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Sadykiewicz (Michael) papers
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Michael Sadykiewicz papers
    Date (inclusive): 1953-2016
    Collection Number: 2017C26
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: English and Polish
    Physical Description: 12 manuscript boxes (5.0 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Correspondence, writings, reports, studies, printed matter, and photographs relating mainly to analysis of Soviet and Warsaw Pact armed forces.
    Creator: Sadykiewicz, Michael
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    The collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 2017.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Michael Sadykiewicz papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Biographical Note

    Michał, or Michael, Sadykiewicz was born in 1924 into a Polish-Jewish family in the large industrial city of Łódź. He received his primary and most of his secondary education in his home town. When Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia attacked Poland in September 1939, the Sadykiewicz family took refuge in Eastern Poland, which was soon occupied by the Soviets. They then moved further east to the Russian city of Tambov, southeast of Moscow. Sadykiewicz completed his secondary education there in 1941, about the time that Germany attacked its erstwhile Soviet ally. The seventeen-year-old Sadykiewicz volunteered for the Red Army. Two years later, when Polish units were organized under Soviet command, he was transferred to one of them, and during the next two years fought along the battle route from Moscow to Berlin.
    Immediately after the war, Sadykiewicz was involved in campaigns against the Polish and Ukrainian anticommunist underground. He then joined the Communist Party, was awarded several medals, and was sent to an officer training school. By 1950, at the age of twenty-six, he was a colonel in command of an infantry division. In 1954, Colonel Sadykiewicz completed a course of studies at the General Staff Academy in Warsaw, Communist Poland's highest military school, and was put in charge of the General Staff's continuing education programs for officers.
    In 1957, Sadykiewicz briefly attended the Marshal Voroshilov General Staff Academy, Soviet Union's top military college, in Moscow, until certain actions made him and his family suspect and he was ordered to leave the USSR. Back in Warsaw, Sadykiewicz resumed his work in the General Staff but at a position of less responsibility and lower salary. After the June 1967 Six-Day War, Sadykiewicz was accused of pro-Israeli sympathies, removed from the Communist Party, and dismissed from the army. His wife, Łucja, a legal scholar in the International Affairs Institute, also lost her job and was unable to find other employment. For the next four years, Sadykiewicz earned income from occasional translations into Polish from French and English. In 1971, the Sadykiewicz family was granted permission to immigrate to Israel, on the condition that they renounce their Polish citizenship. A few months later, the Ministry of Defense, headed by Sadykiewicz's old friend, General Wojciech Jaruzelski, downgraded the colonel to the rank of private.
    Although Israel granted the Sadykiewicz family citizenship, finding work was difficult. More opportunities opened in the late 1970s, as the economic and political situation in Eastern Europe began to change and attract more international attention; Sadykiewicz's Polish and Soviet Bloc military expertise was suddenly in demand. He received an invitation from the Rand Corporation to spend a year in Santa Monica, and the relationship continued throughout the 1980s. Later, the CBS European Bureau and Radio Free Europe requested commentaries. Finally, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst's Soviet Studies Centre offered Michael a position as a research fellow. The Sadykiewicz family settled in London and eventually received British citizenship.
    In 1990, after contacting General Wojciech Jaruzelski, at that time the transitional president of Poland, after the Communists lost to Solidarity-led opposition in the partially free elections of 1989, Sadykiewicz's Polish citizenship and military rank were restored. The family was assigned an apartment in a military housing development, and Sadykiewicz was given a pension. Sadykiewicz continued to live in Warsaw until his death in 2016 at the age of ninety-two.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Correspondence, writings, reports, studies, printed matter, and photographs relating mainly to analysis of Soviet and Warsaw Pact armed forces.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Soviet Union -- Armed Forces
    Armed Forces
    Poland -- Armed Forces
    Warsaw Treaty Organization