- January 28, 2013
Ponary Diary by K. Sakowicz in Lithuanian
In Vilnius the official presentation of Lithuanian edition of ‘Ponary Diary, 1941 – 1943’ will be held in celebration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. A shocking account of the Nazi crime – miraculously preserved notes of Kazimierz Sakowicz – has been already translated and published in several languages. Finally last year the Lithuanian edition was prepared and published by the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania. The presentation will be held today at 5 pm in the Jewish Community Centre at ul. Pylimo 4.
Kazimierz Sakowicz was a pre-war Vilnius journalist (he wrote for Przegląd Gospodarczy) and officer of Polish army. During the war, he was involved in the activity of the Armia Krajowa [English: Home Army]. He lived in Paneriai near Vilnius. For several months he was stealthily observing executions of thousands of people: Jews, members of Polish intellectual elite, Soviet prisoners and others.
On July 5, 1944, Sakowicz paid the highest price for his observations and notes (written at the behest of the AK). A few days before the Operation ‘Gate of Dawn’ [Polish: Operacja “Ostra Brama”], when Sakowicz was riding a bicycle to Vilnius, he was fatally wounded in an ambush prepared by Lithuanian collaborators (Ypatingasis Būrys), who probably had noticed his interest in their activity and decided to kill the inconvenient witness. He had been fighting for his life for ten days in St. Jacob Hospital. However, he died after the Soviet invasion.
Sakowicz buried his notes in soda water bottles near a veranda of his house, where they were found after the war. His complex notes were ordered and deciphered in the ’90s by Rachel Margolis PhD, an employee of the Vilna Gaon State Museum (R. Margolis will be a guest of the today presentation). It was discovered that notes form the period between November 1943 to July 1944 were missing.
The first book edition of Skowicz’s notes titled Ponary Diary, 1941 – 1943 was published in 1988 as a part of the ‘Biblioteka Wileńskich Rozmaitości’ series prepared on the initiative of the Society of Vilnius and Vilnius Region Friends [Polish: Towarzystwo Miłośników Wilna i Ziemi Wileńskiej]. The first translation was published in Hebrew in 2000, German translation in 2003, and English translation in 2005.
Kazimierz Sakowicz is buried on Rasos cemetery in Vilnius.
Based on: wikipedia.org, inf.wł.
Tłumaczenie Karolina Rolka w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Karolina Rolka the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.