Friday, March 13, 2009

Lucia Polish War Hero in the news

It was perhaps the bravest act of espionage of the Second World War. After voluntarily being imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp for 2½ years, and smuggling out its darkest secrets to the Allies, Witold Pilecki overcame a guard and, with two comrades, escaped almost certain death.

Now new details have emerged of the extraordinary tale of the Polish officer who hatched a plot with the country's resistance to be rounded up by the occupying Germans in September 1940 and sent to the most notorious Nazi extermination centre.

At the time Auschwitz was predominantly a camp for captured resistance fighters, although Jews and anyone considered a threat to the Nazi regime were also being sent there.

Newly released documents from the Polish archives reveal how Mr Pilecki, going under the false name Tomasz Serafinski, went about setting up an underground resistance group in the camp, recruiting its members and organising it into a coherent movement.

KG of Crusader Rabbit, this morning sent me a link to an English article on a little known WW2 Polish war hero, Witold Pilecki.* It's great that articles are being written of such men as Pilecki. Especially since his life was ignominiously snuffed out by a cowardly execution by the Communists that were left in charge of Poland after WW2 ended for most of the world.

Witold Pilecki had gone back into Poland on a mission to search for more evidence of the Russians' involvement in the Katyn massacre of Polish officers that they had pinned on the Nazis. Unfortunately, this lead to his death, when he was caught by the Communists, tried for his "crimes" and executed. I always found his unjust death a horrible contrast to the voluntary sacrifice of his imprisonment in Auschwitz.

Related Link: Double life of Witold Pilecki, the Auschwitz volunteer who uncovered Holocaust secrets ~ Times Online (Jan 2015: access to the article now requires a login, here is a web archive copy)

*pronounced [ˈvitɔld piˈletski];

1 comment(s):

KG said...

It's an amazing story. Courage under fire is one thing, but the kind of long-term, cold-blooded courage that man showed is almost beyond comprehension.
And what a squalid, inexcusable waste of yet another fine man by the communists....

Post a Comment

Please be respectful. Foul language and personal attacks may get your comment deleted without warning. Contact us if your comment doesn't appear - the spam filter may have grabbed it.