Exhibition and a
fundraiser with producer Julian Siminski
Wiktor Siminski (1897-1966) was a Pole who was a veteran of
the Silesian Uprisings (in 1920 & 1921, against Germans) and an artist who survived a
Nazi camp at Sachsenhausen. Our guest will be Mr. Julian Siminski, a 3rd
generation American from
found out about Wiktor while searching for his roots. He will show 16
min tape with materials from a movie project
Wiktor: The Art of Survival and
will talk about the artist. The exhibition will show pictures of
Wiktor’s art and as well as historical photos of Wiktor and of the
by the movie producer, Nr, Julian Siminski
of art by Wiktor Siminski, Nazi camp survivor
of the 16 min tape from the movie
about Wiktor, his art & life and the movie project
This event is organized
by Polish Home Foundation as a fundraiser for the documentary movie
project that is financed through the Film Arts Institute from donations
by Polish-Americans. Julian Siminski is the producer of the movie which
is made as a non-profit movie by the Blue Mountain Pictures based in
Studio City, CA.
Where: at the Polish Home, 1714 18th Ave in Seattle, in
English; donations suggested
More: More about Wiktor and the project
Blue Mountain Pictures, Inc.,
contact about exhibition Ryszard Kott at
RysiekKott@msn.com, (425) 885-6695
A short bio
of Wiktor Siminski
W. Siminski (1897-1966)
as a veteran of the
Courtesy of the Siminski Family
Wiktor Siminski was a
graphic artist, painter, sculptor and writer. He created his
artworks during and about his time at the Sachsenhausen
Concentration Camp as well as after the war. He was the creator of
127 watercolors, essays, oils, black and white drawings, and
miniature (bas) relief taken from the camp.
Born in Silesia
at the time when Poland didn't exist as an independent state, Siminski
was a patriot who fought as a volunteer for freedom of his country.
As a young man he went all the way to the Polish Army in France to
serve under gen. Haller. The Army
recruited volunteers from the United Stated and Europe who hoped for
the resurrection of the Polish state. After Poland emerged as a free
nation in 1918, he returned to his native Silesia. There, he fought
in the Silesian Uprisings during which Poles were trying to wrestle
Silesia out from Germany (1919, 1920 & 1921). Siminski was
also a veteran of the Polish-Bolshevik war of 1920. He was a courageous and
highly decorated military officer.
Arrested by the Nazis on Oct 12,
1939, for his participation in the Uprisings, he survived five years
of the camps. He credited his focusing on arts for sustaining his
will to survive. He drew artwork for other prisoners and was even
able to smuggle some pieces of art out of the KL Sachsenhausen.
Wiktor was also known for creating artworks in prisoners’ letters
that often contained secret messages for those on the outside.
Sachsenhausen Memorial Museum has documented some 40 letters of this
type, which went undetected by the SS. After the war, Siminski
created some startling oil paintings such as: Martyrology of the
Polish Nation (date unknown), Partisans Graves (1947) &
My Comrades (1948-49). His works were exhibited in Krakow,
Katowice, Warsaw, Chorzow, and East Berlin.
also worked on documenting the struggle of Poles against Nazi
oppression since 1933 (most of Silesia being a German province till
Over span of 20 years he created a monumental work about the martyrology of
the former Silesian activists in the Nazi concentration camps. The
manuscript contains hundreds of photos and the “Black List” of the
Gestapo and the SA armed bands in the Upper Silesia (from 1933-1939).
It also includes about 2300 names of the former political prisoners
from Silesia and copies of the identification documents belonging to
the former members of the Polish Resistance, the dates of the
arrests and their executions. From 1946 through 1961, Wiktor
Siminski traveled across Black Silesia and at his modest home
laboratory printed about 300 photos of which many would become
historically unique. He devoted his whole life to his native
Silesia and Poland and left behind a revealing commentary on the
Polish struggle and the war, along with his many artistic works.
Autoportrait from Sachsenhausen
Detail from Carrying Comrade
Wiktor's prison uniform
"P" for Polish political prisoner
Gen. Eisenhower tours camps
Pictures courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,
the Sachsenhausen Memorial Museum and the Siminski Family
A Polish Heritage
the movie project
Courtesy of Polish Heritage, a quarterly of the
American Council for Polish Culture
Spring 2003, Vol.54, No.1 issue
Polish-American Filmmaker Fights To
Bring Wiktor: The Art of
Survival To the Screen
the envelope, Julian Siminski felt a chill.
For the moment, he
thought he was looking at a sketch of his late father, Edward. The kind,
sad eyes, the quiet strength, thin hair, strong nose and cheekbones --
exactly the same. But his father had hardly left any photos behind to
remember him by, let alone something so special as this. Like millions
of Polish Americans, Julian – a native of Buffalo, New York, and now a
documentary filmmaker living in Los Angeles -- had recently felt the
need to trace his family heritage, and turned to the Internet for clues
to his lost ancestry. When his search turned up the name of "Wiktor
Siminski" on an Australian University's Holocaust site, he sent away for
a copy of the man's picture.
Read full article here!
This is the financial summary for the project.
1) Spent so far (on filming in
2) Needed to finish shooting $31,000
3) Post-processing, editing etc.
(to complete the movie) $29,000
Total budget $90,000
The project is at stage #2; that
is it is half done.
It needs more shooting in
Germany to complete materials for the movie.
Your help is needed!
About $31,000 is necessary to get the movie to the point that it can
be self-financed by pre-selling.
About $2,500 has been raised in
March, 2004, and this leaves only 28,500 to go!
To support the documentary movie Wiktor: the Art of
Survival about Wiktor Simiński through our Foundation please make a
check payable to
Polish Home Foundation
and also please make a note
on the check
Doc movie project
and send it to: Polish
Home Foundation, 1714 – 18th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122
Thank you for your generosity!
need help in preparing the exhibition and organizing the doc movie
fundraiser on March 12. Please see Volunteers
page for details.
The donations for this event will go to the
documentary movie project.
the film project
about Wiktor and
the documentary movie project as well as about people creating the movie can be found at
Blue Mountain Pictures, Inc.