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Rafal Gan Ganowicz

Rafal Gan Ganowicz

Rafal Gan Ganowicz (April 23, 1932 - November 23, 2002) was a Polish Anti-communist Mercenary, soldier-in-exile, Journalist, member of the right wing National Council of Poland, and a Political and Social activist. He was active in Europe, Congo, and Yemen. He is quoted as responding "I wouldn't know, I've only ever killed Communists", when asked what it was like to kill another human. He wrote an autobiography about his experiences. A documentary film was made about him and was controversial in Poland. [1] [4] [3]

Early life

Rafał Gan-Ganowicz was born in Wawer, Warsaw on 23 April 1932. His family had Tatar origins. His father r served in the French Foreign Legion for a time, and later traveled to Argentina for financial reasons before returning to Poland. The family was awarded with the Coat of arms of Rawicz for its merits for Poland. [1] [3]

He became an orphaned early in his life.

In September 1939 his mother was killed by Nazi forces during the Invasion of Poland and in 1944 his father died during the Warsaw Uprising. [1] [3]

War and postwar period

He became anti-communist due to contact with the Soviets"liberators" and native communists, stressing that "communism was not brought out of the house but taught by the Communists". [1] [3]

As a teenager, Gan-Ganowicz created an underground resistance that spread anti-communist information to the public through leaflets, signs, or even stealing guns from the militia.

However, in 1950 his organization was caught and he had to escape.

[1] [3]

Initially he planned to escape to Wrocław, but he took the risk and in June 1950 Gan-Ganowicz hid under a train going to West Berlin. He spent a year and a half in an American Refugee camp. This place was a school of bitterness and repressed lust for vengeance, a school of hatred for the Communists. He joined the PolishPolish Guard Army of the United States Army in Berlin, hoping that it was the beginning of the Polish Army in the West. Then he went to France, where he graduated from high school, went through training for commandos organized by NATO, and completed an officer's course. He received the rank of Second lieutenant from General Anders. [1] [3]

Hopes for the third world war and the possibility of armed action in Poland expired quickly. Rafal Gan-Ganowicz became a teacher at a junior high school for Polish refugees in France. He waited for the opportunity to fight the red plague, wherever possible. This opportunity has come soon. [1] [3]

Participation in armed conflicts

In 1965, while living in Brussels, he enlisted to fight for the State of Katanga during the Congo Crisis. There he commanded his own battalion that contained several other Polish soldiers fighting against the Soviet Union backed opposition. Gan-Ganowicz quickly gained authority among the subordinates, both black and white. [1] [3]

In 1967 he traveled to Yemen, which was struggling with the communist insurgency, financed and supported by Moscow. He and other mercenaries from Europe were to train the royalist anti-communist Yemeni partisan. There he finally had the opportunity to confront the Soviet military. [1] [3]

Gan-Ganowicz trained the Yemeni in the handling of anti-tank weapons. They managed to bombard the headquarters of the communist party, the Soviet embassy, and the Soviet barracks in Sana'a, the capital of Yemen. [1] [3]

However, the greatest success of Gan-Ganowicz and the other anti-Communist militants was the shooting of Blitz 21, piloted by the col.


The documentary evidence of the Soviet influence of Yemen was found in the smashed machine, which was strongly denied by the USSR in the United Nations. [1] [3]

Anti-communist activities

In 1969 he left Yemen and returned to France, to Paris. He was involved in various activities, including being a driver, electrician, translator. He became a correspondent of Radio Free Europe under the pseudonym Jerzy Rawicz. After the introduction of Martial law in Poland, he organized support demonstrations for Solidarity, and was also a foreign representative of Fighting Solidarity. [1] [3]

He returned to Poland in 1997.

He lived in Lublin, where he worked with the Young Democracy Foundation and Happy Childhood Foundation. [1] [3]


He died on November 22, 2002 due to Lung cancer. [1] The funeral took place on November 26, 2002 in Lublin. He was buried in a cemetery in Kalinowszczyzna.

Personal life

He was married and had a daughter named Ewa.

Famous quote


He wrote a book titled "Kondotierzy" where he included his memoirs.

The book was published many times in the 80's and 90's as well as abroad.

He also started a second book about American guards, but he did not finish it.

[1] [3]

"Gun for hire"

"Gun for hire"

"Gun for hire"

In 1996, Piotr Zarębski started a film about Rafal Gan-Ganowicz titled Gun for hire, the private war of Rafal Gan-Ganowicz. Although the script was approved by TVP First Program on January 1, 1997, and the film was dropped. The official reason was the "praise of violence", but in reality the reason was political consideration. [4]

Thanks to the media activity of the daily magazine "Życie" (among others, the article by Andrzej Rafał Potocki titled Who is afraid of Rafał Gan-Ganowicz?), which was connected with political activities, the film was released in the so called prime time. [4]

Later there were film screenings in various Polish cities, which were visited by several thousand people.

Since then, Rafał Gan-Ganowicz has become known in Polish anti-communist circles.


Television Theatre Performance "Reszka Operation"

Rafał Gan-Ganowicz is one of the characters in a TV theatre performance "Operation Tails" by Wlodzimierz Kuligowski.

This based-on-facts play is dedicated to the intrigue of peerelow security services, calculated to lure in the trap and then liquidate Piotr Jegliński.

He was not indicated by his surname and in the play he only appears as "Rafal".


He was a holder of the Honorary Saber, handed over to him by the Minister of National Defense Romuald Szeremietiew.

In 2007 he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta by President Lech Kaczyński. [1] [3]


Citation Linkwww.nowastrategia.org.plAn article about Rafal on nowasrategia.org.pl
Aug 11, 2017, 3:00 PM
Citation Linkyoutube.comPolish documentary about him
Oct 20, 2016, 12:56 AM
Citation Linkredisbad.plRafal's bio on redisbad.pl
Aug 14, 2017, 11:31 AM
Citation Linkrp.plAn article about rafal on rp.pl
Aug 14, 2017, 12:12 PM
Citation Linkyoutube.com"Gun for hire"
Aug 14, 2017, 12:38 PM
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comRafal's famous quote
Aug 14, 2017, 12:43 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.com"Gun for hire"
Aug 14, 2017, 12:38 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.com
Nov 21, 2019, 5:27 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.com
Nov 21, 2019, 5:28 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.com
Nov 21, 2019, 5:28 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.com
Nov 21, 2019, 5:28 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.com
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