A national hero, and for good reasons. His entire bio (check wiki) is a story of a real James Bond (no idea what was his attitude towards alcohol, however), a camera-ready scenario for an action movie. BTW, wiki is wrong about the date he published his autobio: in the 1980s, the communists in Poland decided to allow the real history of AK (Armia Krajowa, Home Army) and the government in exile. The book appeared on the market just before the fall of the commies.
He just failed to be a dad. Leski met my Mateczka almost immediately after leaving the communist prison, in early 1956, when skiing in the Tatra mountains. As my Mom puts it, there was a connection without a real feeling: “he simply needed someone around, someone close, and we both had a clear mind it is NOT going to end in a marriage”. It happened, however, that I was conceived, and having learned about it, he turned his back to us.
Now let me make it as clear as I only can make it: I DO NOT BLAME HIM. I repeat, I do not blame him. To do so, I should first learn now what I would do in his position & under given circumstances. I wrote it on my blog years ago, and I repeat here: what he had behind was his early broken childhood; the 1930s spent studying in Poland, then working abroad; then, six years of the nightmare of World War II, and eventually, 10,5 years of the communist prison. In 1958, he was already 46, yet without the smallest chance to have learned what family life is.
If I mention all that, this is only because of some trolls, mostly Polish extreme right populists, who condemn my liberal views claiming my dad “would be ashamed of me”. Well, trolls might be surprised by his political views I learned about since he agreed to meet me in 1978 (I was 19). Then, for obvious reasons, if anyone might be ashamed of the other, the relation could be opposite to what the trolls suggest. Finally, none of your business, trolls. Get off me and my father.
I am proud of him, proud of his recently growing popularity, proud of a comix series now being published, freely based on his story. I am jealous about him: I failed to inherit his hair, his teeth, his ability to sleep on demand, his courage, his cold blood, his ability to learn any language in three months, etc. etc. I simply fail to be him. On the other hand, would he have stayed with us, and given his character, I would probably be a very different person than I am. So, no regrets 😉