Jan Jedynak

non-commissioned officer in the regular army

He was born on 15th July 1895 in Michałkowice in Zaolzie (county Frydek). In 1909 he finished a five-year Polish folk school. Between 1913 – 1918 he was a worker for Austrian rail. In 1918 he kidnapped 100 Austrian horses with a few Polish people and gave them to Polish Army in Rychwałd and then he joined the army as a volunteer. First he served in the 1st Rail Protection Company in Biała as a duty non-commissioned officer at the railway station headquarters. Next he ran the court officer’s office in District Military Tribunal, he was also a court reporter. Between 1923 – 1932 he was a professor in Garrison Prison in Bielsk. He served in the 3rd Regiment of Podhale Rifles for the last two years. He served as a member of Adjudication Panel of County Arbitration Office in Biała.

­In November 1934 he was retired. Since then he ran his farm and dealt with transport services. He got Commemorative Medal for the War 1918-1920, Medal of the Decade of Independence and Cross of the Silesian Brace of Brave and Merit the 1st degree. Jan Jedynak married Wiktoria née Frydel and had four sons: Erwin, Wiesław, Ryszard and Zbigniew.

In August 1939 Bialski District Starost appointed Jan Jedynak the member of the Committee of Horses and Cards Collection. Then he was called up and took part in September Campaign, he was taken prisoner by the Russians. He ran away and came back to his family in Biała in late autumn. Before being arrested he worked on his farm at 7 Hetterowa Street. On 23rd April 1940 he was arrested by the Gestapo officers. After three months the letter came and it appeared from it that he was staying in the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp. His wife sent money transfers for her husband who was staying in the 14th barrack and had a camp number 3728 and then 7029.

On 29th September 1941 a Gestapo officer came to Wiktoria Jedynak’s flat and made her go with him immediately. The Gestapo officer took her to the Headquarters (Geheime Staatspolizei Kommando) in Bielsko at Matejki Street. There when she paid 7 marks, she was given a postal stub and a parcel with her late husband’s clothes informing her that her husband was already dead. She was also warned not to talk about her husband’s death to other people – from Maria Jedynak’ testimony – Wiktoria’s sister. The Gestapo officers informed her that Jan Jedynak had died on 15th September 1941. After the war outbreak his oldest son Erwin got through Hungary and Romania to the forming units of Carpathian Rifle Brigade and then he became a RAF transport pilot in England. After the end of the war he did not come back to Poland, he stayed in England.