Zamojski is the surname of an important Polish nobility family of Jelita coat of arms.
The name is sometimes spelled Zamoyski. It is the Polish for "de Zamość" - the name they originally wore as lords of the place. The family was influential in Polish politics for several centuries, and its members held various official titles, including those of Count and Countess.
Ordynat Jan Zamoyski was born on 12 th,June,1912 in Klemensów. He was the eldest son of count Maurycy Klemens Zamoyski and princess Maria Róża Sapieha. He was brought up in patriotic spirit, his father was among others minister of foreign affairs of 2 nd Republic of Poland in Paris, therefore not by chance did Count Jan Zamoyski subject all his activities to the family, the fatherland and the Zamość region.
ZAMOŚĆ - A TOWN IN THE SOUTH- EASTERN POLAND,PART OF LUBLIN VOIVODESHIP,60 KM. FROM THE BOARDER WITH UKRAINE
Zamość was founded in the year 1580 by the Chancellor and Hetman (head of the army of the Polish- Lithuanian Commonwealth) Jan Sariusz Zamoyski, founder of Ordynacja, on the trade route linking western and northern Europe with the Black Sea.
THE MONUMENT OF HETMAN JAN SARIUSZ ZAMOYSKI - THE FOUNDER OF ZAMOŚĆ
“Ordynacja”estates landed property in the Polish- Lithuanian Commonwealth. Ordynacja was an economic institution for governing of landed property introduced in late 16th century by king Stefan Batory.
Ordynacja was abolished by the agricultural reform in People’s Republic of Poland. Ordynat was the title of the principal heir of ordynacja. Ordynacja was similar to the French law of majorat, and succession to such resembles that of British peerages- Ordynat was the title of the principal heir of “ordynacja”.
Count Jan Zamoyski, the last 16 th Ordynat, was an extraordinary figure in the history of Poland and Zamość. Exceptionally right, honest and noble. He loved people and devoted his best, the most beautiful years of life to them. He also loved Zamość,to which he always willingly returned. Poland owes a lot to that man of honor and a great patriot who devoted all his life to his fatherland.
He fought for Poland as a soldier of Polish Home Army, facing German and Soviet invaders. He fought against the Germans in September 1939, for which he deserved the Virtuti Militari Grand Cross order.
Although he managed a huge ordynacja estate he did not hesitate to put his own life at risk to save others’ lives. During 2 nd World War Count Jan Zamoyski together with his wife Róża Czetwertyńska saved 460 children from the Nazi camp in Zwierzyniec. Children, aged 6 months -7years, were taken away from their mothers during the pacification of the Zamość region, which was to be turned into ‘clear” German settling area. People from 116 villages were sent either to concentration camps or forced labour and began to be replaced with German colonists.
Thousands of people died during transportation, in transit camps, executions and the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. Around 30,000 children (if “racially valuable”) were given to German families for germanization. Others found themselves in concentration camps where they usually died of starvation or disease. It was a heroic deed to intervene in this matter at SS Commander for the Lublin District Odilo Globocnik, putting at risk his own family. Count Zamoyski managed to convince the ruthless man that children who suffered in that cruel war were innocent. Jan Zamoyski set up 4 hospitals for 1500 ill children.
His estates were the source of food provisions for the only legal charity organization which sent supplies to prisoners and displaced people. However, he rescued not only Polish national goods and Polish people. Two French prisoners who escaped from the camp found shelter in his estates. He also gave shelter to endangered holocaust Jewish people, some of them driven out of the ghetto together with families. Jan Zamoyski showed great civil courage as the German sentenced Polish people to death for hiding Jews.
In Zamość in 1941, before the attack of the Soviet Army, Ordynat rescued the treasury of the collegiate church, hid it only to return it to the church after the war.
The war brought devastation to the Zamoyski family’s palace in Klemensów and the residence in Warsaw. During the siege of the city and intensive German bombardment art collections, the Museum Gallery and the Ordynacja Library were significantly destroyed. Ordynat rescued whatever he could. He protected the buildings, hid the collections and memorabilia that escaped destruction. Then he carried the remains, above all the priceless library of King Zygmunt August,to the monastery in Częstochowa. After the war, in1948 Jan Zamoyski donated the collection to the National Library in Warsaw.
Examples of over 400 years old collection of manuscripts, printed books, maps gathered by 16 generations of the ordynat line Zamoyski, one of the richest and most influential Polish and European families.
After the war his estates were nationalized and parceled out to individuals. In 1945 count Jan Zamoyski was imprisoned without a trial for 6 months as “the common people’s enemy”. Released, he found a job in a Polish-English trading company. However, in 1949 he was arrested again and after a trial sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment. In prison he was beat and tortured. After 7 years, in 1956 released and rehabilitated two years later. Facing the necessity to support his family he tried different jobs, even the sale of vegetables. However, the command of three foreign languages enabled him to find a job with Swiss airlines in Warsaw, where he worked for 20 years. POST–WAR YEARS
In spite of persecutions he did not take offence to Poland although he was not allowed to approach his former ordynacja and Zamość closer than 30 km. He used to say that his place was in Poland, whatever it would be and he wanted his children to be aware of their culture Poles. These are the words of a patriot who combined love to his homeland with the awareness of the historical tradition of his noble line. For him fatherland was “character, history and culture”. Many representatives of this family starting with the founder, the 1 st ordinat Jan, were distinguished soldiers, patrons of art and education, outstanding people in the field of economy.The Last Ordynat was a conscious continuator of the line.
After 1980, in free Poland Count Zamoyski was honoured and greatly respected, in 1991 he was elected Senator and as marshal senior opened the session of Senate (chamber in parliament), took high positions in parliamentary commissions. Count Jan Zamoyski was a honorary citizen of Zamość. As to young Polish people his main task was:”To pass on to the young as much good as possible from our history and tradition”.
In 1995 he was decorated by president Lech Wałęsa with the highest Polish order- the White Eagle Order”. Lech Wałęsa, the leader of Solidarity and the President of Poland, the Nobel Peace Prize winner.