In 1940, a group of unemployed actors opened a café called „Pod Znachorem” („Under the Shrew”) in Warsaw, on Boduena Street. It remained open until the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising. One of the actors working there as waiters was Karol Adwentowicz (1871-1958) and his wife Irena (1895-1969), who was of Jewish origin. At the turn of July/August 1942, the man was arrested by the Gestapo on a charge of hiding his Jewish wife. Imprisoned in the Pawiak prison, he spent a long time in the prison hospital, suffering from lung disease. He was released on 2 April 1943. After being released, the actor became involved in clandestine theatre life, becoming a member of the Secret Theatre Council (Tajna Rada Teatralna), whose activities were supposed to be a response to threats to the existence of Polish culture. He also returned to work at the „Pod Znachorem” / „Under the Shadow Man” café. After her husband was arrested, Irena Adwentowicz hid in the countryside. The acting couple managed to survive the difficult period of the German occupation and, in the post-war period, made a mark in the history of Polish theatre.
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