back to top

    WW2 hero, prof. Witold Kieżun celebrates 98th birthday

    Witold Kieżun, economics professor and veteran of the Polish Military Underground during the Second World War, turns 98 today. A picture taken of him during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising remains one of the most iconic photos of the 63-day-long Polish uprising against the German Army. All of us at Poland Daily wish you a happy birthday professor. Sto lat!

    On the pages of the Warsaw Uprising Museum, you’ll find war memories of Professor Kieżun.

    Below is a fragment about the capture of 14 Germans on August 2, 1944.,495.html

    “Before the Uprising, I was wounded, my arm was shot through, so I had my arm in a sling, jacket unbuttoned; two German hand grenades and a submachine gun were visible. I see that the door is not with a handle, but with a knob. I kick it. Small room, tables full of weapons and a group of Germans from SS Postschutz.

    As it turned out later, there were fourteen of them. Immediately, I press the trigger of a German gun. I got thirty-two cartridges, and I can kill them all. I press once, twice – nothing.

    The first bullet was crooked. It was a factory fault in the Schmeissers, which is often read in German memories. Soviet submachine guns did not jam, German ones sometimes stuck. I pull once, the second time – silence.

    I am calling: Hände hoch alles! They raise their hands up. I stand with them. I know the gun doesn’t work, and an officer stands in front of me and a Walther 9 mm pistol with a bone handle sticks out from under his belt, a dream…

    I approach and pull the pistol out of his pocket. I see there is a door on the left. I say: Alles raus! They leave. In the meantime, Batallion “Kilinski” rushes in from the front, they go out into the yard. 

    A group of insurgents arrives , most from “Kilinski”. And I say, “Gentlemen, help yourselves!” – I grabbed Dreiser, a light submachine gun, because the weapon was at a premium. Then “Harnaś” wrote to “Monter” a report about the whole story, with an exact list of how many weapons we took. It is preserved in the University of Warsaw Library.

    You can find the report of “Harnas” about what weapon I had acquired.


    More in section