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Franek Dolas

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Franek Dolas
How I Unleashed World War II character
Marian Kociniak who played Franke Dolas.
First appearanceHow I Unleashed World War II
Based onAdolf Dolas from Kazimierz Sławiński's Przygody kanoniera Dolasa
Adapted byTadeusz Chmielewski
Portrayed byMarian Kociniak
AliasGrzegorz Brzęczyszczykiewicz
Affiliation Poland

Vichy France

Nazi Germany

Polish Underground State
Significant otherTeresa

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Franciszek "Franek" Dolas, is a fictional character in the 1969 Polish-language film How I Unleashed World War II. He is played by Marian Kociniak. He was loosely based on the character of Adolf Dolas from Kazimierz Sławiński book Przygody kanoniera Dolasa.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Dolas was a soldier of the Polish Armed Forces of Second Polish Republic with the rank of private first class. On 1 September 1939, he happens to be in the train on Germany–Poland border at the start of Invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany that began World War 2. Coincidence of aiming his gun at German officer moments before start of the invasion makes him believe that he was personally responsible for the beginning of the conflict.

All subsequent adventures of Frank Dolas are based on extraordinary cases, coincidences and the general assumption that the Polish trickster hero is able to outmaneuver and outsmart almost everyone in his vicinity,[1] including both commanders and soldiers of allied and enemy troops, as well as crowds of civilians (the sequence of the game of three cards is often recalled, with which Franek Dolas defeats the traders in the Arab market, thus obtaining supplies for the unit of the French Foreign Legion stationed nearby). Of all the oppressions (including German captivity, in which the Gestapo officer interrogating him is presented as Grzegorz Brzęczyszczykiewicz from the village of Chrząszczyżewoszyce in the Łękołody poviat), Franek Dolas leaves in good health, and finally returns happily to Poland.

In other media[edit]

Franek Dolas is also the main character of the Polish computer game How I Unleashed World War II: Unknown adventures of Frank Dolas, produced by Mirage. The plot of the game, however, is loosely related to the film, and the gameplay shows Dolas not as a dodger avoiding direct confrontation - the player who plays him is very often forced to use violence during his travels.[2]

Reception and significance[edit]

Franciszek Dolas was loosely based on the character of Adolf Dolas from Kazimierz Sławiński book Przygody kanoniera Dolasa, but is primarily remembered as a movie character, played in the 1969 Polish-language film How I Unleashed World War II by Marian Kociniak. Piotr Zwierzchowski [pl] noted that Dolas is one of classic stereotypes of Polish wartime hero, albeit one that also has elements of satire and comedy, and therefore is also a making fun of a number of Polish stereotypes about Poles themselves. A number of reviewers, discussing the character, mostly in the years shortly after the movie premiere, called him a "traditional Polish soldier", although some criticized the clash between the heroic and trickster parts of his nature.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Zwierzchowski, Piotr (2012). "Przygody Franka Dolasa albo co Giuseppe robił w Warszawie". Kwartalnik Filmowy (in Polish) (77–78): 185–200. ISSN 0452-9502.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  2. Maciej Kuc, Jak rozpętałem II wojnę światową. Nieznane przygody Franka Dolasa, CD-Action, nr 10/2003 (91), s. 52-53.

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