Mr. Gad, who I later found out, lived in an apartment building next to where I lived, was a tall, stocky man and his larger-than-life presence commanded respect - and for us, youngsters, exuded fear. Later, a school chronicle would refer to him as an “excellent principal,” who said that a “school is like an orchestra. You need a good conductor, good team and a good music score. A melody will then sound beautifully.” He exercised his conducting skills on me, and for the benefit of others.
Even today, I well recall being slapped across my face. The hot tears - a reaction to this sudden and public humiliation… experiencing first-hand an act of violence by someone in authority. It is etched firmly in my memory.
Among raised shouting, I still recall something said about atheism and that my unpatriotic behavior would not be tolerated.
My parents were summoned and I was expelled.
Thus ended my enrollment in Warsaw’s premier high school. I was kicked out of school but for a good, and – in my opinion – positive reason. My parents negotiated a move to a different high school, just a few hundred yards further, and still within a walking distance. My new lease on student life began at the Jaroslaw Dabrowski high school on 1 Swietokrzyska Street. Little did I know, but just a couple of hundred yards away was the Holy Cross Church where Michal Belina Czechowski, a trailblazer of international church mission, was ordained in 1843. His life story became a research project during my university days.