In September the film telling the amazing story of Tadeusz “Teddy” Pietrzykowski – entitled „The Champion” will premiere. It will recall the story of a fighter underground soldier and Nazi German concentration camp inmate.
“He fought with his bare knuckles in order to survive and to help his fellow man, Dr Karol Nawrocki, the Director of the Museum of WWII said.
That fellow man happened to be father Maksymilian Kolbe, who later volunteered to give his life to save that of a fellow inmate. Mr Pietrzykowski, better known by his nickname “Teddy”, was among the first prisoners sent to Auschwitz.
He witnessed unspeakable crimes committed by the Nazi Germans. To entertain themselves, they wanted to see him fight – and he gladly took up the challenge, not least of all because the reward was a piece of bread.
“This fighter, underground soldier, and concentration camp inmate was, in fact, a very sensitive man,” Dr Nawrocki further assessed.
Mr Pietrzykowski had another passion which was painting. His works can currently be seen at the Museum of WWII. Before the war, he had already painted the Icon of the Holy Mother.
Later, after joining the First Armoured Division of general Stanisław Maczek – which distinguished itself fighting on the western front – and after returning to his homeland, he started to paint again – now for his wife and his daughter.
“Dad was very sensitive, and it can be seen in his pictures, particularly the early ones, which are my favourite,” Mr Pietrzykowski’s daughter Eleonora Szafran reminisced