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Joachim Joachimczyk „Joachim”

Second Lieutenant Joachim Joachimczyk “Joachim” was born on 16 May 1914 in Swornegacie, Kashubia (northern Poland). In 1938, he completed Cadet training. In September 1939, he fought in the 16th Infantry Regiment in the Świętokrzyskie Mountains region. He spent the occupation in Warsaw. In 1942, he was trained in photography by the Photographic Section of the Bureau of Information and Propaganda (BIP) of the Headquarters of the Home Army (AK). During the Uprising, he photographed the City Center, Powiśle district, and Czerników as Military Press Reporter (PSW) “Joachim”. He reported directly to Second Lieutenant Stanislaw Olkusznik “Śmiałowski”, the manager of the information and film section. After the capitulation, he was interned to Stalag X B in Sandbostel, escaping during a subsequent transfer. He returned to Gdynia in November 1944, where he joined the underground Scouting organization (“Tajny Hufiec Harcerzy”). Alongside them, he organized two investigative operations under codenames „B-1” and „B-2”. Operation “B-1” depended on stealing German plans of the Navy military base in Gdynia and transferring them to British aircraft bases. On 18-19 December 1944, they completed an air raid, during which they destroyed several battleships, among others “Schleswig-Holstein”, from which a gunfire on Polish facility on Westerplatte in Gdańsk was conducted, beginning the World War II on 1 September 1939. Operation “B-2” delivered the plans of the German occupation over Gdynia to the Red Army, which resulted in quicker support in evicting the Germans from the city in March 1945. After the war he graduated from the University of Economics. He worked as a teacher and director of the Chemical Schools in Gdynia-Cisowa. The identity of PSW “Joachim” was unknown for many years. He was recognized in 1979 by Prof. Władysław Jewsiewicki, film historian and Uprising photography researcher. Joachim Joachimczyk died 4 May 1981 in Gdańsk. In 1984, his Uprising photographs were presented at an exhibit in the Royal Castle in Warsaw. 

 

  • Joachimczyk’s first photographs were taken on 3 August at Napoleon Square. He walked around with his camera through City Center, Powiśle and Czerniaków districts. One of the most interesting reporter’s series present German POWs from the insurgent-acquired PAST building on 20 August; as well asinsurgents emerging from the sewers by Warecka Street, after the fall of Old Town on 1 September. He also photographed everyday civilian life in a fighting city and few insurgent celebrations. In several of the images, his wife Maria (a courier for the Government Delegation for Poland) can be seen. Joachimczyk shot with Kodak and Leica cameras, as well as some action filming. He gave the exposed film to Second Lieutenant “Śmiałowski’, who gave him the resulting negatives, and sometimes prints of the more interesting shots. Only the film taken with the Leica, mainly in August 1944, remain. The film taken with the Kodak camera, including shots of POW transit camp in Ożarów and transportation to Stalag, were lost. They were discovered in a POW camp by a Wehrmacht solider, who committed to send them back to Poland. Unfortunately, they never arrived. The rest – buried in the destroyed building of Queen Jadwiga High School and hidden in the basement of a house in Aleja Róż Street – were never found.
MPW-IK/1838
MPW-IK/1838
MPW-IK/1839
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MPW-IK/1942
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MPW-IK/1983
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MPW-IK/1984
MPW-IK/2215
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