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Karol Wojtyła wrote in his autobiographical sketches:
“The war was an obstacle to completing my studies [Polish Philology at the Jagiellonian University] and the living conditions during the occupation forced me to work as a manual worker at the Solvay Company in Borek Fałęcki, near Kraków, between 1940 and 1944. 

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Karol Wojtyła wrote in his autobiographical sketches:
“The war was an obstacle to completing my studies [Polish Philology at the Jagiellonian University] and the living conditions during the occupation forced me to work as a manual worker at the Solvay Company in Borek Fałęcki, near Kraków, between 1940 and 1944. This work, however, saved me from forced labour in Germany and, also, from October 1942, gave me the opportunity to have contact with the underground education movement in the Faculty of Theology at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków.”
Initially, Wojtyła worked at the “Solvay” Company in a quarry and then in a water conditioning plant. It was then that he left a message on filter paper for his colleague with a request to collect his salary.
“Dear Mr. Gőrlich,
Dear Edward,
Yesterday I was at your home and I asked your (– if I’m not mistaken) Mother if you could collect my salary. Now I would only like to remind you about my request (bearing in mind the weakness of the human mind which easily forgets things). If you manage to collect my salary, would you mind giving it to the young Zakrzewski, who works in the workshop (until 1 p.m.) or could you hand the money to the shift supervisor in the laboratory in the afternoon so that I may collect it after 10 p.m.?
Wojtyła”.
On 18 May 1984, the filter paper found a place in the collection of the Family Home Museum of John Paul II thanks to Professor Edward Gőrlich, Ph.D., the addressee of the letter. Years later, the professor recollected that Wojtyła’s duties included carrying the reagents necessary for softening the water, including lime water (transported in buckets using a yoke), which was later taken to the boilers of a local electric power station as well as carrying bags with sodium phosphate and sodium. He usually worked the night shift which prevented him from collecting his salary in person.
The name Kułakowski, the chairman of the Solvay Company, is worth mentioning as by hiring young intellectuals (including Wojtyła) in the company laboratory he saved many of their lives. All of this was possible thanks to the endeavours of Fohl, Ph.D., the director of the Kraków factories, who paid the Gestapo for their tacit agreement to that personnel policy.

Elaborated by the editorial team of Małopolska's Virtual Museums,
Licencja Creative Commons

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

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The Pope’s different faces

Andrzej Jawień, A.J., Stanisław Andrzej Gruda, Piotr Jasień – what do these names have to do with Karol Wojtyła? Karol was a young priest, but also a poet and a playwright. He wrote often, but kept his writings in a drawer and published them rarely under the selected pseudonyms.

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Andrzej Jawień, A.J., Stanisław Andrzej Gruda, Piotr Jasień – what do these names have to do with Karol Wojtyła? Karol was a young priest, but also a poet and a playwright. He wrote often, but kept his writings in a drawer and published them rarely under the selected pseudonyms.
Marek Skwarnicki wrote initially in the preface to Poezje, dramaty i szkice [Poems, Dramas and Literary Sketches] (Kraków 2004) that the novel Niebo w płomieniach [Sky on Fire], written by Jan Parandowski, with Jawień as the main character, was the source of his first assumed name.
Later it was discovered that Jawień was the family name of one of the parishioners of Niegowić, where Karol Wojtyła performed pastoral ministry as a vicar after his ordination.
Stanisław Andrzej Gruda appeared in Karol Wojtyła’s cardinal period when he handed over a manuscript of Promienowanie ojcostwa [The Radiation of Fatherhood] to the Znak Publishing House.

After he was elected pope, his writings appeared in print and were translated into numerous languages; however, he himself remained silent as a poet for the next twenty four years. In 2003 he finally published Tryptyk rzymski [Roman Triptych, Meditations].

Elaborated by Anna Berestecka (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

See also:
Diary with notes by Karol Wojtyła

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Karol Wojtyła’s letter on filter paper

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