Born: June 26, 1923
Mieczyslaw was the eldest of three sons born to well-to-do Roman Catholic parents in Poland's capital of Warsaw. His father was a real estate developer and his mother was a housewife. Mieczyslaw, or Mieteck as he was nicknamed, began attending public elementary school in 1930 when he was 7 years old.
1933-39: My father urged me to study either German or Russian because he thought it was likely that there would be a German or Soviet invasion. Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. During the siege of Warsaw that month I delivered supplies and messages to the front, using a requisitioned private car. Three months later, I joined the resistance group, Union for Armed Struggle [which became the Armia Krajowa in February 1942].
1940-44: In 1942 my resistance group began sabotage operations against the Germans. My specialty was stealing German cars and blowing up supply and troop trains. On August 1, 1944, our units attacked the Germans in Warsaw in open combat [Warsaw Polish Uprising]. On the fifth day of fighting, my platoon, which was using two captured German tanks, helped free 350 Jews from the Gesiowka concentration camp. Thirty of the prisoners joined our forces. A few days later, I was wounded in the leg and had to retreat--crawling through the city's sewers.
Mieczylaw was captured in Warsaw on September 20, 1944. He escaped several days later from a camp at Pruszkow and went into hiding. He emigrated to the United States in 1969.