Karol Olszewski was born on January 29, 1846 in the village of Broniszów, at that time Austro-Hungarian Empire, into a noble Galician family. On a frosty day in February 1846, peasants rebelling against the Polish gentry in the southern Poland forced their way into the Broniszów village. The peasants killed its heir, ravaged the demesne and decided to kill the trustee and tenant Jan Olszewski as well. Seeing them coming, Jan took his son, jumped onto nearby sleigh and started running away. Aware of the fact that he would not be able to escape for much longer and wishing to save his son, Jan threw away a bundle with the baby inside it at the turning of the road. Shortly afterwards, a drunk bunch of raiders hunted Jan down and killed him. The “saved-by-the-bell” infant was found by peasant women and returned to his mother Anna nee Zwolińska.