Gerard Tatarczyk

* 1929  

  • "[…] After I graduated from high school, we had to be careful not to speak Silesian: - 'Go there under kympa,' and so on, it was not welcome. But we spoke that at home […] in Silesian with correct Polish, so as not make problems for children at school."

  • […] Why Silesian people were divided into the so-called indigenous Germans, Germans and transitional Poles? Families were usually large and the occupying forces needed adult soldiers – the war was long, I think it was four full years – they were given one group more (German People’s List, the so-called Volksliste), to conscript teenagers into Wehrmacht. Therefore, my parents were given the so-called „three”, due to the fact that my brother was older was two years than me (older) and he was at that age […] and Germans sent him on war.

  • "[…] After thaw, Gomułka, collectivization – previously it was a forced collectivization […] and in Racibórz, I worked in the office of a starost, I had problems because I had a 5-hectare farm, and I was given a task to encourage my father to join a cooperative. When I was working in Wodzisław, these cooperatives had to be organized, these production cooperatives. And there was such a moment, in Wodzisław – and I almost opposed collectivization […] And I had a friend, his surname was Pastuszka. And we all were given a group of farmers that we had to encourage to join a production cooperative."

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    Wodzisław Śląski, Polska, 12.10.2016

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    duration: 01:17:10
    media recorded in project Silesia: Memory of multiethnic Region
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My life was quite intensive

Gerard Tatarczyk
Gerard Tatarczyk
photo: Ośrodek Pamięć i Przyszłość

Gerard Tatarczyk was born on April 19, 1929 in Wilchwy, currently a quarter of Wodzisław Śląski (Silesian province). He was raised in a peasant family, professing Catholicism. His father, Antoni Tatarczyk - a veteran of World War I and his mother, Józefa nee Wuwer, run a 5-hectare farm in Wodzisław Śląski at Stroma street (currently Ofiar Oświęcimskich street). Gerard is interested in horse breeding, he and his older brother and three sisters helped their parents on the farm.  At Gerard’s family house, they spoke Silesian dialect, although his parents could also speak Polish and German. Before the war, Gerard attended Polish primary school, after an outbreak of the war in 1939, he started education at the so-called „Übergangschule”  - a transitional school. As a young boy, he wasn’t taken to the army, but he was hiding since January 1945 in Karvina (Zaolzie). After the war, Gerard returned to family house in Wodzisław Śląski and was sent to Basic Agricultural Vocational School in Międzyświeć near Skoczów. He later continued education at Agricultural Technical High School, where he passed a school-leaving exam and was awarded the title of farmer technician. After he had passed a school-leaving exam, Gerard he was ordered to work in the District Board of Agriculture in Racibórz. In 1954, he moved to his family town Wodzisław Śląski, where he worked as a zootechnician. In 1975, he became the chairman of the Association of Agricultural Cooperatives and active member of many institutions, among others, he was a delegate of Chamber of Agriculture in Wodzisław Śląski. For his services for agricultural cooperative movement, he was honoured with Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta in 1999. Gerard married a daughter of a wheelwright from Wilchwy, Bernadetta nee Gruszka on September 13, 1953. They have seven children: 4 daughters and 3 sons. In 1957, Gerard took over a 7-hectare farm from his father, which he run with her wife. In 1989, he went into retirement and made over 18 hectares to his son Tomasz. Gerard speaks Polish and Silesian dialect, he can also speak German. He is still professionally and socially active. He lives in Wodzisław Śląski.