We returned from Warszewice to Toruń depressed, with mixed feelings. That Zawisza had left the world without an heir, stamped with a different coat of arms. The headmaster, teachers, parents and children did not care which Zawisza would become the patron of the Warszewice school. They knew one, the one from the battle on the fields of Grunwald.
And Alfred, the owner of Warszewice? For 45 years it was said of him that he was an exploiter and oppressor of peasants. And he farmed a post-German estate. This is how communist propaganda destroyed the image of a patriotic Pole, who was also heavily involved in helping the January insurgents.
After the electoral victory of the post-communists in the Third Republic, Mr and Mrs Skarżyński lost hope of recovering anything from the Zawisza estate. During their reign, there was no reprivatisation of the estates or compensation for them. Nothing was due to the former 'exploiters' and the school - everyone, including the Skarżyński family, admitted this - must remain in the former palace, as there was no other building suitable for the education of children in the village of Warszewice. While writing, I looked on the internet. On the page about the Warszewice school there was a song written especially for pupils, parents and teachers - The Ballad of Zawisza Czarny. From Garbowo. A memento of Alfred in the palace is a plaque about him, unveiled by his grandson Skarżyński.
The Ministries of Education, then Education and Culture, since the end of the Second World War, have not been interested in searching for the mementos of the Zawisza Czarny, taken away in September 1939 to a museum in Berlin. So little remained of the inheritance plundered by the National Socialists from the Third Reich, together with the Real Socialists (that's how the Communists referred to themselves) from People's Poland.
It was not until 2021 that the marshal of the voivodeship announced that a museum of the Zawisz Czarny family would be placed in the palace in Warszewice. PLN 4,300,000 was earmarked for the renovation of the building. We had to wait so many years to make it happen.
– Maciej Kledzik
TVP WEEKLY. Editorial team and jornalists
– Translated by Tomasz Krzyżanowski