The Witnesses' Uprising Reports
Memoirs of Jerzy Lisiecki a.k.a. "2422", "Jerzy II", the soldier of two Uprising Battalions: "Ruczaj" and "Harnaś"
I was born on August 22, 1923 in Warsaw, in the Niecała 8 street. My father, Piotr Zygmunt Lisiecki, was a specialist in the X-ray equipment. Born in the year 1893 in Warsaw, he graduated from the Wojciech Górski gymnasium, followed by the studies at the Technical Academy in Berlin. After graduation in the year 1914, He came back to Warsaw. After the outbreak of World War I he was mobilized to the Russian army in Mińsk Litewski. He was serving as a specialist in the X-ray department of the Red Cross Western Front. At the end of the War he stayed in Odessa, where He met my mother Nadzieja. She was a daughter of a Greek man called Spiridon Ambatello and a Polish woman. She was also a granddaughter of an insurgent of the year 1863. The grandmother's father took an active part in the January Uprising and after its fail He was sent to the Czarist guberniya in the Crimea. The grandmother's family found themselves in Odessa, nearby the Black Sea.
My mother's certificate of her baptism in the Holy Trinity Greek-Catholic Orthodox church in Odessa in the year 1905 remained safe. The godparents of my mother were Turkish citizens - Mikołaj Kołagru, though I'm not sure if this name is correct, and his daughter Maria Kołagru. It sounds interesting as Greeks would not interact with Turks. In that particular case it must have been strong friendship, I suppose.
My mother's father, Spiridon Ambatello, was a very rich man. As an owner of a café or confectionary, He had a big house. His wife died when my mum was several years old. When, after the outbreak of the Revolution in the year 1917, the Soviets were approaching Odessa, my grandfather escaped from the Crimea together with my mum's brother Mikołaj and her sister Wiera. English, French and Greek war ships were coming to Odessa. At that time Greece had regained independence. The citizen were welcomed on particular vessels. My grandfather Ambatello with two children went to Athens. My mother remained in Odessa In order to Take care of Her ill grandmother, who was Polish.
At that time my mum met my father. I don't know exactly In what circumstances it happened. My parents got married In Odessa. They came to Poland not earlier that in the year 1923.
Nadzieja Lisiecka after arrival to Poland in the year 1923
Odessa used to be one of the most important Russian harbors before the Revolution. Mum took from Odessa to Poland huge albums. On the pictures inside one could see ladies wearing hats with feathers. I kept asking Mum, whether she had been in Greece before the World War I. She answered that she had been on the Greek island Kefalonia.
My mum was a beautiful woman with jet-black hair and wonderful teeth. At the time of her arrival she was pregnant with me. A few months later I was born. Two years later, in January 1925 my brother Konrad was born.
a baptismal certificate of Jerzy Lisiecki with his date of birth
The Lisiecki family was a very respectable one. My grandfather was a restorer and an architect of the Warsaw Opera, he used to renovate and renew it. My father told me once that the family even had some room there to use. When the Opera was already rebuilt, the Lisiecki family had a permanent loge seating there and they could often come and watch performances there.
My father had three brothers: Stefan, Marian and Wacław. My uncle, father's brother Wacław Lisiecki was a great patriot. He was born In the year 1902, used to attend the Górski Secondary School like my father did, and he was an active scout. As an 18-year-old scout-volunteer he was lighting in the 1920 Polish-Bolshevik war As a soldier of the 236 regiment of the Academic Legion he took part in the battle of Ossów together with Fr. Skorupka. There he became wounded. Afterwards he devoted himself to military career. He graduated from the Eagles' School in Dęblin as the 5th among the best students.
uncle Wacław Lisiecki as a scout-volunteer at the 1920 Polish-Bolshevik war
I spent my childhood at my grandmother's, in the Niecała street next to the Saski Garden. Those were wonderful years. The grandma's home was very patriotic. I remember the pictures of Matejko, i.e. "Rejtan" and "Wernyhora", hanging there, as well as the photograph of my father's brother Wacław as a team leader with his scouts. I was being brought up in the spirit of strong patriotic feelings since my early childhood.
Jerzy with his mother
After some time we left the Niecała street and moved to Saska Kępa. This became our place of residence for few years. My father did not use to be successful All the time. Sunrise, sunset
He once opened a workshop in the 3 Maja Avenue, the one that started to increase our incomes. Later on, supposedly in the year 1934, we moved to Anin. There I went to school and became a schoolboy. I remember to have come immediately to the fourth class. Before I must have learned at home.
In Anin I had nice peers. One of them was my friend Hubert Lenk. A few years later he took part in the Arsenal Action. After the Action he went into hiding in a bar whose owner was some volksdeutsch or reichsdeutsch. It was that place where he was overpowered by the Germans, taken to the Szucha Avenue and then executed. I remember him as a very brave and strong boy.
Afterwards, I think it was in the year 1936, we moped to Warsaw again and took up residence In a beautiful huge flat in the Wiejska 3 street, vis a vis the Parliament building. The Monument of the Polish Underground State is currently situated at the very place. My mother had never worked. She would take care of home.
At that time my father set up the first Polish factory of X-ray lamps. Preparing himself to its opening, he travelled to the Netherlands, Germany and France. The company was called "Rurix". My father co-operated with Prof. Janusz Groszkowski, the world-known scholar, who specialized in the high-vacuum technology. Simultaneously, he was my father's friend.
I remember a Day when Prof. Tomberg came to us from Austria. This thin professor of Jewish origin, was an acquaintance of Prof. Groszkowski. The former stayed with us for a week. Much later I was informed by my father that before the year 1939 Professor had left to Norway and thanks to that he survived.
I started to attend the Zofia Szaderbergowa elementary school which was the first private school In the Hoża street. There was a chapel where we used to go after les sons every day. Till now nuns have lived there.
In the year 1937 I was trying to get to the Batory secondary school. My friend Tadzik Zawadzki had identical name as "Zośka" did, but it was Just a coincidence. Our parents knew themselves. His father fought In the Second Regiment (2 Pułk Szwoleżerów) In the year 1920 and was merited. Tadzik was accepted to the Batory school.
I was to be interviewed and went with my Barents. The headmaster talked to us all. My father was employed in a private sector, which turned out to be a negative factor. I was not accepted. My father then reminded himself of the Wojciech Górski secondary school. There three men named Lisiecki used to attend: Wacław, Marian and my father Piotr. The teachers got to know them well. So this is how I started my secondary education in the Górski school.
Nadzieja Lisiecka in the year 1937
It was as early as in the year 1935, while attending the elementary school, when I joined the scouting organization. My group was the 16th Warsaw Scout Team named after Zawisza Czarny, by the Staszic secondary school in the Polna street. Later on, probably In the year 1936, I enrolled myself to YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association), which some of my friends belonged to. My grandmother was very upset for this reason as she thought this was masonry.
We were goings camping to Kasina Wielka or to Mszana Dolna. We would get up in the early morning and sing, "Kiedy ranne wstają zorze " ("When the lights of dawn arise "). We were going to church to Kasinka Mała. Presently, the Polish famous skier, Justyna Kowalczyk, is living there. In the year 1938 we went to the Vilnius region in order to look for my mother's grandmother. Unfortunately, we did not find any. We were staying for three days In an elegant hotel Georga in Vilnius.
In July 1939, having been promoted to the third class of secondary school, I was at a camp in Mszana Dolna, whereas in August I went with my family to Głowno on the Pilica River. My uncle was working in the Norblin factory nearby Głowno where one produced, among the others, items for the army, including elements of bullets.
It must be added here that in the year 1938 Poland, after the fall of Czechoslovakia, occupied Zaolzie. I was not happy about that. Most of its inhabitants was of Polish origin, nevertheless, the circumstances were not too optimistic. Hitler conquered the most part of Czechoslovakia and we also took some scrap.
I remember exactly the thirty first day of August 1939. I was 16 years old at the time. We had Just come back from the summer resort. Something was in the air. One could feel that the war was approaching. I remember crowds of people at the Gdański Railway Station; I had seen it for the first time in my life then. Lots of people, big crowds and the feeling of excitement everywhere. After arriving Home, my mum told me to go to Radość and bring my grandmother. My grandma lived in the Goliszewska street In the Sadyba district, together with my uncle Wacław who was single. Mind you, he was the one who had been wounded in the battle of Ossów. As an aviator officer he had been mobilized and went to the place nearby Poznań. As for Radość, my second uncle's Marian wife, who was an American woman, was an owner of an estate in Zbójna Góra. There were several acres of soil including a pond and a cottage. That summer my grandma was staying at hers. As uncle Wacław had left Warsaw, it was my duty to bring grandma from the place of her summer stay.
edited by: Maciej Janaszek-Seydlitz
translated by: Monika Ałasa
born on August 22, 1923 in Warsaw
leading rifleman, The Home Army (AK) soldier a.k.a. "2422", "Jerzy II"
Battalion "Ruczaj", Company "Tadeusz Czarny", Platoon "Orlik"
Battalion "Harnaś", Company "Genowefa", Platoon 138
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