Centrum im. Ludwika Zamenhofa
Mediateka CLZ
Font: A A+ A++
Język: pleneo

Oral history

Memories and experience are some of the most valuable gifts that the older generation can give to the younger. In the LZC Media Library we collect valuable accounts of witnesses of history, we compile and share them.

The interviews are recorded using the narrative-biographical method, which involves recording the free expression of a witness about their entire life. This type of narrative takes into account the subjective perspective of such issues as: local culture, ethnicity, tradition and customs, religion, or identity. Stories recorded in this way are unique, different for each person. Thanks to this, they allow to get to know the individual view of people who saw the interwar period, World War II and the beginnings of the Polish People’s Republic with their own eyes.

We are constantly looking for witnesses of history – people who have spent the last 60, 70 and more years in Białystok and would like to tell us the story of their lives, describe important events as they remember them. If you are such a person or know someone who would like to tell their story, please contact the BCC/LZC.


Wasilewski Bernard

Wasilewski Bernard

Bernard Wasilewski (major) was born on August 10th, 1916 in Góra (Krypno commune), the child of Julia (nee Snarska) and Aleksander Wasilewski. His parents were farmers. He finished a Primary School in Góra. In 1932 he sined up for the cavalry division organised by the Military Adoption. In 1937 he joined the 10th Lithuanian Uhlans Regiment and was delegated to an officer school. After graduating he was assigned to the 2nd Squadron as an instructor. Until the II World War he stayed at the barracks of the 10th Lithuanian Uhlans Regmient in Białystok. He took part in the Battle of Kock on October 2-6, 1939 (the last battle of the defensive effort fought by a regular army). There on October 6th he was captured by the Germans. At first he was palced in a prisoner camp Stalag VII A for priavtes and low rank officers in Moosburg in Southern Bavaria. Later he was moved to work to Berchtesgadem in the Alps and then he was moved to Piding near Raichenhalle in Bavaria. In July 1942 he was caught along with 5 other prisoners during an escape attempt. He was placed in a penal camp XVIIIC. After a few weeks he was transported back to Piding. He remained there until the camp was liberated in May 1945. After returning to Poland he settled in Haliowo in the Kujawy region. In 1949 he came to Białystok and was employed as a mason an later as a wagoner. Until his retirement in 1991 he worked at the “Przewóz” Transportation Services Cooperative. For 10 years he sang in the Cantylena choir. He was a member of the War Invalid Union as well as the Union of the Republic of Poland Combatants and Former Political Prisoners. He led the colour guards during patriotic and church celebrations. He was awarded the “History`s Witness” prize by the National Memory Institute, Białystok branch. In 2013 Minister of National Defence promoted him to the rank of major. He died on January 13th, 2014 in Bialystok.

Photos and documents