Information for Veterans and their families
From an observation balloon above Poland to a Wellington bomber over the Netherlands, Kazik navigated - and documented the world with his expertise gained working as a professional illustrator before World War Two. An odyssey from his occupied homeland began in 1940, when he travelled south through Eastern Europe and into Syria via Greece and Turkey, across North Africa and then caught a boat from Gibraltar to join with a Royal Air Force crew in the UK. He was harboured by a Dutch family after being shot down over Holland, until being discovered and sent to the infamous Stalag Luft III in Upper Silesia. He produced portraits of his fellow POWs, hauling these drawings in a trolley during a long forced march across Occupied Europe in 1945.
The album traces his journeys using drawings, maps, photographs and identity cards, captioned with a white Chinagraph pencil, that marks track lines on laminated charts and pilots boards.The drawing pad records portraits of and by his contemporaries, one page covered in dedications from them, upon liberation.
After the war, Kazik worked as an architect producing a modernist proposal for a RAF Memorial Chapel at Biggin Hill when he worked for Wylton Todd who Kazik had met in prison camp (the memories on the record/disc). From the fifties until his death, Kazik drew perspectives, which is very specialised, so didn't design any more. He worked for TP Bennett and Son in Holborn for many years and continued to live in England, until he passed away in 1982.
Until now, this work has never been shown in a gallery.
the images to enlarge)
had post-war letters from a Canadian PoW called Bob McBride who appears
in one of the paintings and was an accomplished illustrator himself.
emailed in January 2010 to say:
I recognize several names, my father knew the men at Stalag Luft III.
In fact the play "Messalina" is mentioned in one note, and my
father is pictured in the book Wirebound World, when he played one of
the characters in that play.
But I also noticed a water colour portrait of Bob McBride who my father knew. Those water colour portraits and the rest of the artwork are wonderful.
Was Kazik at Stalag Luft III as well?
I enjoyed the portraits, amazing, what talent. I especially liked 'the journey' the large travel 'map' of one of their lives in that war.