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Edward Tomiak
Edward Tomiak was 21 years old during the Uprising. He does not appear in the insurgents’ indexes. The Tomiak family came from Poznań, where his father, Adam Tomiak, ran the “Atom” print house. In 1939, they were evicted by the Germans to the terrains of the General Government. The family then lived in Warsaw, at 4 Muranowska Street. It was from the window of this building, where Edward Tomiak took his photographs of the Uprising in action at the wall of the Ghetto. After the Uprising, along with his brother most likely, Tomiak left the city with the rest of the city civilians to a transit camp in Pruszków. From there, they were transported to a concentration camp in Auschwitz. The last letter he wrote from Auschwitz was to his aunt in Poznań in autumn 1944. He later was sent to Melk, a branch of the concentration camps in Mauthausen in Upper Austria. As it is written in the statement of former inmate, attached to the photo album, Edward Tomiak died on 7 April 1945, most likely from general exhaustion. 

 

  • The album, entitled “Destruction of the City”, consists of 180 photographs from the Uprising, , was prepared, after authors death, by his father, Adam Tomiak. The album was purchased from a person with no connection to the Tomiak family. The Uprising Museum gained contact with the author’s sister, Janina Hrosenchik, living in the United States. She was a paramedic during the Uprising. After the war, she became an actress, under the pseudonym Janina Maris. She can be seen in her brother’s photograph as a young woman in a German military jacket with a red cross arm-band, standing next to their father, Adam, and a Home Army poster ‘Do broni w szeregach AK’ (‘To your weapons in the Home Army ranks’).The majority of the images are taken in Old Town. Tomiak’s photographs are unique to the documentations of this area. Among others, they present various stages of ruin of the Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in New Town, St. John Cathedral by Świętojańska Street, and the buildings of the Old Town Square. Shocking are the images of the casualties, torn apart bodies, and discarded clothing, taken most likely after the explosion of a German heavy explosive carrier on Kilińskiego Street. A large group of the images are copies colored in red. In this manner, Adam Tomiak emphasizes the severity of the situation – burning buildings, with small silhouettes of people on the roof trying to extinguish the fire. It is unknown how the negatives were preserved after the Uprising. Their state of deterioration suggest they suffered damages and molding before the copies were made. An interesting element are the pseudo-panoramas made up of prints to show one view. 
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