Jan Kobylański (born 1923 in Rowne) is a Polish-Paraguayan businessman. He is the founder of the Union of Polish Associations and Organizations in Latin America (pol. Unia Stowarzyszeń i Organizacji Polskich w Ameryce Łacińskiej, USOPAŁ) the largest Polish immigrant organization of South America. He was a founder of one of the world's largest companies involved in editing postage stamps, and coins mintage. Author; he wrote books on philately, as well as on mediatory policy of the Vatican. Owner, president or CO of dozen of merchant companies of international influence. For many years the honorary consul of Poland to Paraguay, and honorary consul of Paraguay to Spain.
Kobylański was the son of Polish attorney at law Stanisław Kobylański. In 1943 he was arrested by the Nazis, and imprisoned at Warsaw's infamous Pawiak prison. He was a prisoner of the German concentration camps Mauthausen and Gross Rosen.
In 1952 he arrived to Paraguay, taking advantage of president Federico Chaves' immigration program, which allowed 18,000 families from Europe to settle in that country. Soon he won a contract to deliver to Paraguay kitchen appliances, and another contract for the printing post stamps for the National Postal Service. In the next few years he became one of the world tycoons in printing stamps and minting coins.
According to Polish journalists Jerzy Morawski and Mikołaj Lizut, Kobylański had a good, even friendly relationship with Paraguayan dictator, General Alfredo Stroessner. Kobylański denies this. After him is Leopold Biłozur (president of the Polish Combatants Union in Argentina).
Kobylański helped to establish 8 June as the Day of the Polish Settler in Argentina. He is one of founders of John Paul II monuments in Buenos Aires and Montevideo as well as the monument of Frederic Chopin in Punta del Este. He is a sponsor and patron of one of the elementary schools in the region of Podlasie in Poland .
In 1995 Kobylański was awarded with the Krzyż Oświęcimski.
In 2004 a reporter for "Gazeta Wyborcza" Mikołaj Lizut, and in 2005 a collumnist for "Rzeczpospolita" Jerzy Morawski accused Jan Kobylański of collaborating with the Nazis, when Poland was occupied by German forces during World War II, which Kobylański denies.
After the reports in the "Gazeta Wyborcza" and "Rzeczpospolita" the investigative section of the Instytut Pamięci Narodowej began legal proceedings in the Autumn 2004, to check if the accusations of handling over to the Gestapo the Szenker Jewish family were true. A person named Janusz Kobylański was supposedly involved.
In April 2006 the chief of the investigative section of the IPN Witold Kulesza reported: till now we did not find any evidence of the charges that the president of the USOPAŁ, Jan Kobylański, handed over to the Germans a marriage Jewish couple.
In January 2007 the section of IPN in Warsaw reported, that it had refused to open the investigation in this case. In his explanation, the leading prosecutor recalled the testimonies of witnesses heard on 16 February 1948 (Leokadia Sarnowska), and 26 March 1947 (Stanisław Juński), who decided not to testify against Kobylański: "In the winter of 1942-1943 Leokadia Sarnowska met Janusz Kobylański(...) During the conversation Janusz Kobylański said, that he was earning money producing false documents for Jews trying to hide themselves. Sarnowska soon sent to Kobylański the Szenker family, which consisted of 3 people - a married couple and their relative (...) Leokadia Sarnowska arranged the meeting of the two parties, during which Janusz Kobylański told Sarnowska and the Szenkers that false identity documents would be delivered for aa exact sum of dollars in gold. The money was delivered to judge Stanisław Juński, known to Sarnowska, who promised to give them to Kobylański after he delivered the. Some days after the meeting Kobylański called Sarnowska and said, that the Szenker family had been arrested, and probably executed by the Germans, so he had to destroy the false documents that he had prepared.
Kobylański informed Sarnowska, that judge Juński, by request of one of Szenkers, handed the money over to a "Polish policeman". Then Kobylański demanded from Sarnowska payment under threat of calling Germans. Sarnowską delivered to Kobylański a part of the sum at once, and the second part sent to an office of the father of Janusz Kobylański, att. Stanisław Kobylański (...) After some (unstable) time one of Szenker family called judge Juński, and asked to arrange a meeting with Sarnowska, who immediately came to Warsaw to meet Szenker. Szenker told her that Kobylański denounced them to the Gestapo. According to his version, Gestapo functionaries went to the hostel where he stayed with his family, and showed to him his personal notes, which he handled to Kobylański hoping that it would help in the preparation of false documents. The Gestapo men ordered a Polish policeman to escort the Szenkers to the ghetto. On their way Szenker convinced the policeman that he should free them for the money held in the judge's office. Policeman took the money from Juński and freed the Szenkers.
Stanisław Kobylański till the end of his life worked in Warsaw as a lawyer. Jan Kobylański, probably in 1945, escaped from Poland to Western Europe.
According to documents collected by the Prosecutor's Office in Warsaw, the evidence that Jan Kobylański was the perpetrator in the denounciation of the Szenkers family can not be proved. Legal proceedings against Stanisław Kobylański was denied, and the other, against Janusz Kobylański, suspended by the Regional Court in Warsaw on 31st day of June 1948. On April 19, 1955, prosecutors decided to cancel the case of Janusz Kobylański. Furthermore, there is no evidence that Janusz Kobylański and Jan Kobylański is the same person. In "Gazeta Wyborcza" of 2005 Mikołaj Lizut wrote, that Jan Kobylański falsified document of the Red Cross that he was a prisoner in the camps of Auschwitz, Mauthausen, Gusen, Gross Rosen and Dachau. Documents used by Kobylański, are different from those of the Auschwitz Museum.
In the end of November 2008, two independent internet services (WP i TVPINFO) reported that Jan Kobylański is going to open a legal case against Polish politicians and journalists (among others against Adam Michnik, Jerzy Baczyński and Ryszard Schnepf) on charges of slander.