After the war

– I am glad this war is ending. Finally we shall get down to honest work, because sometimes it is easier to fight than to work and lead an ordinary life – “Anoda” told his friends. 

He never wrote about himself (only in forms, letters and documents) but encouraged his fellow soldiers to record their wartime experiences. He tirelessly collected documents. 

– We owe Janek Rodowicz a lot for urging us, the former soldiers of “Zośka” Battalion to write down recollections of our wartime past and search out and preserve all materials of historical value related to our battalion. Thanks to Janek “Anoda” there are five editions of “Memoirs of Soldiers of Zośka Battalion” – pointed out Stanisław Sieradzki “Świst”.

“Anoda” studied first at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the Warsaw University of Technology and following intensive rehabilitation of his hand (which the doctors wanted to amputate) at the Faculty of Architecture which was his dream. The first grades in his student record book were six A’s, including an A+ for hand drawing. 

– A great boy. Talented student, cheerful and friendly. Outstanding personality. Had a sharp tongue and loved political jokes – says Anna Jakubowska “Paulinka”.

Young people flocked into the Warsaw University of Technology to see the legendary soldier, the famous “Anoda”. But he lived the life of a regular student, maybe only slightly overactive, as his friends point out: he skied, competed in speedway racing, organised artistic evenings, during which he performed. As if he wanted to make up with all this activity for the time lost during the war.

– Jasiu, Jasiu, in God’s name, wounded leg, shattered hand … – with such rhymes “Anoda’s” friends tried to bring him to reason. 

Barbara Wachowicz recorded witty poems from a student camp or a screenplay for the student initiation ceremony in the fall of 1947 led by Rodowicz dressed in a tailcoat and a top hat.

– He could not sit still! Maybe a person who is to live a short life, has to live fast and intensely and do a lot – wondered about “Anoda” his friend Danuta Winiarska “Słoninka”.

For the entire time of German occupation and subsequent fighting “Anoda” did not dance, not once. It was his decision. He made up for it later, after the war, when he fell in love with Alicja Arens.

Zofia Rodowicz recalls: I remember his last name day party – in 1948. There were seventy of them at our house [...] they made plans, talked about their dreams, finally danced. I thought to myself that I am a happy mother – fate had spared at least one child for me while I met many mothers who lost everyone….

She did not know what awaited her son.

Christmas Eve with the Secret Police

On Christmas Eve morning in 1948 the Polish Secret Police knocked on the door of Rodowicz’s home. “Anoda” was arrested. All his mother had time to do was slip a piece of wafer into his pocket.

After more than two months Janek’s parents were notified by a letter from the Ministry of Public Security about the death of their son. On 2 March with the help of funeral parlour employees the family was able to locate his grave at the Powązki Cemetery. Two weeks later a quiet exhumation took place in the presence of the family. Two more were to follow as Jan Rodowicz “Anoda” had three funerals.

The mystery of his death has remained unsolved until today in spite of an official inquiry held in the 1990s.

The official version of the communist secret police was suicide: prisoner jumped from the window of the building of the Ministry of Public Security at Koszykowa 6. From the very beginning his family has never accepted the official version, convinced that Jan Rodowicz was murdered.