Sunday, December 24, 2006

Edward Wichura 1927 - 2006

Obituary by Lukasz Biedka

The Jewish-Polish actor Edward Wichura passed away on June 4, 2006 in Warsaw. Born in Przemysl on July 5, 1927 as Esriel Leimsieder, he was the son of Moritz Hut of Zablotka, Brody and Mirla Leimsieder.

Wichura was the only survivor from the final liquidation of the Przemysl Ghetto - the Nazi transport from Zwangsarbeitslager Przemysl to the Stalowa Wola forced camp during September, 1943. He lost all his entire family in the Shoah - his father was beaten to death by Germans while his mother and sister perished in gas chambers of Belzec.

After graduating from the Polish State Theatrical Academy in 1951, he made his stage debut at the Nowy Theater in Lodz where he remained a featured player until 1961. Edward then moved to Warsaw, where he acted in several prominent theaters – Polski (1962-65), Klasyczny (1965-69), and Rozmaitosci (1972-88).

A highly regarded and universally recognised face in Polish cinema, Wichura appeared in lead and supporting roles in at least 25 feature films from 1953 to 1989. He was also popular on the small screen, playing major parts in several dramatic and action series on Polish television, including the role of Shmaltzovnik, a policeman who blackmails Jews (“Kolumbowie”, 1970.)

Edward Wichura left behind a short testimony entitled “Notes of my memory – on Jewish martyrdom in Przemysl ghetto” which will be published next year by the Polish Center for Holocaust Research.

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