In every family there were participants and witnesses of history of homeland. National awareness is created from individual Polish fates.

Every Polish family in the XX century experienced dramatic events. Regaining independence after the partitions of the Second Polish Republic in 1918, and another one – the fourth partition in September 1939, done by two most terrible totalitarianisms: the German national socialism and Stalin’s system of Soviet communism. In every family there were participants and witnesses of the history of our homeland about we should remember about each person, as such individual Polish fates create our national awareness.

Today I am writing about my Father whose 40th anniversary of death is on 30 September. Jerzy Jackowski – PhD engineer of forestry science, a lieutenant of the Polish Army in the September campaign, and a lieutenant of the Lvov National Army, one of the most prominent foresters of northern Poland, an appreciated activist of nature preservation. He was born on 22 October 1912, in the house of his father in Samhorodek, situated in the district of Skwirsk, nearly 100 km away from Kiev to the southern west. In 1920 the Jackowsi family left Kiev areas in dramatic circumstances and settled down in Krzemieniec. In 1922 Jerzy Jackowski became a half-orphan and the family began experiencing material difficulties. In 1930 he passed his secondary school leaving exam in the Secondary School in Krzemienice, and in 1935 he graduated from forestry studies at Polytechnics in Lvov and got the engineering degree, and then he served in an army in the Cadets School of Reserve Artillery in Włodzimierz Wołyński. In 1938 he was appointed a lieutenant of the reserve of the Polish Army, and he also passed an administration exam for clerks of the first category in the Chief Directorate of National Forests in Warsaw. He started working in Wołyń in the Directorate of National Forests.

On 31 August he was mobilized and participated in a defensive war 1939 as a deputy of the chief of reconnaissance of the second regiment of the Heavy Artillery. He miraculously got away with being interned by the Red Army which showed its great talent for catching Polish officers in the war commotion. The Soviet occupation (1939-41), the German one (1941-44) and the so-called second Soviet occupation (after the year 1944) Jerzy Jackowski and his family survived in Lvov and nearby areas. He was a lieutenant of the Lvov National Army, and during the ‘Storm’ action in July 1944 he had a function of a liaison officer of commandment of the 5th Infantry Division of the National Army. For safety reasons (Jerzy Jackowski did not reveal himself) he decided that his parents with my two older sisters joined the ‘transport’ in dramatic circumstances and on 3 August 1945 they left Lvov in a cattle wagon. After the war they lived in: Klosnów, Elbląg, Osztyn, Szczecin. The social origin and activity of father during the occupation were certainly unknown on the Regained Lands but he still had to be careful not to be unmasked.

Jerzy Jackowski worked in the National Forests. He was also developing his scientific interests, begun still during his stay in Lvov: he is the author of a few dozen scientific books. He also ran a social activity in the sphere of nature protection. He died, full of creative powers on 20 September 1976 from heart attack. Prof. Franciszek Krzysik, the chairperson of the Main Management of the Polish Forestry Society wrote in the post-mortal memorial: ‘Jerzy Jackowski was a forestry lover, and was characterized by a wide horizon and good knowledge. His merits for forests and forestry of Pomerania place him in the rank of the most meritorious Polish foresters’.

Jerzy Jackowski belonged to the generation of Poles who were brought up in the tradition of the first Polish Republic, were getting matured in the inter-war time, and got adults in difficult post-war times. He lived far away from his hometown, and moved a lot; he was born at Dniepr and died in Eastern Borderlands, one and a half thousand kilometers to the west, at the Oder, in the western Borderlands. Such are Polish fates.


„Niedziela” 40/2016

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl