Seweryn Tadeusz

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Story of Rescue - Seweryn Tadeusz

By 1939, Tadeusz Seweryn, nicknamed “Socha”, had become an experienced scientific researcher and acquired considerable experience in practical activity supporting Poland’s independence. During the First World War, he took part in the fight for Poland’s restoration. He was a member of the Polish Legions. He organised the disarming of Austrian soldiers stationed in Janów Lubelski. After Poland has regained its independence, he occupied himself with ethnographic studies. In 1937, he became the director of the Ethnographic Museum in Cracow. He was a member of the Polish People’s Party.

During the Nazi occupation, he was a member of the Union of Armed Struggle (and, later on, the Home Army). In 1941, threatened with arrest, he had to go into hiding under an assumed name. He was the manager of the Civil Resistance division in the Cracow region. In addition to his clandestine operations, his help for Jewish people was one of the most important aspects of his activity. He effectively put his entire experience, knowledge, and contacts to good use when helping others.

In 1943, he was asked to create a local division of the Council to Aid Jews “Żegota” in Cracow. He did so, using the existing structures of the inter-party committee. Stanisław Dobrowolski, a representative of socialists, became the president of the Cracow branch of “Żegota.” In the executive committee of the Council, Tadeusz Seweryn was a delegate in charge of clandestine civil structures.

Seweryn was one of the most devoted activists of the Cracow branch of “Żegota”. In the course of his activity, he took advantage of his position of the manager of the Civil Resistance division. He was sensitive to the situation of people hiding on the “Aryan side”. He considered countering denunciation and blackmailing particularly important. According to his instructions, underground agents employed at post offices were asked to intercept letters sent to German policing services. He co-authored a brochure, published in 1943, entitled Nakazy Kierownictwa Walki Podziemnej [Orders from Underground Fighting Command]in which he included provisions imposing death penalty on informers, blackmailers, and people taking part in killing Polish citizens. He emphasized: “Those were no wild promises. We did not hesitate to harshly punish those who would prey on the suffering of others”. It is believed that there were so few denunciations and blackmail attempts in the Cracow region thanks to his decisive attitude towards such matters.

Tadeusz Seweryn helped Jewish people selflessly. He acted out of humanitarian considerations and on the basis of his ideals. The Yad Vashem Institute awarded Tadeusz Seweryn with the Righteous Among the Nations title in 1982.

Bibliography

  • Seweryn Tadeusz, Polskie sądownictwo podziemne
  • Bartoszewski Władysław, Lewinówna Zofia, Ten jest z ojczyzny mojej, Warszawa 2007
    This publication consists of 3 parts: monographic outline of the issue of aid given to the Jews; collection of German and Polish documents concerning the histories of Jews and the aid given to them; collection of the post-war reports created by Poles and Jews about the aid.
  • Arczyński Marek, Balcerak Wiesław, Kryptonim "Żegota". Konspiracyjna Rada Pomocy Żydom 1942-1945, Mińsk-Toronto-Warszawa 2009
  • Prekerowa Teresa, Konspiracyjna Rada Pomocy Żydom w Warszawie 1942-1945, Warszawa 1982
    A monograph concerning the Council to Aid Jews, an organization operating during the war in the Government Delegation for Poland and providing help to Jews, especially those hiding on “the Aryan side”.
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, Dział odznaczeń Yad Vashem. Dokumentacja sprawy Tadeusza Seweryna, 349/24/2069