Sławomir Kwiatkowski was born on February 22, 1916 in Lublin. His father, Leon Kwiatkowski, was the director of the local Mutual Insurance Company. Mother, Jadwiga née Kochanowska, was involved in the education of her three children.
Sławomir graduated from the State Men’s Gymnasium named after S. Staszic in Lublin, the oldest Polish school in this city. During this period, he belonged to the scouting, which – as he claimed – gave him a lot of knowledge and skills, which later came in handy during parachute training.
In September 1939, the Soviet army entered Brest, where Leon Kwiatkowski moved with his family when he became the District Director of the Mutual Insurance Company. Sławomir and his older sister, Bożena, were detained for trying to cross the border that had just been created here. Brest found itself in the Soviet Union.
The siblings were sent to separate labor camps. The change in the political situation after the Sikorski-Majski agreement allowed him to join the Polish Armed Forces in the West. In this way, Sławomir bit by bit (through Kyrgyzstan, through the conscription commission in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Persia, Iraq, India, around the Cape of Good Hope) ended up in the British Isles and finally in the Parachute Brigade of General Sosabowski. His sister, Bożena, joined General Maczek’s Polish 1st Armoured Division.
In 1945, Sławomir Kwiatkowski returned to Poland, learning that the whole family, except for his father, who died of a heart attack, had survived and lived in Łódź, a city that did not suffer much during the war. Sławomir worked as a researcher at the Textile Research Institute. Released for political reasons, he worked at the Book House. As a result of the „thaw”, he returned to the Institute after 1956.
A month before his death, Sławomir Kwiatkowski had the opportunity to see the first version of his book.
He died on December 22, 2011. He was a great father.
Krzysztof Kwiatkowski has been listening to his Father’s stories since he was a child, together with them he learned the true story of Polish soldiers whose fate drove them to distant countries to fight for the freedom of the homeland occupied by enemies.
In time, he encouraged his father to write down the events he experienced. This was the beginning of many years of work on the book. After his father’s death in 2011, Krzysztof completed the work according to his instructions.
He meticulously wrote down the war memories of a soldier of the 1st SBS, corporal cadet Sławomir Kwiatkowski, organized the notes, letters, documents collected over the decades, which he provided with footnotes and his own comments, from which the Tale was created, giving the book its present form.
Krzysztof Kwiatkowski is a pedagogue, a long-term educator of youth, the author of books from the series „Survival in Polish” and one of the most famous propagators of survival in Poland. He was one of the participants in the survival training project for soldiers of the Polish Armed Forces.