OverviewMy Boyhood War, Warsaw 1944 is an intensely personal account of Hryniewicz' life in Poland during the Second World War, centered primarily on the Warsaw Uprising of August 1944. Despite being the longest urban battle between lightly armed irregular forces and the most professional Army of its day - in terms of ferocity, compared by the Germans themselves to the Battle of Stalingrad - the Warsaw Uprising still remains one of the least known chapters of World War II. In this first-hand account, the harrowing details of life under years of occupation and heavy urban combat are told with disarming authenticity, through the eyes of a 13-year-old boy. Hryniewicz was eight when the war began and 13 when he became a runner to the Commanding Officer of a Polish Home Army Unit, making him both witness and participant in the midst of the 63-day long battle. These impressive personal recollections are explored together with the author's broader insights into the connected events that so transformed the map of Europe, which continue to dictate geopolitics today Praised by eminent historians, authors and statesmen alike, the author's account stands as a cautionary tale about the brutal and lasting effects of war. As tensions in Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe continue to mount, this book serves as a timely reminder of the ever present dangers of Imperial annexation on Europe's eastern flank.
Reviews'"An intensely personal yet politically significant account of a major World War II battle: the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. It also enhances a better understanding of Russia's current goals in East-Centraloka Europe." —Zbigniew Brzezinski, former United States National Security Advisor
"Told with the wisdom of one who survived the deafening noise of war, as well as the deafening silence of the peace that followed. This riveting story of heroism and betrayal is indispensable for understanding political events today. Narrated with elegance, gravity and a writer's eye for the harrowing details that shaped life on the front. Hryniewicz's book reminds us all of the urgency of the past. His message? We remember." —Krystyna von Henneberg, academic historian
"Hryniewicz' engrossing and detailed memoir of the Warsaw Uprising adds the unvarnished insights of an adolescent 'runner' for the underground to a story that never fails to move the reader with its tragic consequences for Poland and for the Poles." —Norman M. Naimark, Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of East European Studies, Stanford University
"A fascinating personal memoir of a young boy who . . . participated in the famous 1944 Warsaw Uprising." —Halik Kochanski, historian
"Hryniewicz's book is filled with an impressive level of detail, and while he naturally had to do significant research for the big-picture events of the war and the Warsaw Uprising, his personal memories are as fresh as they were when he was a boy." —Hearld-Tribune
"The Warsaw Uprising of 1944 was one of the most horrific episodes of World War II, not just because it involved destruction and suffering on a massive scale—it epitomized Stalin's betrayal of everything the Allies were fighting for. This first-hand memoir is a welcome addition to our knowledge of what it meant for ordinary people." —Count Adam Zamoyski, historian and author
"It is an extremely well done memoir, not only providing new light and knowledge about the Warsaw Uprising but also about the general international context in which the struggle for Poland and about Poland occurred. In other words, it is an impressive personal recollection which explores also the events connected with WW2 that so transformed the map of Europe." —Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Center for Strategic and International StudiesFormer United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter
Author BiographyBohdan Hryniewicz is the first-time author of MY BOYHOOD WAR, WARSAW 1944, a deeply touching memoir centered on the Warsaw Uprising of August 1944, the longest urban battle between lightly armed irregular forces and the most advanced military power of the time. Born in Vilnius (Wilno) in 1931, Bohdan Hryniewicz was only eight years old when World War II began and the Russians invaded his home time. After Germany invaded Russia in March 1943, Bohdan's family moved to Warsaw. When the Uprising broke out he and his older brother Andrzej joined the Underground Boy Scouts and became runners. During the 63 days of combat Bohdan was in the midst of the heaviest fighting in the Old City, escaping through the sewers. He was awarded the Cross of Valor and promoted to the rank of corporal. After capitulation and the end of the war Bohdan and his mother Janina, escaped from Poland, making their way to England in 1947 and then the United States in 1950. In the US, Bohdan obtained a degree in civil engineering at the Newark College of Engineering, continued graduate studies at MIT, and pursued a successful entrepreneurial career during which he lived in Boston, San Juan, and Stockholm. After the fall of communism in Poland Bohdan was appointed as Honorary Consul of Poland in Puerto Rico, a position that he held from 1994-2008. Upon his retirement he was awarded the Commander Cross, with Star, of the Order of Merit by the President of Poland. Bohdan was married for 42 years to Linda Kelly with whom he had four children. He now resides in Sarasota, Florida with his wife Anne Olshansky.