Wozniak, Stanley

Stanley Wozniak was born January 9, 1928 in Warsaw, Poland.  He was born into a large family of 11 children, and they grew up in a positive environment in the 1930s, though the coming of war in 1940 impacted the family dramatically.  They had been living in western Poland, but the aftermath of the German blitzkrieg forced them back to Warsaw, where Stanley lived in an orphanage for a time.  He also was involved in the boy scouts, and his scoutmaster taught him the ways of the military, and Stanley became involved in the underground as a messenger and later a partisan.   As events heated up in 1944 Stanley became involved in the Home Army, and he was in the thick of the fighting as the Warsaw Uprising began in earnest.  Stanley was also one of the first members of the Home Army to go into the sewers, looking for new ways to travel and communicate – and to avoid the Germans.  The Home Army fought bravely, but they were outgunned by the Germans, and were forced into a surrender in the fall of 1945, all while the Soviet Red Army sat on the east side of the Vistula, watching the rebellion unwind.  Stanley became a POW at this time, forced into doing war work by the Germans, which he and his compatriots did their best to sabotage.  By this time they were close to the Rhine, and when their guard walked away one day, Stanley and several others plotted to escape to the Western Allies.  Their first attempt did not succeed however, and back in German hands they were moved to the Hanover area, where British troops liberated them in mid-April 1945.  From there they were trained as British soldiers, and they helped to stabilize the situation in postwar Germany, looking for former German soldiers.  Stanley spent time in Scotland and England after the war, where he was able to complete high school.  He did not return to Poland, as it had come under Soviet occupation; only after he moved to Canada and gained Canadian citizenship did he make that trip for the first time.  Stanley is a true Polish patriot of the time, one of the men and women who stood up to terrible oppression, fighting for their homeland and paying a terrible price.  Stanley Wozniak was interviewed by Rishi Sharma and Scott Masters at his home in Barrie, Ontario in May 2022.