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The Saboteur

12

Source: The archives of „Tygodnik Świdnicki”

Staff of the County Union of District Cooperatives „Samopomoc Chłopska”, looking after destroyed warehouses, can be seen on the ruins of the tower and townhouses. Kazimierz Lachowicz can be seen in the highest row (the first one from the right).

Kazimierz Lachowicz arrived in Świdnica in 1947. For many years he was employed by the County Union of District Cooperatives „Samopomoc Chłopska”. In 1967, when the Town Hall Tower collapsed, he performed the function of the manager of Sales Department of the County Union of District Cooperatives. The shops were spread almost in the entire south-east part of Mid-Market block. In its interior, at the rear of demolished townhouses by Wewnętrzna Street, there were the shops' warehouses.

In my opinion the demolition of townhouses by Wewnętrzna Street was unnecessary. They were in quite good technical condition and they only needed a reliable host. I remember that several families lived there and later they were displaced. Due to close vicinity of our warehouses and demolished townhouses on numerous occasions I spoke to the engineer being in charge of demolition works who told me that such actions would soon lead to the collpase of the Town Hall Tower. After the disaster he probably escaped and was found in Wrocław but I do not know whether this was the truth or not. Nevertheless, that was what they were telling. I was arguing with him as he called me a saboteur. Anyway, due to my protests I was called to appear in the Committee of Polish United Workers' Party and in the Trade Department of the Municipal Office. Finally my boss told me to stop arguing. It was a miracle that I evaded a death as the tower collapsed on our warehouses and a room where I had dinner earlier. Then I went out. After a while it turned out that the tower collapsed. Its ruins were removed in approximately month and a half. In spite of later statements that the disaster did not bring material loss, apart from the destruction of the tower itself, was not true. The tower destroyed warehouses of the County Union of District Cooperatives – apart from others the equipment and household goods. The clock from the tower could be found in one of our shops. I remember that apart from insignificant goods in our warehouses there could also be found washing machines and fridges completeley destroyed. A commission to estimate loss was appointed in the County Union of District Cooperatives. I do not know whether or not the company received any compensation for the property destroyed. We had to supervise everything so that during the clearing of debris nothing was stolen from our warehouses. I am so angry when I sometimes hear opinions that the tower collapsed due to its age. What an absurd! It was only caused by human mistakes. It could have been evaded.”

Source: Wspomnienia Kazimierza Lachowicza, the archives of „Tygodnik Świdnicki”.

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