77th Anniversary of “Sonderaktion Krakau”

On 6th November, 2016, 77 years passed from “Sonderaktion Krakau” – a criminal action aimed at Polish intellectuals, which finished with arresting the professors of Krakow universities who had been invited on demand of German authorities to a special meeting at Collegium Novum of the Jagiellonian University.

 

Nearly all academic staff of the Mining Academy were arrested and deported to the Nazi Germany's concentration camps in Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg and Dachau.  

 

From the “Chronicle of the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow” (S. Białas, A. Szybiński) 

 

On 3rd November, 1939, professor Tadeusz Lehr-Spławiński, Rector of the Jagiellonian University, received a written invitation from Obersturmbannführer Brunon Müller to the Headquarters of the Security Police. At a meeting, Müller demanded that a general assembly of professors be called in order to inform them about the opinion of the German authorities on the matters of science and education. On 6th November at 12 pm, a significant number of professors and lecturers gathered in room no. 66 on the second floor of the main building of the Jagiellonian University (Collegium Novum). The Gestapo surrounded the building by a tight cordon, stopping any communication with the city, and arrested the gathered professors. Bruno Müller, who commanded the action, announced that the Krakow University had always been an anti-German centre, and because of that it was going to be closed down, and the professors were going to be sent to a concentration camp.  

 

As part of the action, the Nazi also arrested the professors of the Mining Academy, who at the same time participated in a meeting taking place in a conference room at the Faculty of Philosophy. These meetings took place regularly in order to maintain contact between professors. Because the main building of the Mining Academy at 30 Mickiewicza Avenue was occupied by the authorities of the General Government, professor Izydor Stella-Sawicki, covering for the rector of the Mining Academy who was absent from Krakow at that time, obtained consent of the rector of the Jagiellonian University to hold the professors’ meeting in the above-mentioned building. Initially, it was planned to start the educational activity of the university. However, due to the occupation of the main building of the Mining Academy by the German authorities, it was announced that in the academic year 1939/1940 the university would remain closed.  

 

“During the memorable arrest of 6th November, 1939 – recalls Witold Budryk (AGH UST Rector in the years 1956-1958) – we were participating in a meeting of Academy professors taking place in the conference room at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Jagiellonian University. There were about 20 people there. Only a few professors, e.g. Hoborski and Bielski, went to room no. 66 to listen to a lecture initiated by Müller. Suddenly, we received information that some arrests were being made in the room. We decided not to leave the room in which our meeting was taking place. At some point, a Gestapo officer came into the room and asked who we were and what we were doing there. When we explained that we were the professors of the Mining Academy and that we were holding a meeting in that place because our university had been taken over for the headquarters of the General Government, the Gestapo officer told us to stay in the room, and he probably went to see Müller for further instructions. Soon, he returned and announced that we were arrested.”  

 

On that day, 183 people were imprisoned – they were the professors, associate professors and assistants of the Jagiellonian University and the Mining Academy, as well as a number of individuals who accidentally happened to be in the building.   

 

The arrested professors and assistants of the Mining Academy:  

  • Zygmunt Saryusz-Bielski – engineer, full professor of drilling and oil mining 
  • Andrzej Bolewski – mining engineer, doctor of technical sciences, associate professor of the Mining Academy, assistant professor at the Department of Mineralogy and Petrography  
  • Witold Budryk – mining engineer, doctor of technical sciences, full professor of mining 
  • Edmund Chromiński – engineer, full professor of machine design and technology   
  • Stefan Czarnocki – mining engineer, professor of applied geology  
  • Mikołaj Czyżewski – metallurgical engineer, doctor of technical sciences, associate professor of coke engineering and heat and fuel technology  
  • Roman Dawidowski – mining and metallurgical engineer, doctor of technical sciences, professor of heat and fuel technology  
  • Iwan Feszczenko-Czopiwski – technological engineer, doctor of technical sciences, titular professor, associate professor of thermal metallography and special-purpose steels  
  • Stanisław Gołąb – doctor of philosophy, associate professor of the Jagiellonian University and the Mining Academy, assistant professor at the Department of Mathematics   
  • Antoni Hoborski – doctor of philosophy, full professor of mathematics at the Mining Academy, associate professor of mathematics with the title of full professor at the Jagiellonian University
  • Stanisław Jaskólski – doctor of philosophy, titular professor, associate professor of applied geology, assistant professor at the Department of Applied Geology   
  • Mieczysław Jeżewski – doctor of philosophy, full professor of physics, associate professor of experimental physics at the Jagiellonian University   
  • Julian Bolesław Kamecki – full professor of physics, associate professor at the Department of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry  
  • Aleksander Krupkowski – metallurgical engineer, doctor of technical sciences, professor of metallurgy of other than ferrous metals, associate professor of the Warsaw University of Technology   
  • Adam Ludkiewicz – mining and metallurgical engineer, full professor of metallurgy of steel   
  • Antoni Meyer – doctor of laws, mining engineer, retired President of the State Mining Authority   
  • Izydor Stella-Sawicki – road and bridge engineer, professor of engineering and civil engineering 
  • Wilhelm Staronka – doctor of philosophy, full professor of general chemistry, associate professor of the Jagiellonian University   
  • Jan Studniarski – electrotechnical engineer, doctor of technical sciences, full professor of electrical engineering   
  • Władysław Takliński – technological engineer, professor of theoretical mechanics and strength of materials, deputy rector of the Mining Academy 
  • Edward Windakiewicz – mining engineer, doctor honoris causa of the Mining Academy, associate professor of salt mining  
  • Feliks Zalewski – mining engineer, full professor of mining