Story Origin & Synopsis:
Documentary filmmaking the wartime story of Romuald ‘Roman’ Rodziewicz within Poland’s Auschwitz death camp during 1995, was the pinnacle of my broadcast news media career.
As my professional relationship with Roman developed to a close and fascinating friendship, a more detailed insight of his life began to uncover a wider story.
Roman became a National hero of Polish resistance against the Nazi Germany Blitzkrieg of his homeland, a soldier who waged war alongside a band of 50 comrades on horseback, charging at their enemies with raised sabres.
Roman’s escape from the onslaught of an invasion force of such magnitude was miracle in itself, but his capture and later imprisonment within the death camps of Auschwitz provides an astonishing insight to one man’s survival.
As the Second World War ended in confusion and a mass exodus from the horrors of cruel Nazi occupation, Roman was transported to a new life in England.
Living and working within British coal and steelwork industries, Roman built a new life with marriage and children becoming his focus.
But darker memories of his deeply troubled wartime experiences soon surfaced. Roman confided his entire detailed story to our friendship during near twenty years association.
Primarily, this was to enable an accurate and independent story to be told after his passing.
Roman spent most of his life in England living anonymously without any recognition of his exploits.
Our paths had randomly crossed and a deeply meaningful friendship developed, so I took on the responsibility to make sure Roman received his deserved recognition. It was my judgement he should be greeted with the love and full attention of his birth homeland’s peoples, and gain the respect of those ex-combatants who settled and also made Britain their new home.
The horrors of a wartime Poland were vividly recounted in Roman’s story telling.
Roman’s entire adult life was deeply affected by the bloodletting philosophy of a crazed Nazi dream of supremacy, led by an equally crazed Fuhrer of death and destruction.
Roman’s band of freedom fighters became collectively known as ‘Hubal’s Men’, so named after their Officer Commanding Major Henryka Dobrzanski.
Roman’s story is compelling. His honour and courage is undeniable. His forgiveness is the greatest legacy of a truly great man.
The complete incredible life story of the late Roman Rodziewicz is told in ‘Last Man Standing’ ©
Concrete Butterflies Media ©
Malcolm R Fane ©
All Polish Photography (from 1990) Nigel Ibbotson ©