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Oral history interview with Zdzisław Szparkowski

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1280.10 | RG Number: RG-50.225.0010

Zdzisław Szparkowski, the Righteous Among the Nations Award holder born in Włocławek, Poland, describes being the youngest child in the family; losing his father at an early age; attending technical school in Włocławek, where he got involved with the PPS (Polish Socialist Party; Polska Partia Socjalistyczna) along with many of his Jewish friends; the good relations between the Polish and Jewish population until 1931; the rise of radical antisemitic organizations; Włocławek being raided by Polish nationalists and taking part in defending against them; finishing school and joining the military and later working in a steel plant, where he got acquainted with Mordechaj Anielewicz; being mobilized shortly before the war; escaping a Nazi military camp after Poland’s defeat; returning to Włocławek; being a witness to many repressions towards the Jews, which led him to participate in organizing Jewish evacuations to the Soviet Union; fleeing to Warsaw, Poland after being denounced by a local Pole; organizing help for the Warsaw Ghetto Jews; distrusting organizations, such as Żegota, which were large enough for traitors to penetrate; supplying weapons to ŻOB (Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa) in the ghetto as well as providing shelter to several Jews, both in his own apartment and in a specially outfitted bunker; funding these endeavors with profits initially made on minor trading; encounters with szmalcownicy (black mailers); the inhuman conditions in the ghetto and his support for the Ghetto Uprising; his views of the Warsaw Uprising; working for the MSZ (Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych; Ministry of Foreign Affairs) after the war; receiving the Righteous Among the Nations Award; feeling offended that the Polish nation is blamed for the Holocaust; Polish citizens helping Jews during the war; and his pride for the present-day Jewish community.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Zdzisław Szparkowski
interview:  1994 July
2 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:32:13
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