the pupils of Warsaw primary schools entitled "Me, the soldier of the Uprising"
- school year 2023/2024.

          On December 5, 2023 in the seat of the Warsaw Department of the World Association of the Home Army Soldiers (OW ŚZŻAK) which is simultaneously the new seat of SPPW 1944, 39 Zielna street, 1st floor, the uprising monodramas were presented. The occasion was the eighth edition of the Inter-district School Competition entitled "Me, the soldier of the Uprising" dedicated to the Warsaw Insurgents of the year 1944 and the civilian Warsaw inhabitants of the capital city under occupation.
          The competition was organized, as always in the past years, by the 1944 Warsaw Uprising Remembrance Association. The event was prepared, like in previous years, by Mrs. Maria Poprawa, the Vice-chairman of the SPPW 1944, a teacher of Polish and history in the 118 Primary School in Warsaw named after the Friends of Mazovia.

          The competition was held under the auspices of the Warsaw Insurgents' Association and the Warsaw Department of the World Association of the Home Army Soldiers.

          The rules specified the following aims of the competition:
          - to develop interest of the Warsaw Uprising events,
          - to promote heroism of the Warsaw Insurgents,
          - to arouse a need to read insurgent memories printed in the "Notebooks of the Remembrance of the Warsaw Uprising" (issues 1-18) and the SPPW 1944 website well as the archives of the Warsaw Uprising Museum,
          - to encourage to participate in the meetings "The Witnesses of the History" in the Warsaw Uprising Museum,
          - to encourage to public performances,
          - to promote the high culture of a spoken word,
          - to develop oratorical talents of representatives of young generation,
          - to teach rivalry skills in a friendly atmosphere.

          Each contestant was to prepare a short monodrama related to a chosen authentic person: a soldier of one of insurgent unit, an orderly, a liaison, a young scout-soldier of the Grey Regiments, a young scout-boy delivering the insurgent post mail or a civilian observing the insurgent actions. The "by heart" learnt presentation was to last not more than 7-10 minutes.
          The deadline to register was November 14, 2023.

          Seventeen participants (classes 4-6 of primary school and classes 7-8 of primary school) from four primary schools registered (3 Warsaw schools and one school from Cicibór Duży - the participant was under the care of a SPPW member Mr. Sławomir Adach).

          Eventually 12 participants appeared on a performance day.

          They chose to play the roles of the following:

          1. 1. Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński a.k.a. "Krzyś", the Home Army Battalion "Parasol";
          2. Mirosław Biernacki a.k.a. "Generał", the Home Army Group "Chrobry II";
          3. Barbara Drapczyńska-Baczyńska (Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński's wife);
          4. Jerzy Gaździcki a.k.a. "Gołąb", 2nd company of 3rd Group "Konrad" of the Home Army Fighting Group "Krybar";
          5. Halina Jędrzejewska a.k.a. "Sławka"; company "Jerzyki", the Home Army battalion "Miotła";
          6. Jerzy Kotuszewski a.k.a. "Jurek", the Home Army Group "Krybar";
          7. Aleksander Kowalewski a.k.a. "Longinus", Battalion "Olza", "Karpaty", the Home Army Regiment "Baszta";
          8. Janusz Maksymowicz a.k.a. "Janosz", the Home Army Group "Sosna";
          9. Wanda Traczyk- Stawska a.k.a. "Pączek", "Atma", the Home Army Headquarters (she was being presented twice);
          10. Janusz Walędzik a.k.a. "Czarny", the Home Army Group "Chrobry II";
          11. Lidia Ziental a.k.a. "Lidka", "Roma", the Home Army Battalion "Zośka".

Anna Józefowicz

Aleksanra Przybylska

Ewa Kępka

Grzegorz Marczuk

Hanna Skwira

Jakub Ściborski

Julia Mazurek

Julian Łączyński

Marcel Balcerowski

Natalia Karol

Tymoteusz Mazur

Zuzanna Laskowska

          The following members constituted the Jury:
          Mrs. Cecylia Steczkowska - an artist who is active in the sphere of commemorating the heroism of the Insurgents - the President of the Jury,
          Mrs. Bogna Niezielińska- Galperyn - a person befriended with many Warsaw insurgents with whom she used to co-operate in the Warsaw Insurgents Association for 17 years;
          Mr. Franciszek Cepek - the 1944 Warsaw Uprising Remembrance Association managing board member.

sitting from the left: Mr. Franciszek Cepek, Mrs. Cecylia Steczkowska, and Mrs. Bogna Niezielińska-Galperyn

          While evaluating the performers in two age categories, the Jury considered the following factors:
          - presenting of a chosen person - composition and oratorical talent,
          - esthetics and uniqueness of garment and presenting it,
          - general artistic impression,
          - choice of stage props and music, etc

          After a long discussion the Jury decided to award the following contestants

          the group of younger pupils (classes 4 - 6):
          1st place
          Julian Łączyński, 26 Primary school
          2nd place
          Zuzanna Laskowska, 118 Primary school
          3rd place
          Marcel Balcerowski, 26 Primary school
          honourable award
          Aleksandra Przybylska, 26 Primary school

          the group of older pupils (classes 7 -8)
          1st place
          Hanna Skwira, 118 Primary school
          2nd place
          Ewa Kępka, 118 Primary school
          3rd place
          Grzegorz Marczuk, Primary school in Cicibór Duży
          honourable award
          Anna Józefowicz, 26 Primary school

          On December 12, 2023 in the conference hall of PAST-a (1st floor) the contestants gathered to receive the awards and honourable awards: Empik gift vouchers, two pieces of the "Notebooks of the Remembrance of the Warsaw Uprising" issued by the 1944 Warsaw Uprising Remembrance Association and commemorative diplomas.

          Nobody was forgotten. All the contestants were given commemorative diplomas and two copies of the "Notebooks of the Remembrance of the Warsaw Uprising" issued by the 1944 Warsaw Uprising Remembrance Association, as well as sweet gifts: Christmas bars of chocolate.

          The awards were handed in by: Mrs. Maria Poprawa, the meeting host, and Mrs. Bogna Niezielińska- Galperyn. Handshakes of Mr. Franciszek Cepek and Mr. Łucjan Sokołowski, the host of the place, were additional gifts. Not to menton the fact that at the beginning of the meeting Mr. Sokołowski shared the history of PASTa and the Uprising action 19/20 August 1944 in which 250 Home Army soldiers took part, while acquiring that 50+ metres high tower block cost lives of at least 60 insurgents.

          Mrs. Bogna Niezielińska- Galperyn - whose late husband was an eminent insurgent and a special friend of our Association - prepared a surprise, i.e. a special award for the youngest prizewinner of the competition. In the name of her late husband Zbigniew Galperyn she awarded Marcel Balcerowski a box with commemorative insurgent medals

          The teachers of the pupils-contestants also received commemorative diplomas and books.

          The competition did raise the state of knowledge about the Warsaw Uprising 1944 among the Warsaw youth.

          It needs to be emphasized that this year's competition edition showed a really good quality and level of preparation of the pupils. Special congratulations for the way they learnt long texts by heart, for the way they presented the hero/heroine and the way they looked like wearing appropriate clothes. On the other hand, it is a pity indeed that since the pandemics less and less teachers and pupils have been interested in the competition.

          At the end of the festive meeting Mr. Łucjan Sokołowski expressed his admiration for all the young "actors" whom he had listened to with pleasure. He also thanked Mrs. Maria Poprawa for her efforts to organize the competition "Me, the soldier of the Uprising" in order to save the truth of the Warsaw Uprising.

compiled by: Maciej Janaszek-Seydlitz

pictures taken by: Franciszek Cepek
Maria Poprawa
translated by: Monika Ałasa

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