english version

07-08-2008

08-02-2008

wersja polska

Antoni Wajszczuk (1591)
 
combat fighter of the PPS under Marshall J. Pilsudski - deported to Siberia in 1906.


Below is a summary of an article from a quarterly publication "Teka Zamojska" ("Zamosc Files"), fascicle 3, 1938 entitled "Battle at Zwierzyniec in 1906". Described there is Antoni Wajszczuk from Sitaniec, his activities and fate as a young independence fighter and member of the Combat Organization of the Polish Socialist Party  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combat_Organization_of_the_Polish_Socialist_Party) which was at that time led by Jozef Pilsudski, the future Chief of State and Marshall of the free and independent Republic of Poland after World War I (Józef Piłsudski)

This Organization was formed to prepare the military cadres in anticipation of the approaching struggle for the liberation and independence of Poland, avenging the cruelty and oppression by the Russian Tsarist officials and the secret police and finally, to provide cash for the military training and maintenance of the Organization. This last objective was accomplished by attacking the postal trains and postal vans.

This publication and article were discovered in the National Library in Warsaw by our friend and close collaborator, Wladyslaw Sobecki. During the early stages of our genealogical search, at one of the meetings with members of the Zamosc branch of the Family, somebody mentioned a book published before the World War II in which some Wajszczuks were described. No further details could be obtained at that time. According to these report, some family members from Sitaniec were arrested by the Russian Army Cossacks before or during WW I or Polish-Soviet War (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish-Soviet_War), jailed, send to exile in Siberia (katorga”) and were not heard from anymore. At that time we were given the names of Antoni (0449) and Pawel (0450), sons of Pawel (0404) from Sitaniec (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/drzewo/zamojszczyzna_pawel.htm). Their exact dates of birth were not known and it was suspected that they both were arrested (and died?) at the time of the Polish-Soviet war in 1919?. A subsequent review in August 2006 of the registry books of the Sitaniec Parish for the years 1872-1905 in the National Archives in Zamosc documented the births of three oldest sons of Pawel  (0404) - the first one, Antoni was born in 1883 but died in 1886. After him, Piotr was born in 1885 (and not a Pawel, as we were told earlier!) - no further information about him could be found sofar! In 1888, another son was born, who was named again Antoni (perhaps in memory of the yongest child, who died in 1886?). It seems that this is Antoni Wajszczuk described in the article mentioned above!

(At the present time, the fate of his older brother Piotr, who was also supposedly arrested at the same time [?], is not known. We have some information about the fate of Pawel's (0404) other oldest children and their families, except about Jerzy, who was born in 1895).

 St. Andrzej Radek. Bitwa pod Zwierzyncem w 1906 r. ("Battle at Zwierzyniec in 1906"). ; TEKA ZAMOJSKA, zeszyt 3, rocznik 1, Zamość 1938. 

Summary: (in English): The article contains a description of an attack on Russian Tsarist postal vans on a road between Bilgoraj and Zwierzyniec. (see map). The attack detachment travelled from Lublin on July 4, 1906 – the group was guided by Antoni Wajszczuk, son of the "wójt" (elected mayor of a rural commune - gmina) of Sitaniec.

A fighter, "full of zeal, extremely brave, although of small stature, knowing well this region". There were seven of them and they were planning to attack the postal vans transporting the collected tax money. Many formations of Russian cavalry and Cossacks were stationed in the area, therefore the success of the action was dependant on quick attack and then quick withdrawal into the surrounding forests.

Unfortunately, several delays developed and they were not quite ready, when the postal vans approached the previously selected place of ambush - they were forced to attack in a less favorable location. There were three horse drawn wagons with 14 soldiers - the second one carried the safe with cash. Exchange of rifle fire frightened the horses, the first and third wagon run off the road and became trapped among the trees, but the second one with the money the horses pulled straight down the road and after a short while it disappeared from sight. Strong Russian reinforcements arrived from the nearby barracks and the fighters were forced to withdraw and hide in the forest. Subsequently they arrived at the nearby village, where the locals supplied them with the peasant garbs and some of them were able to escape from the encirclement. Unfortunately some of them were soon captured.

 Wajszczuk hid all their Mauser rifles and Browning pistols under his clothes, calmly walked into the nearest house from which he soon walked out carrying a crib containing a baby and calmly walked away from the encircling Cossacks into the surrounding fields. (...) He arrived at Sitaniec, spent a night with the relatives but, unfortunately was captured next morning while looking for his friends and trying to find out about the results of the battle. Suddenly the Cossack appeared, captured him, tied with a rope and transported to Szczebrzeszyn, where he was beaten almost to death while refusing to answer their questions. After four days, he was transferred with other captives to the Lublin Castle jail. One week later, four of them were transferred to the Xth Pavillion of the Warsaw Citadel. On the 28 of September 1906 the Russian military court sentenced all of them to death by hanging. Subsequently the sentences were reduced - to "katorga" (deportation to Siberia and hard labor) 'till life-end for two of them and 20 years for Wajszczuk (and Janiszewski) -

Janiszewski died there after 3 years. Antoni Wajszczuk was sent to the Smoleńsk Gubernia and died there – it is not known, when.


Prepared by Waldemar J Wajszczuk & Paweł Stefaniuk 2008
e-mail: waldemar@wajszczuk.v.pl