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Wojciech ("Wojtek") Ziemowit Kowalczyk is a Polish-born rebel currenty living in London. The eldest child of Piotr and Bronislawa (nee Kraszewska) Kowalczyk, he works officially as a mechanic. He has two siblings; his sister, Malina, also lives in London and is married to Englishman of, to Wojtek, uncertain identity. His brother, Pawel, died in 1940, also at London. He is unmarried.

Wojtek Kowalczyk

Born

Wojciech Ziemowit Kowalczyk 16 October 1923 (age 24) Toruń, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Second Polish Republic

Occupation

Mechanic, Activist Rebel

Nationality

Polish

Height

5'10"

Blood Type

A-

Childhood and FamilyEdit

Wojtek was born in 1923 in Toruń, then capital of the Pomeranian Voivodeship of the Second Polish Republic. His parents were married in 1920 in Warsaw, Masovia, but chose to delay having children until the end of the Polish-Bolshevik War, as Piotr Kowalczyk was participant in it. After the end of that war, the Kowalczyks moved to Toruń for Piotr to take work as a mechanical engineer in the city. Piotr and Bronisława rented several rooms from an old woman native to the city, and there made their residence.

After Wojtek, his sister Malina was born on December 2, 1926, followed by Pawel in 1932. Bronisława was subject also two miscarriages, one before the birth of any of the children early in 1922 and another between Malina and Pawel in 1929. She later told Malina that she would have liked a fourth child, but could not seem to conceive thereafter. This had disappointed her, but after the outbreak of war she no longer truly regretted it.

Despite the age difference between them, Wojtek and his siblings were quite close. Despite the larger difference in age between Wojtek and Pawel, the relationship between the brothers was always closer than with their sister, with whom Wojtek's relationship was often more one of protection than companionship.

All three children were educated in schools around Toruń, mostly parochial schools, until the family left for England in 1940, after the fall of Poland to German troops and Piotr Kowalczyk's death. Wojtek completed his education in London, but despite good academic performance was unable to attend university as the result of the war. He took work as a mechanic first to help support his family, which was otherwise supported on his mother's wages from work as a domestic, and then to support himself alone once Bronisława and Malina moved to another part of London without notifying him.

Bronisława died in 1945, and Malina wedded an Englishman early the following year. Wojtek received word from her only once after Bronisława's death, and never after her marriage.

Wojtek's childhood before coming to England was relatively privileged and quite middle-class, and it had been his expectation to attend university--likely to follow in his father's footsteps as an engineer--until the war. He learned the fundamentals of mechanic work and machining from relatives quite early on, and pursued further knowledge of it on his own, which prepared him for his work in young adulthood.

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