Leopold Sokolowski in the Polish People’s Army

  • Photo taken in:
    Year when photo was taken:
    Country name at time of photo:
    Country name today:


This is me, Leopold Sokolowski, in Lubsk in 1948. I am standing with my friends, Stefan Dab - Tadek Einhorn before the war - and his wife.  Stefan was born in Nowy Targ and he knew my parents before the war.

I was terribly naive. When I was In Lubsk, I didn't know that a year after the war the Kielce pogrom took place. How would I know? I didn't buy newspapers, I didn't read, I didn't care, I wasn't interested. I didn't know either about the pogrom in Cracow in 1945. Had I known, who knows what course my life would have taken. Later, when I was in the army, I had no contact with the Jewish community. I did meet Jews, for I wasn't the only Jew in the army. Some of them I recognized immediately, for example Major Orbach: not only his name but also his looks were telling.

I was in touch with an old acquaintance from before the war, a Jewish woman, Wadelis. When I was stationed in Poznan, she suggested I can move in with them. Her daughter and my future wife were the same age, and they were best friends. So that was my contact with a Jewish family. Later I found out that Mrs. Wadelis was hoping I would marry her daughter, Edzia; I was a Jew, she liked that. But I knew them both and picked my present wife. I liked her a lot.

I wanted to be a doctor very much. I talked to Doctor Lipszyc, from Lubsk. I told him how much I would like to study, but that I had to make a living and had no base, no home. He said there were so-called academic companies in the army. For a year they prepared you for the final exam and those who passed signed commitment papers to the army, for 12 years, I think, and were moved to Lodz. In Lodz there was the Military Medical Academy. At the time it was called WCWM, Wojskowe Centrum Wyszkolenia Medycznego [Military Center for Medical Training]. One could study there and remain in the army.

I said, 'Yes! Right away!' But he said there is one condition: not to reveal Jewish descent. So I said, 'Doctor, I was scared for five years. Am I to remain scared for another five? You are a man, so you know. I am circumcised. I go to take a shower with the whole company and what? I cover myself, because I had it circumcised?' He said, 'Somehow you have to manage.' So I said, 'No, I'm not up for this, not now.' Because of that I didn't become a doctor. Though I liked that idea very much.

Interview details

Interviewee: Leopold Sokolowski
Agata Patalas/Joanna Fikus
Month of interview:
Year of interview:
Poznan, Poland


Leopold Sokolowski
Jewish name:
Year of birth:
City of birth:
Nowy Targ
Country name at time of birth:
after WW II:
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Year of changing: 
    Reason for changing: 
    Hiding Jewish identity/nationality

Other Person

Stefan Dab
City of birth:
Nowy Targ
  • Previous family name: 
    Reason for changing: 
    Hiding Jewish identity/nationality
    Decade of changing: 

More photos from this country

Rozalia Unger with her husband and children
Emilia Ratz
Post office in Opole ghetto
Niusia and Inia Szyfman

Read more biographies from this country

glqxz9283 sfy39587stf02 mnesdcuix8
glqxz9283 sfy39587stf03 mnesdcuix8