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Krzysztof Kowalewski did not know that he was a Jew.  “I started thinking the day before the pogrom”

Krzysztof Kowalewski did not know that he was a Jew. “I started thinking the day before the pogrom”

On February 6, 2021, on the profile of the 6th Floor Theatre, where Kowalewski performed in the performance “Sunny Boys”, a photo of the actor appeared with a short caption: “Our Sunny Boy … We will miss you so much …”. – He was a walking legend – Michał Żebrowski said about the actor in an interview with TVN24. In 1999, the founder of the 6th Floor starred with Kowalewski in the film “With Fire and Sword”. – This sensitivity, fragility and, on the other hand, a huge amount of good energy that he sent to the viewers. This is an immeasurable amount of good emotions, punchlines, jokes, performances – he said.

Two Theaters Festival 2014 in Sopot – Agnieszka Suchora and Krzysztof Kowalewski VIPHOTO / VIPHOTO/East News

Krzysztof Kowalewski was born in 1937 in Warsaw, as a small boy, so he watched the nightmare of war. In a 2014 conversation with Anita Czupryn that during the Kielce pogrom (they moved out of Warsaw after the Warsaw Uprising) “he was familiar with corpses”.

Krzysztof Kowalewski did not know that he was Jewish. “My mother knowingly did not inform me”

However, he did not know that he was a Jew, so he is in particular danger:

My mother knowingly did not inform me. It wasn’t until the day before the Kielce pogrom that I began to wonder when two twins in the yard grabbed me, twisted my arms and wanted me to admit that my grandmother was Jewish. It made me wonder: ‘Why grandmother?’. And why did it fall against me?

– My mother was Jewish, my father was not – he was from an Aryan family, from Lodz… Since my mother was not ethnically similar – blonde with blue eyes – we were never in the ghetto. However, the caretaker from Nowogrodzka 25 read in some books that the mother of the house is Herszaft, so when she started blackmailing her, of course it was about money, we ran away from Nowogrodzka to 16 Noakowskiego Street. There we rented a room with Mrs Józefa Bieniewska, to whom I spoke aunt – she was a sewn-in aunt for the rest of her life – he said, also mentioning that during the liquidation of the ghetto, “auntie” helped a lot of other Jews. He said about himself that maybe thanks to such a childhood he appreciates the anecdotal side of life more, he remembers what he wants to remember and does not remember what he does not want to remember.

He lost his father in 1940, Cyprian Leon Kowalewski died in Kharkiv. The day after the pogrom of July 4, 1946, he returned to the capital with his mother.

He was not allowed to take his final exams “because of his social life”. He got into college on the second try

He claimed that he made the decision to choose a profession out of despair. All his colleagues already had a plan for the future, and he “like an idiot, infatuated with light social life, non-existence, did not know what to do with himself.” He said in an interview with Mike Urbaniak:

Following the line of least resistance, I say: Mother actress, maybe I will too?

And there was no graduation, as he said, “because of social life”. He counted on the “fore” and passing the exam after he got the index. He passed the first exams, but in the end he did not get in. However, he persisted and succeeded the second time. In 1960 he graduated from the State Higher Theater School.

And although everyone associates him with great historical productions such as “The Deluge”, “Fire and Sword” or “In Desert and Wilderness”, fewer people know that he also made his debut in this film genre. Kowalewski’s first role was an episode in Aleksander Ford’s “Teutonic Knights”.

“Neither characteristic nor lover… It’s who knows what”

He was a phenomenal theater, film, TV series and radio actor, as well as a dubbing actor. If I list some of his fantastic screen roles (“There is no rose without fire”, “CK Deserters”, “Brunet in the evening”, “What will you do if you catch me”, “Miś”, “Janka”, “Zmiennicy” or ” Far from the stretcher”), I’m sure someone will mention that I forgot one. The decades-long adventure with Jacek Janczarski’s “I love you, Mr Sułku” radio play cannot be forgotten either.

What will you do to me when you catch me?What will you do to me when you catch me? Election Agency

Once he played an SS man (in “Stawka larger than life”), but then he didn’t get such roles anymore, because he heard that he was “too nice”. He created many great acting creations in theaters, although, as he said during a meeting at the Theater Institute, when he came to the Polish Theater, at the entrance he heard from the actor Kazimierz Wilamowski on the stairs:

Neither characteristic, nor lover … Such is who knows what.

He has a son from his first marriage with a Cuban dancer, Vivian Rodriguez, and the couple divorced three years later in the 1960s. Later, Kowalewski was in a long-term relationship with Ewa Wiśniewska. In “Far from the stretcher” she played with him, among others. Agnieszka Suchora (first from the left in the picture). They have been married since 2002, in 2000 their daughter Gabriela was born.

On the set of 'Far from the stretcher'On the set of ‘Far from the stretcher’ photo. Alina Gajdamowicz / Agencja Wyborcza.pl

In an interview with Anita, Czypryn praised his wife:

I can honestly say that the person I’m in a relationship with – and I’m not exaggerating – is extraordinary. Very nice lady, I wasn’t expecting that. And it’s not that…

… that she is 31 years younger than you?

It doesn’t matter at all. Mentally, she’s on such a level that she’s probably older than me.

In the last interview for Polityka, he spoke about death:

I don’t panic. But it’s not my merit, it’s just that I got my psyche. I’ve always had the ability to push things that are very unpleasant away from me. I will not postpone death, but we have a compromise in which I neither expect it nor run away from it.

“There was a moment when some important medical decisions had to be made and I told the doctors we were not fighting at all costs. If there’s one thing I’m afraid of, it’s more headaches. I’m afraid that these clouds will stop appearing in my head at all or they will stop being associated with anything – explained the actor. He died on February 6, 2021.

Source: Gazeta

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