Artist was WWII Hero, Award-Winning Policart

The Winnipeg Free Press reports that cartoonist Jam Kamienski has died.

Kamienski was a long-time journalist and editorial cartoonist
for the Winnipeg Tribune.

Born in 1923 in Poznan, Poland. Kamienski’s father was a well-known composer and university professor. His mother’s German ancestry was to stand him in good stead during the Second World War. Kamienski later studied art in Paris and Germany and worked in animation.

When the Germans invaded Poland in 1939, Kamienski was recruited by the Polish Resistance, moving to Germany in 1941 where he worked as an artist as a shield for his undercover duties running a safe-house and as a creator of anti-Nazi propaganda. Kamienski was injured in the American firebombing of Dresden, later recalled in his 2008 memoir, Hidden in the Enemy’s Sight: Resisting the Third Reich from Within (Dundurn Press).

After the war, Kamienski became an interrogator for the Soviets, married a German woman, and escaped through Poland to Canada in 1949. He found work as an illustrator in Winnipeg and replaced Lew Saw as chief political cartoonist at the Tribune in 1958. In 1963 he won the National Newspaper Award and first prize at The International Salon of Caricature and Cartoon for his work lambasting Manitoba’s ruling Social Credit Party.

When the Tribune folded in 1980, Kamienski went to work for the Winnipeg Sun until his retirement in 1988. Thereafter he focused on his writing and a second career as a painter.

Kamianeski died of lung cancer after a year-long illness. He is survived by his wife Nadya and two daughters.