Bolesław Woytowicz

In 2012 Jane received a grant from The Gerald Finzi Trust to investigate the fate of musicians in Poland during and shortly after World War Two. She travelled to Warsaw to research the subject, working with the help of Dr Katarzyna Naliwajek-Mazurek of the University of Warsaw.

The distinguished pianist and composer Bolesław Woytowicz was one day arrested and sent to the notorious Pawiak Prison in Warsaw. Woytowicz had no idea why he had been arrested, but it soon became clear to him that if he remained there for long his chances of survival were minimal. He later realised that his arrest was most probably linked to a disgruntled Kommandant named ‘Otto’ whose orders concerning the ban on playing Chopin had been countermanded by a culture-loving Luftwaffe General. Since the humiliating scene had been played out in front of Woytowicz, he soon understood that his arrest was linked to ‘Otto’s’ need for revenge. 

You can read the full report here