Warsaw: Wydawnictwo “Prasa Wojskowa”, 1950. Folio (35 × 24 cm). Original printed card portfolio housing eight leaves of plates reproducing the original woodcuts. Very light soil to wrappers; else very good.
A portfolio of eight prints depicting the activities of Gwardia Ludowa (People’s Guard), an underground communist partisan organization founded in 1942 in German-occupied Polish territories with Soviet financial backing. Each woodcut carries an explanatory note, tracing the history of the People’s Guard 1942–1944 with the woodcuts titled: 1. PG in captured Józefow; 2. Battle of PG at “Café Club”; 3. Soldiers of PG confiscate funds of the Municipal Savings Bank; 4. Battle of PG at Kochan; 5. Secret printing house of PG at the Grzybowskiej Street in Warsaw; 6. PG soldiers mining the railway; 7. Ambush of PG near Knieja; 8. Blowing up the railway bridge. The People’s Guard was closely associated with the NKVD with some of the operations directed by Red Army generals directly and their weapons supplied by Moscow. Railway sabotage activities were primary in the work of the People’s Guard, with this aspect of their work well documented in the prints. The People’s Guard also collaborated closely with the Jewish partisans and aided in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
The Polish graphic artist Konstanty Sopoćko (1903–1992) created the original woodcuts. A prolific designer of books, posters, labels and stamps, he was also a bibliophile and a leading Polish designer of ex-libris of his day. A graduate of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, during WWII Sopoćko worked at a paper factory in occupied Warsaw. During this time he assisted Armia Krajowa (Home Army) in forging identity papers and various permits. After the war he served as an artistic director of Poland’s leading children’s magazine “Płomyczka”, led the department of Applied Graphic Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, and served as a consultant at the National Defense Publishing House. As of July 2020 KVK, OCLC only show the copy at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Book ID: 50836