About the Author
Dr. ROBERT B. NIKLEWICZ is a Physical Therapist with a Doctorate in Health Science. In addition to being a health care professional, he is a teacher and national lecturer. He is a first generation American of Polish descent who wanted to do what he could to make sure the stories of the average Polish men, women, and children that suffered through the nightmare of World War II were not forgotten in history.
The private spoken memories of his parents and other family members over the years not only intrigued him but also drove him to record them for their future generations. His first book, “The Last Train to Dachau” was based on his mother’s family and the trials they had to overcome and was a powerful testament to their courage.
Dr. Niklewicz relates many of the stories that he had heard about his father’s desperate situations during the war in the second of two books, “Codename: FLAME”. Robert researched and reassembled the chronicle of a bleak time using his skill as a teacher and researcher to guide the reader through these incredible stories. Many years were involved in collecting the information that his stoic parents were reluctant to share regarding their journey through the Hell of War and prisoners of ruthless invaders. Now, at last, Robert has woven the two books into the fabric of the hard hitting and emotion-drawing saga of survival and courage. The books are not just about his parents but also of who they were and what they did as children caught up in an overpowering War tragedy.
The Last Train to Dachau has the ingredients for a compelling adaptation for a motion picture, as does Codename: FLAME. Combined, they would be a fascinating motion picture or mini series — where the story in Codename: FLAME and Last Train to Dachau are blended and intertwined to an ending that starts the new lives of two Wartime survivors. These parallel stories could be presented in the way the story line of “ Band of Brothers” was established.
Emilia Miller Niklewicz
About Emilia Miller Niklewicz: the author’s mother and the daughter of the protagonist in Last Train to Dachau
Emilia is the second of three children of Wladyslawa and Victor Miller. She was born 20 miles northeast of Warsaw Poland in 1930. She is small and slender with short almost bright blonde hair. She hated the family goat but loved ribbons, sewing and running everywhere. Her mother was a nurse and her father was a Cobbler of some renown as he specialized in Women’s footwear and high end riding boots.
“The Last Train to Dachau” is the story of Emilia’s family life just before and during the War years of 1938 through 1945. The book depicts how she grew and coped with the horror, tragedy and struggles that were thrust upon her at the age of 8. The brutality of the German occupiers did not destroy her spirit or her humanity. Though stifled by the war, she completed her high school education after the war in a displaced persons camp in Hohenfel Germany.
She lived for three more years in the camp. There she met and married her husband Stanislaw Niklewicz. In 1949 she and her husband were sponsored to come to the United States where after one year they worked off their legal obligation and settled in San Francisco California. They raised 5 children while they worked a family grocery business in Northern California.
Her older sister Alicia married and immigrated to Detroit in 1948 while her parents and brother immigrated to San Francisco in 1951.
Emilia’s brother Leszek is the only remaining member of the family that was featured in this book. Emilia past away in 2016 and her husband Stanislaw (Stanley) died in 1990. Emilia lived as a vibrant and active member of her community and was adored by family and friends alike.
About Stanislaw Niklewicz: the author’s father and the protagonist in Codename: Flame
Stanislaw Niklewicz also know as Staszek as a boy and Stanley in the United States, was raised in an industrial town in the southwest portion of Poland in 1925. He had a passion for: soccer, running, hiking, camping with the Boy Scouts and just being a kid. He worked in his father’s general store as well as hustled newspapers.
Staszek was 14 when World War II crushed the life of this city boy who was raised with a diverse population that included Jewish, German, Russians, and Czech kids. He had a hard working and high-energy life that was not unique to a boy who had dreams and ambition. On September 1, 1939 that all changed.
In a matter of days and weeks Stanislaw lost his father, the family business, many friends and his freedom. His anger and determination not to give in to the invaders put him on a path of isolation, growth, pain and danger. In the period of 6 years he went from a boy of 14 to a man of 20 with 5 years of combat experience.
He served as a courier, spy, scout, saboteur, and soldier during those terrible times. He runs away to avoid the Hitler Youth and by doing so he becomes a “wanted” man. Sadly what the Germans wanted they eventually captured. And, the strength of will and character of this boy soldier was dramatically tested.
Stanislaw (Staszek a.k.a. Stanley) passed away in 1990 at a young age but only after a long powerful, and difficult youth that no one should have to endure. The Author is determined to help keep the fire of freedom, courage and defiance against evil that was inside the boys, girls, women and men of his father’s generation, a part of the foundation that others will continue to build on.
Hopefully the young boys and girls growing now will never have to experience that horror that is a World War because of the trials and tribulations that so many unknown hero’s had gone through for them. “Codename: Flame” is about one of those unknown hero’s that has helped build their future of freedom.