Andrezej Kowerski

Andrezej Kowerski

Andrezej Kowerski was born in Poland in 1912. His father Stanislas Kowerski, was one of the country's largest landowners. Kowerski was a gifted athlete in his youth but as a result of a hunting accident had to have his leg amputated. Despite this he served in Poland's only mechanized brigade during the early weeks of the Second World War. While fighting against the German Army Kowerski was awarded Poland's highest award for bravery, Virtute Militari.

After Poland's government fled to Romania on 18th September, Kowerski moved to Hungary where he established a network where he attempted to help members of the Polish armed forces to escape from the camps where they had been interned. This involved transporting them to Yugoslavia before being sent to Britain and France so they could continue the struggle against Nazi Germany. He was later joined by his old friend, Christine Granville, in this work.

Kowerski (who now took the name of Andrew Kennedy) and Christine both joined the Special Operations Executive (SOE). Kowerski was the SOE's first one-legged parachutist when he was dropped in Italy to help with the training of Poles.

After the war Kowerski established automobile agencies in Germany. This was unsuccessful and he returned to London where he lived with Christine Granville until her murder on 15th June, 1952.

Madeleine Masson's biography, A Search for Christine Granville was published by Hamish Hamilton in 1975.

Primary Sources

(1) Patrick Howarth was a member of the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War. He wrote about Christine Granville and Andrezej Kowerski in his book Undercover: The Men and Women of the Special Operations Executive (1980)

In Budapest Christine Granville came into contact with a Pole whom she had met a couple of times before, named Andrzej Kowerski. Their social paths had naturally crossed, for Kowerski too belonged to the szlachta, the name given to the Polish land-owning upper class, whose members exhibited as their most determining characteristics complete social ease, an excellent command of French and an apparently inexhaustible supply of people whom they referred to as their cousins.

When she arrived in Budapest Christine's marriage had already effectively foundered. She and Kowerski became lovers, so beginning a relationship which never turned into marriage but which survived, essentially unimpaired, until death, even though both were to be driven from time to time to other people and indeed to different continents.

(2) While in Italy Andrezej Kowerski met Pope Pius XII.

We entered by the side door and were greeted by a guard of honour formed by the Swiss Guards. Then we went

along enormous corridors to an antechamber filled with wonderful paintings. Here a Church dignitary, a Cardinal I believe, was waiting for us. He showed us round, and guided us into the room in which the Pope was sitting. It was a tiny room with white Louis XVI chairs. His Holiness sat on a plain chair. We walked in, kissed his ring and the conversation began. This was between His Holiness, the Polish Ambassador and myself, as the poor Colonel was unable to participate. I was very disappointed that the Pope would not follow our suggestion that he should say something about the cruelties of the Nazis against the Jews and the Poles.

I was very bitter and forgetting all protocol said, "But, Your Holiness, surely the Catholic Church cannot just sit and watch these horrible atrocities being carried out-people being killed, taken away and gassed, without saying something?" His Holiness said, "Well, my son, you must understand that the Catholic Church must look after the whole world, and not one country only."