A
A
A
search
other languages English Polski Deutsch
Return
Ryszard Witkowski „Romuald”, „Orliński”

Ryszard Witkowski was born in 1926 in Milanówek, near Warsaw. His mother, Felicja, managed the only photography lab in Milanówek. Before the war, as a scout of 197 Mazowiecka Scouting Troop, he took modeling courses and built flying plane models. During the occupation, he studied at a vocational school, and in 1942, he first worked as a mechanic’s assistant at Škoda’s workshops, and later in 1943, at the “Pionier” lathe factory in Warsaw. In 1941, he became a part of the underground National Military Organization (NOW), under the pseudonym “Romauld”; after the merge of NOW and the Home Army (AK), he was sworn in as Home Army soldier “Orliński” of VII District “Obroża” Warsaw Home Army. He was a distributor of secret press, he handled magazines such as „Walka” (“Battle”), „Biuletyn Informacyjny” (“Information Bulletin”), „Insurekcja” (“Insurrection”). In 1944, he helped cover ally weapon air drops by “Solnica” post near Grodzisk Mazowiecki. Because of conspiracy activities, his mother and sister were arrested by the Gestapo and detained at Pawiak Prison in September/October 1943. During the Uprising, the Witkowski family gave refuge to three Jewish fugitives from Warsaw. These were: Józef Roman, Pawiak prisoner and Jewish ‘Bund’ activist, for whom Ryszard made a false identity card with last name ‘Grotte’; as well as brothers Bronisław and Józef Miodowski, freed by Insurgents from “Gęsiówka” concentration camp. In 1993, the Witkowski family were awarded a medal for Righteous among the Nations. After the Uprising, Witkowski collaborated with the “Foto” unit of the The Government Delegation for Poland. Fall of 1945, he undertook studies in the Aviation Department of the Wawelberg and Rotwand School of Mechanical Engineering. He was a glider pilot, and in 1947 he gained his airplane pilot license. In 1949, he began working in the Head Aviation Institute in Warsaw, however in 1950, he was arrested by the Department of Security (UB) for his activities in the Home Army, lost his job, and pilot license. He returned to the Aviation Institute in 1955, and regained his license. He worked in piloting helicopters, and was one of the first to receive a helicopter license in Poland. He participated in countless competitions. He was the author and translator of articles and books on the subject of aviation. He lives in Warsaw. 

 

  • Like his mother, Felicja Witkowska, Ryszard Witkowski documented important events in Milanówek and the surrounding areas. During the occupation he took pictures of Italian and Hungarian prisoner-of-war, stationed in the town’s high school building. Also preserved are photographs documenting the Home Army’s weapon storage, destroyed by the Germans. During the Uprising, when Warsaw’s Hospital of the Christ the Child was evacuated to Milanówek, he took portraits of the personnel and wounded. One of them was Józef Miodowski, a Jew rescued from “Gęsiowka”. Witkowski’s sister, Aniela, pretending to be related, took care of him. Photographs after the war show a ruined Warsaw and crowded train cars of those returning to the city; as well as military exercises for teenagers in the areas of Grodzisk Mazowiecki. Among the difficult times presented, photographs from the 1944-45 New Year’s Eve celebrations cheer us up, as well as  images of smiling students from the first post-war class year of Wawelberg and Rotwand School of Mechanical Engineering. Also included in the post war documentations are photographs of airplane wreckage.
MPW-IP/3058
MPW-IP/3058
MPW-IP/3059
MPW-IP/3059
MPW-IP/3060
MPW-IP/3060
MPW-IP/3061
MPW-IP/3061
MPW-IP/3062
MPW-IP/3062
MPW-IP/3063
MPW-IP/3063
MPW-IP/3066
MPW-IP/3066
MPW-IP/3075
MPW-IP/3075
MPW-IP/3077
MPW-IP/3077
MPW-IP/3078
MPW-IP/3078
MPW-IP/3079
MPW-IP/3079
MPW-IN/3145
MPW-IN/3145
previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 of 20 next
close