Stones for the Rampart

Aleksander Kaminski wrote “Stones for the Rampart” in 1943. During World War II, the Polish underground press published it for the first time.

The book describes actions of small sabotage and armed resistance taken by Polish underground movement – the Gray Ranks – against German occupation forces. The author himself was one of the instructors and leaders of the organization as well as a member of the Polish Home Army resistance movement and the editor of the underground Biuletyn Informacyjny magazine.

The story is based on the memoirs of Tadeusz Zawadzki (code name “Zoska”) 22 years old member of Gray Rank. Together with his peers, “Rudy” and “Alek” – really existed – are the main characters of the book. It tells the story of a group of Polish boy scouts trying to rescue their friend (Rudy”) from Gestapo captivity with the final act centred on the Operation Arsenal. Although they manage to free “Rudy” he dies due to the injuries from tortures conducted on him during German interrogations. “Alek” and “Zoska” die shortly afterwards.

Stones for the Rampart became very popular and soon after the book entered the canon of Polish literature. The book was also published in English (1944) and Czech(1948). In 1978, Jan Łomnicki directed a film based on it, Akcja Pod Arsenałem. A few years later, in 2014, a new film based on the book was released in Poland. Robert Glinski was the director and Polish singer Dawid Podsiadło promoted it with his song “4:30”.