U.S. government official, social worker, Polish community leader
Born Nov. 7, 1911, Cracow, Poland; came to U.S., 1948; son of Jan and Maria (Netschada); married Adeline (Nowinska); children: Robert, Danuta, Jan.
Education: graduate, Jagiellonian University School of Law, Cracow, 1935.
Career: director, Youth Division, World League of Poles Abroad, Warsaw (Poland), 1936-39; prisoner, Soviet prisons and labor camps, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.), 1940-42; director, Polish Welfare Office, Czelabinsk (U.S.S.R.), 1942; official, Polish Embassy, Kujbyszew (U.S.S.R.), 1943, Polish Consulate General, Istanbul (Turkey), Polish Government in Exile, London (United Kingdom), 1944; Polish Government delegate, Polish Refugee Affairs (Italy), 1945-46; general secretary, Polish Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, London, 1946-48; executive vice president, executive director, Polish - American Immigration & Relief Committee (in charge of overseas network), New York City, 1949-62; director of operations, Nationalities Division, Democratic National Committee, 1962-64; special assistant to Postmaster General, coordinator, International Technical Assistance, U.S. Postal Service, Washington (DC), 1964-78; honorary advisor, Republic of China Postal Administration (Taiwan), 1980-92; Retired.
Member of, i.a.: honorary member, Polish American Immigration & Relief Committee; vice president, Polish American Congress (P.A.C.), New York Division, and General Pulaski Memorial Committee, New York City, 1954-62; executive secretary, Polish Daily Publlishing Company, Nowy Swiat, 1956-62; executive board member, American Council of Voluntary Foreign Aid, board directors member, American Council on Immigration and Naturalization, 1956-63; president, Polish American Arts Association of Washington, 1969-72; national president, American Council of Polish Cultural Clubs (A.C.P.C.C.), 1974-77; board directors member, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, Washington, 1978-82; administrative council member, John Paul II Foundation, Rome (Italy), since 1983; advisor, Friends of John Paul II Foundation, Washington (DC); executive committee member, National Polish-American - Jewish-American Council; advisory council member, Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America (P.I.A.S.A.); board directors member, Polish American Congress (P.A.C.); Polish Affairs Committee; National Press Club; Knights of Malta.
Honors: Distinguished Service and founders awards, American Council of Polish Culture (A.C.P.C.); cultural award, Polish Arts and Culture Foundation, San Francisco (CA); gold badge, World Federation, Polish Veterans of World War II - Stowarzyszenie Polskich Kombatantow (S.P.K.); highest decoration, Ministry of Communication of the Republic of China (Taiwan); Knight Commander, Order of St. Gregory Great, Pope John Paul II, 1991; Commander Cross - Polonia Restituta, L. Walesa, President of Poland, 1994.
Served with: Polish Army, reserve officers schools in Grodno and Modlin, 1935-36, September '39 Campaign, 2nd Iieutenant.
Affiliation: Roman Catholic.
Languages: Polish, English, German, Italian.
Hobbies: skiing, travel.
Home: 4620 North Park Avenue #307W, Chevy Chase, MD 20815.
From: "Who's Who in Polish America" 1st Edition 1996-1997, Boleslaw Wierzbianski editor; Bicentennial Publishing Corporation, New York, NY, 1996.
A devoted patriot, Zachariasiewicz emerged as a talented leader during his early years at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, where he was elected President of the Student Democratic Association and International Student Fellowship. During World War II, while crossing the Romanian border to join the Polish Army in France, he was captured and deported to the Siberian gulag. Liberated after three years, he was appointed by the Free Polish Government in London to establish a Polish Welfare Office in the Russian city Chelyabinsk that would assist Poles released from Soviet incarceration. Arrested by the notorious Soviet NKVD, he was accused of political crimes, interrogated and tortured. Freed after four months thanks to special intervention of the Polish Embassy, Zachariasiewicz was appointed to the Polish government's Special Project office in Istanbul.
His next mission was in Rome, where he was again in charge of care for Polish refugees. In 1946 he evacuated with General Anders' army to London and two years later emigrated to the United States to become one of the leaders of New York's Polish-American community. In recognition of his role, he was elected to the boards of directors of the American Council of Voluntary Agencies for Foreign Aid and the American Immigration Conference. Later he coordinated the activities of thirteen ethnic groups active m the elections campaigns of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
With a special place in his heart for his heritage, Zachariasiewicz became involved in the National Council of Polish Cultural Clubs and the Polish Affairs Committee of the Polish American Congress. He was also elected to the Board of Directors of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty and personally appointed by the Holy Father to the Board of Directors of the John Paul II Foundation. His many awards include a distinction as Knight Commander with a Star in the Order of Saint Gregory by Pope John Paul II; and Knight Commander With a Star in the Order of Polonia Restituta by the President of Poland. Recently he completed a book titled The Independence Ethos of American Polonia.
From: "Good News 2006-2007"; Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, editor; The American Institute of Polish Culture; Miami, FL, 2006.
Walter Zachariasiewicz as President, American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC)