The drama of the Kowalczyk brothers. Myth and Reality Cover Image

Sprawa braci Kowalczyków jako przykład mitologizacji historii
The drama of the Kowalczyk brothers. Myth and Reality

Author(s): Zbigniew Bereszyński
Subject(s): History, Comparative history
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Komisji Edukacji Narodowej w Krakowie
Keywords: Kowalczyk brothers; Opole; security service; myth; reality

Summary/Abstract: On the night of October 5-6, 1971, a strong explosion destroyed the auditorium of the Higher Pedagogical School in Opole. The perpetrator of the outbreak was Jerzy Kowalczyk, a technical worker of this university, who wanted to demonstrate in this way that there were forces in Poland capable of opposing the apparatus of then in power. In retaliation, the communist authoritiesbrought to court both Jerzy Kowalczyk and - on the basis of collective responsibility - his brother Ryszard, a science worker at the Higher Pedagogical School in Opole. Jerzy was sentenced to death and Ryszard to 25 years in prison. However, social protests led to a softening of the punishment against Jerzy Kowalczyk (it was lowered to 25 years in prison). The mythologized version of the events, stubbornly maintained by some circles, claims that the explosion in the auditorium of the Higher Pedagogical School was made by both brothers in order to prevent the ceremony of handing over awards and decorations to the officers of the Citizens’ Militia and the Security Service, who participated in the bloody suppression of the December 1970 workers’ revolt on the Baltic Coast. This version, however, is not confirmed by the preserved historical sources. The communistsecurity apparatus tried to gain operational benefits from the Kowalczyk case by undertaking recruitment activities against both of Jerzy Kowalczyk’s brothers. There is a conspiracy of silence on this subject in the above-mentioned circles.

  • Issue Year: 2022
  • Issue No: 15
  • Page Range: 147-164
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: Polish