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PORTFOLIO

13.10.2014

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Eugeniusz Lokajski, who used the pseudonym “Brok”, was a successful athlete in the thirties, a Polish champion who held the record for javelin throwing for many years. At the World Student Games in Budapest in 1935 he came in second to the German javelin thrower Gerhard Stöck, and at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin he hurt himself while warming up, and came in seventh. Rather than bringing back  a medal from Berlin, he brought back a Leica.

Eight years later the Second World War was still raging. Lokajski was a soldier in the Polish AK underground army – and he was a photographer.

Because the German occupation forbid sports for the Poles, Brok earned his money with theatre photography and ran a photography business. On August 1, 1944, the Warsaw uprising began. Over 40,000 AK soldiers faced the German units, hoping to free the capital through their own efforts; but they did not have enough weapons and ammunition, so had to look for support from the Allies. It did not come, however, even though there were Soviet tanks just on the other side of the Vistula.

Lokajski served as a photographer and film maker for the AK's Office of Information and Propaganda (BIP). On assignment for the BIP, he documented fighting situations; but he also took many pictures of comrades and friends, as well as everyday life in occupied Warsaw.

The uprising continued till the end of September – a third of the insurgents fell, thousands of civilians were killed, the city was destroyed, and capitulation talks had already begun.

Lokajski was commissioned to take passport photographs of the Polish soldiers, so that they could be given false documents allowing them to leave the city among the civilians. He went to an abandoned photography shop to find the necessary film material, and it was there that he died on September 25, 1944, the victim of an air raid.

Lokajski left behind over 1000 pictures of the Warsaw uprising: today they are considered among the most important photographic documents of that historic event.

The Polish Journalist Association has been granting the Eugeniusz Lokajski Award for sports photography since 2013.

Up until November 10, 2014, the LFI Gallery in Hamburg is presenting a selection of 30 pictures of daily life during the uprising. The display is part of a touring exhibition titled Auf beiden Seiten der Barrikade. Fotografie und Kriegsberichterstattung im Warschauer Aufstand 1944 (On both sides of the barricade. Photography and war reports on the Warsaw uprising of 1944), that is being presented in parallel at the former St. Nikolai Church in Hamburg.

Photo Source: Warsaw Rising Museum
Barricade on the intersection of Marszałkowska and Sienna Street
Poster: “To arms in the ranks of the AK”
After a night Polish Sniper
Polish Soldiers of the Home Army
Insurgents take over the ‚PAST‘ telephone centre
Wedding of Alicja Treutler “Jarmuż” and Bolesław Biega “Pałąk”, 13.8.1944
Włodzimierz Radajewski „Rataj“ (11.08.1924-07.09.1944)
Eugeniusz Lokajski „Brok“

Eugeniusz Lokajski „Brok“

Born in Warsaw on December 14, 1908, in 1934 Lokajski began working as a teacher at the Warsaw Sports School. He was an athlete for Poland and took part in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
During the uprising he was an officer in the Koszta company, becoming its commander as of August 30, 1944. He was a war reporter and photographer, and was killed during an air raid on September 25, 1944.
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