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Wacław Gluth-Nowowiejski (Wacek) (born 10 June 1926 in Warsaw) is a former soldier of the Polish Home Army (AK), a participant in the Warsaw Uprising, and after the war, a publicist and author.[1]


Wacław's father was Alojzy Gluth, who later added the name "Nowowiejski" after one of the characters (Adam Nowowiejski) from Henryk Sienkiewicz's novel Fire in the Steppe. Alojzy had been a member of the paramilitary organization Strzelec in the Austrian partition part of Poland and later, during World War I, served in Józef Piłsudski's Polish Legions. Wacław had three older brothers.[1]

World War IIEdit

Destroyed Warsaw, capital of Poland, January 1945

The ruins of Warsaw, after its systematic and planned destruction by the Nazis. Gluth-Nowowiejski hid in the ruins from late September until mid November, 1944.

At the outbreak of World War II and the German invasion of Poland, in 1939, Wacław was twelve years old. In 1944 he became a member of the Polish anti-Nazi resistance group, the Armia Krajowa (Home Army).[2] He took part in the Warsaw Uprising as a commander of the Żmija Group (Viper Group), fighting in the Żoliborz district. He was wounded on 14 September in Marymont. Subsequently, he hid in the ruins of the destroyed city as one of the Robinson Crusoes of Warsaw, until November 1944. He survived the war, although all three of his brothers were killed during the German occupation of Poland.[3]

After the warEdit

After the war, in 1948, Waclaw was arrested by the Communist authorities of the People's Republic of Poland for keeping in contact with former Home Army soldiers who had gone into anti-communist resistance and for belonging to a student group named "Keep Smiling" (original name in English). The secret police believed "Keep Smiling" to be an American/British spy network because of its foreign name.[3] He was beaten and tortured during interrogation.[3] After a show trial, he was imprisoned until 1953.[4]

After being released, he wrote several books about his wartime experiences including Śmierć poczeka (Death can wait),[5] Nie umieraj do jutra (Don't die till tomorrow),[6] Stolica jaskiń: z pamięci warszawskiego Robinsona (The capital of caves: from the memories of a Warsaw Robinson) and Rzeczpospolita gruzów (The Commonwealth of ruins), which was adopted into a short comic by Polish artist Jerzy Wróblewski in 1979.[7] In the same year Gluth-Nowowiejski also wrote the story for another of Wróblewski's war related comics, Czterej na drodze śmierci (Four on the road of death).[7]

In the 1980s he took part as a consultant in the making of several documentary films about the Warsaw Uprising.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Małgorzata Brama (20 February 2007). "Wacław Gluth-Nowowiejski, pg. 1". Archiwum Historii Mówionej. Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego (Museum of the Warsaw Uprising). Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  2. Małgorzata Brama (20 February 2007). "Wacław Gluth-Nowowiejski, pg. 10". Archiwum Historii Mówionej. Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego (Museum of the Warsaw Uprising). Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "The Dialectics of Pain: The Interrogation Methods of the Communist Secret Police in Poland, 1944–1955". 2004–2005. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  4. Juliusz Urbanowicz (2004). "Chwała niezwyciężonym". Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  5. Google books
  6. Google books
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Jerzy Wróblewski, Rysownik". Relax, Polish magazine devoted to illustrated stories (comics) [1]. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  8. Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Filmowa, Telewizyjna i Teatralna im. Leona Schillera w Łodzi (1999). "Wacław Gluth-Nowowiejski. Filmografia". Filmpolski. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 

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