Kazik piechowski uciekinier chomikuj
Once in the building they broke into the room containing the uniforms and weapons, arming themselves with four machine-guns and eight grenades. Bendera arrived in a Steyr 220 sedan (saloon) car belonging to SS-Hauptsturmführer Paul Kreuzmann, license number SS-20868. As a mechanic he was often allowed to test drive cars around the camp.
He entered the building and changed into SS uniform like the others. They then all entered the car: Bendera driving; Piechowski in the front passenger seat; Lempart and Jaster in the back. Bendera drove toward the main gate. Jaster carried a report that Witold Pilecki (deliberately imprisoned in Auschwitz to prepare intelligence about the Holocaust and who would not escape until 1943) had written for Armia Krajowa’s headquarters. When they approached the gate they became nervous as it had not opened. Lempart hit Piechowski in the back and told him to do something. With the car stopped, he opened the door and leaned out enough for the guard to see his rank insignia and yelled at him to open the gate. The gate opened and the four drove off.
After the escape
The prisoners abandoned the stolen escape vehicle in the vicinity of Maków Podhalański, at a distance of some 60 kilometers (37 mi) from the camp.Kazimierz Piechowski eventually made his way to Ukraine, but was unable to find refuge there due to anti-Polish sentiment. Forging documents and a false name, he returned to Poland to live in Tczew, where he had been captured. He soon found work doing manual labor on a nearby farm, where he made contact with the Home Army and took up arms against the Nazis within the units of 2nd Lt. Adam Kusz nom de guerre Garbaty (one of the so-called “Cursed soldiers”).
His parents were arrested by the Nazis in reprisal for his escape, and died in Auschwitz; the policy of tattooing prisoners was also allegedly introduced in response to his escape. Piechowski learned after the war from his boy-scout friend Alfons Kiprowski, who remained a prisoner at Auschwitz for some three more months after his escape, that a special investigative commission arrived at Auschwitz from Berlin to answer — independently of the camp's administration — the question as to how an escape as audacious as Piechowski's and his companions' was at all possible.
After the war he attended the Gdańsk University of Technology and became an engineer, and then found work in Pomerania. He was denounced to the communist authorities for being a member of the Home Army and sentenced to 10 years in prison; he served 7. At the end of his sentence, he was 33; he reports thinking, "They have taken away my whole youth — all my young years." Thereafter he worked as an engineer for the communist government for some decades.
After the democratic transition, he declined the Order of the White Eagle when Maciej Płażyński tried to award it to him, politely (but also enigmatically) replying, “I do not feel that this honor is owed to me”. In 1989 he sold land he owned near Gdańsk and traveled with his wife to various parts of the world, visiting over 60 countries. In 2006 Piechowski was named an honorary citizen of the city of Tczew with which he has had a longstanding association (as his pre-War hometown).
Likewise in 2006 Kazimierz ‘Kazik’ Piechowski was the subject of the 56-minute-long documentary film Uciekinier (“Man on the Run”) produced by Marek Tomasz Pawłowski and Małgorzata Walczak, which won several international awards. In 2009 the British singer Katy Carr released a song about Piechowski under the title “Kommander’s Car”; while 2012 saw another documentary on the subject directed by British filmmaker Hannah Lovell, the 26-minute Kazik and the Kommander’s Car (to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the escape). Kazik currently lives in Gdańsk, Poland.
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