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    79 years since the Adria Action

    On May 22nd, 1943, an underground soldier Jan “Alan” Kryst killed three Gestapo officers in Adria Café in Warsaw in retaliation for the mass killings of civilians. The action was described by an Italian journalist Alceo Valcini who was at the Café at the time and echoed widely in the Polish resistance movement.

    Adria Café was a restaurant located at Moniuszki 10 in Warsaw. Besides food, it offered a variety of cultural events and parties; it could fit 1,500 guests and was the finest meeting place. During the German occupation, it was labelled “Nur fur Deutsche,” Only for Germans.

    Jan Kryst (1922-1943) was a member of the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association (Polish: ZHP, Związek Harcerstwa Polskiego) and later Home Army. He fought against the Nazis since the beginning of the war in September 1939. When he found out that he was terminally ill with tuberculosis, he asked his chief to assign him to a mission with a deadly risk as he preferred to die fighting than to disease. After initial reluctance, the Kedyw authorities complied and told him to eliminate as many soldiers as he could in the Adria Café, often occupied by SS and Gestapo soldiers.

    On May 22nd, 1943, “Alan” entered the Adria Café with falsified documents, shot to death three Gestapo officials and injured another two. While trying to escape, he was hit with a chair and later beaten up to death. He was posthumously decorated with the Cross of Valour and in September 1943 underground youth organisation “Wawer” hanged panels “Jan Kryst Street” on Rogowska street in Warsaw. Since 1995, on the wall where Adria Café was placed, there is a memorial table dedicated to Jan Kryst.


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