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  • ACTUALITÉS

  • 15 octobre 2012

    Opis strony.

    Edward Kossoy (nom de guerre Marcinek) (4 June 1913 - 11 October 2012) was a Polish lawyer, publicist and an activist for victims of Nazism

     

    Kossoy was born in Radom but spent his childhood in Yekaterinoslav in Ukraine where his parents moved to during World War IAfter the Polish-Soviet War and the Peace of Riga in 1921 he moved back to Poland. In 1930 he finished the Tytus Chałubiński National Gymnasium in Radom and then studied at the Law School of Warsaw University. He graduated in 1934.

    In 1939, in the wake of the Nazi invasion of Poland, Kossoy fled Warsaw and escaped eastward to Lviv which was taken over by the Soviet Union after the Soviet invasion of Poland. He was hoping to locate his family there and he himself planned on making his way through Romania to France to join the Polish army that was being recreated there.However, in 1940 he was arrested by the Soviet militia on the charge of smuggling watches which he was trying to sell to raise money for his family and for travel to France. During interrogation he admitted to having higher education and as a result was handed over to the NKVD which charged him with espionage and "counter revolutionary activity". He was sentenced, according to the famous Article 58, to eight years in the Gulag and sent to one of the sub-camps of Vorkuta, Pechora. There he worked on the construction of the railway which connected the mouth of the Pechora River with the southern end of the Urals - according to the Russian inmates, the railway had two dead bodies under every rail. According to Kossoy, who contracted typhus in the camp, out of the 20,000 Poles who arrived at the camp in 1941, only 6,000 were left two years later.

    Kossoy was released after two years because of the Sikorski–Mayski Agreement. He evacuated the Soviet Union together with the Anders Army.[1] During World War II his whole family was killed by the Germans: his father, wife and daughter.He was officially discharged from the Anders Army in 1943, in Teheran, because of illness; in addition to the typhus he also contracted malaria.[1] By the end of 1943 he made his way to the British mandate of Palestine where he stayed.

     

    In Tel Aviv in 1944, he wrote and published a series of essays based on his experiences in the gulag, entitled "Stołypinka" (named after the rail cars used to transport prisoners to the gulag). The essays were not published in book form until 2003.

    Kossoy was a member of Menachem Begin's underground Irgun organization in 1948 and participated in the Israeli War of Independence in its ranks. After end of World War II Kossoy remarried. His wife had been born in Warsaw and took part in the Warsaw Uprising.He lived in Israel until 1954, at which point he moved to Europe.He studied in Munich, Cologne and Geneva and obtained a PhD in law and political science.

    It was in Geneva where he met Wacław Micuta, a former member of the Polish Home Army and a United Nations functionary, and the two quickly became friends.[3] It was Micuta who first told him about the liberation of the Gęsiówka concentration camp by Polish resistance during the Warsaw Uprising. At first Kossoy was skeptical but he decided to investigate the matter farther and soon found some survivors of the camp among his clients, who confirmed Micuta's story. As a result Kossoy wrote several historical articles on the subject, which were published by Yad Vashem and in Polish emigre press (with the help from Jerzy Giedroyc).

     

    As an attorney in his twenty five year career, he has represented around sixty thousands victims[3] of the Holocaust and Nazi terror in cases involving restitution and reparations from the German government.[2] His clients have been Jews, Poles and Roma.

     

    He has published several books in various languages (English, German and Polish) and historical articles related to restitution for Nazi crimes, contemporary international relations and Polish-Jewish dialogue. Many of these were published in the "Zeszyty Historyczne" (The Historical Journals) published by the Literary Institute in Paris. His memoirs, entitled "On the Margin..." were published in 2006, and nominated for the Nike Award in 2007.

    At the time of his death he was an honorary senator of the University of Tübingen.[6] He lived in Goms, Switzerland.

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