July 25, 1908|
|Died||June 4, 1944
Auschwitz concentration camp
Bronisław "Bronek" Czech (Polish pronunciation: [brɔˈɲiswaf ˈt͡ʂɛx]; July 25, 1908 – June 4, 1944) was a Polish sportsman and artist. A gifted skier, he won championships of Poland 24 times in various skiing disciplines, including Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing and ski jumping. A member of the Polish national team at three consecutive Winter Olympics, he was also one of the pioneers of mountain rescue in the Tatra Mountains and a glider instructor. He perished in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Czech was born July 25, 1908 in Zakopane, then in Austro-Hungarian Galicia. His parents were Józef Czech and Stanisława née Namysłowska. There he attended local public school and a private gymnasium, but in the end he finished only three classes of a local wood industry school (in 1927). The same year he joined the SN PTT-1907 Klub Sportowy Kemping Zakopane. In late 1920s he moved to Warsaw, where he graduated from the Central Institute of Physical Education. This gave him the diploma of a professional gymnastics teacher and a skiing instructor.
He was 24 times Polish champion in different ski competitions and took part in the Winter Olympics of 1928, 1932 and 1936. He finished 10th in the Nordic combined and 37th in the ski jumping at the 1928 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz. Four years later, at the 1932 Winter Olympics held in Lake Placid, New York, Czech was 7th in the Nordic combined, 12th in ski jumping and 18th in the 18 km cross-country event. At his final Olympics of 1936 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen he finished 16. in the Nordic combined, 20th in Alpine skiing, 33rd in both ski jumping and the 18 km cross-country event, and 7th in the 4 x 10 km cross-country relay.
During the Second World War he was a soldier of Polish Underground (Home Army) and courier from occupied Poland to the West. He was captured by Germans, imprisoned and murdered in the German concentration camp Auschwitz. Some of his paintings are preserved in the concentration camp's museum.
Bronisław Czech in literature
- The Hamsa by E.S. Kraay, ISBN 1451518412