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Witold Pilecki - The Polish hero that too few know about

Article about: by 4thskorpion In Memoriam+ Witold Pilecki was executed 62 years ago yesterday in Warsaw—he was the personification of a hero that loved his country above all else. Witold Pilecki Amen

  1. #1

    Default Witold Pilecki - The Polish hero that too few know about

    Quote by 4thskorpion View Post
    In Memoriam+

    Witold Pilecki was executed 62 years ago yesterday in Warsaw—he was the personification of a hero that loved his country above all else.

    Witold Pilecki
    Amen. Thank you Stefan for posting this. I felt that this great man deserves a dedicated thread, so have also included your post here as an introduction.

    Every freedom loving person should pause for a moment to remember this most remarkable person. The word hero is used so often nowadays so as to devalue its meaning. Witold Pilecki was a true hero in every sense of the word.

    Here’s a site I found that provides more detail of this great man’s accomplishments. Well worth reading.

    Witold Pilecki (amazing life of the Polish hero that too few know about)

    Best regards,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  2. #2

    Default Re: Witold Pilecki - The Polish hero that too few know about

    Pilecki's story is detailed in Fighting Auschwitz: The Resistance Movement in the Concentration Camp by Jozef Garlinski which was published in English during the late 1970's.

    In fact it was Jozef Garlinski that 'rediscovered' Pilecki's secret reports smuggled of the camp and Pilecki's report about the resistance movement he set up in Auschwitz all silently gathering dust a the SPP-PUMST archive where the papers had remained unread since the end of WWII.

    Another great book written by one of Pilecki's comrade's in Auschwitz :

    Escaping Hell: The story of a Polish underground officer in Auschwitz and Buchenwald by Kon Piekarski - 1989/90

    Why is there no English language documentary about this incredible man
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  3. #3
    ?

    Default Re: Witold Pilecki - The Polish hero that too few know about

    i knew nothing about him. that is an amazing story. but of course who could end it so well ... the communists... no further comment here. i thank you for posting this.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Witold Pilecki - The Polish hero that too few know about

    Quote by Adept View Post
    i knew nothing about him. that is an amazing story. but of course who could end it so well ... the communists... no further comment here.
    Hi Adept, It is an amazing story.

    It should however be remembered that Pilecki's murder was sadly committed by fellow Poles not some aliens known as 'communists'.

    Witold Pilecki's Auschwitz Report

    An partial translation in English of Pilecki's known as 'Report W' is available online:

    Witold Pilecki's Auschwitz Report: WITOLD'S REPORT

    Pilecki's execution order was signed by Deputy Prosecutor, Major Stanislaw Cypryszewskia a fellow Pole was also a former prisoner at Auschwitz who denied Pilecki's role in the camp resistance movement and tried to claim credit for organising this for himself.

    The IPN in Warsaw has an English mini-site about Pilecki and includes some of the trial documents (in Polish)

    Rotamaster Pilecki
    Last edited by StefanM; 05-27-2010 at 08:44 AM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  5. #5
    ?

    Default Re: Witold Pilecki - The Polish hero that too few know about

    this is worst then... but humanly typical... and of course get's recognition and medals and sad feeling for his fate and hatred for his executioners too late ...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Witold Pilecki - The Polish hero that too few know about

    What is worse is that in post-communist Poland no one was ever brought to justice for Pilecki's murder even though the identities of those involved in the crime had been known for years earlier for example Jerzy Kaskiewicz who died in December 1999, was free to walk and live openly in Warsaw until his death! Why did the Polish justice system allow this man and other perpetrators to remain free? Despite protestations such as:

    "The Cavalry Captain, Pilecki, is one of our nation's foremost heroes, whom all military men ought to salute […] We are no better than the Germans and Russians, for by our own hands, we were capable of murdering our own heroes”.

    Excerpt from the defense attorney's argument during Witold Pilecki's rehabilitation proceedings, before the Military Chamber, of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Poland, in 1990.

    Excerpt quoted from:
    Volunteer For Auschwitz - Witold Pilecki. The Murder of Cavalry Captain Witold Pilecki (1901-1948) who volunteered to be sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp to gather information about Nazi war crimes, and crimes against humanity.


    Jerzy Kroszel died earlier in 1989 and Stanisław Cypryszewski died 1983 in Warsaw.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Witold Pilecki - The Polish hero that too few know about

    It's always a struggle to find the time to read all of the books out there, but I finally got around to reading Witold Pilecki's Auschwitz Report. Wow, what a story. Thank you for the link Stefan.

    Here it is again for anyone that hasn't yet read this most fascinating and riveting account of survival, and ultimately tragic betrayal.

    Witold Pilecki's Auschwitz Report: WITOLD'S REPORT

    Regards,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  8. #8

    Default Re: Witold Pilecki - The Polish hero that too few know about

    Outrageous self-promotion I know

    Pilecki Auschwitz Report
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by StefanM; 09-22-2010 at 01:53 PM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Witold Pilecki - The Polish hero that too few know about

    Double life of Witold Pilecki, the Auschwitz volunteer who uncovered Holocaust secrets.
    It was perhaps the bravest act of espionage of the Second World War. After voluntarily being imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp for 2˝ 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.

    Why British intelligence refused to believe all reports of the mass murder of Poland's Jews
    “In order to assure greater security I have taken the view that each cell of five will not be aware of another cell,” he wrote in one of his reports smuggled out to the Resistance and which has now come to light.

    “This is also why I have avoided people who are registered here under their real names. Some are involved in the most incompetent conspiracies and have their own plans for rebellion in the camp.”

    Later he wrote: “The gigantic machinery of the camp spewing out dead bodies has claimed many of my friends ... We have sent messages to the outside world which were then transmitted back by foreign radio stations. Consequently the camp guards are very angry right now.”

    Mr Pilecki's reports from the camp were channelled to the Allies via a courier system that the Polish Resistance operated throughout occupied Europe. By 1942 Mr Pilecki's organisation realised the existence of the gas chambers and he worked on several plans to liberate Auschwitz, including one in which the RAF would bomb the walls, or Free Polish paratroopers would fly in from Britain.

    However, in 1943, realising that the Allies had no plans to liberate the camp, he and two others escaped. The new documents include a Gestapo manhunt alert after his escape.

    Mr Pilecki ensured that a full report on the camp reached London, and the resistance group he started in Auschwitz continued to feed information to Britain and the United States, confirming that the Nazis were bent on the extermination of the Jews.

    The archive material will again raise questions as to why the Allies, and in particular Winston Churchill, never did anything to stop the atrocities there. “We can only assume the British thought we were exaggerating,” said the Polish historian Jacek Pawlowicz. “I'm certain Poles shared their intelligence with MI6 and the highest levels of British Government, which, for some reason, remained silent.”

    After his escape Mr Pilecki was captured fighting in the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 and spent the rest of the conflict in a prisoner-of-war camp. In July 1945 he joined Free Polish troops in Italy, from where he agreed to return to Poland and gather intelligence on the Soviet takeover of the country.

    He was, however, caught by the Polish Communist regime. In a twist of fate, a Polish Jew administered the torture during his interrogation. Mr Pilecki's wife was invited to visit and he told her that his time in Auschwitz was child's play by comparison. After a show trial he was given three death sentences and shot.

    The new material includes his charge sheet, which has 132 subsections, each listing a separate alleged crime. “From July 1945 to May 1947 the accused worked against the Polish state as a paid resident of an overseas intelligence agency,” one accusation reads. “The worst crime committed against the state was that he was acting in the interests of foreign imperialism, to which he has completely sold out through a prolonged period of work as a spy.” The implication is clear: Mr Pilecki was providing information on the Soviet-backed regime that was finding its way to MI6.

    After his death Mr Pilecki was demonised by the Communists and his heroics re-emerged only after 1989.

    His son, Andrzej Pilecki, who was 16 when he learnt that his father had been executed, said: “There'd be no better memorial to my father than for the young to learn of his example. I was at school at the time, it was a terrible shock, but now after 60 years of waiting I am thrilled to see justice.”

    The new archive releases also reveal touching details. In a smuggled letter dated October 18, 1943, to his ten-year-old daughter he wrote: “I am very happy to hear you are such a devoted housemaid and that you like to take care of the animals and our plants in the garden. I, too, like every kind of bug and beetle as well as the beans and the peas. I like everything that lives. I'm very glad to hear that inside my children there are the same thoughts that I have.”

    The Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich, said that Mr Pilecki was “an example of inexplicable goodness at a time of inexplicable evil. There is ever-growing awareness of Poles helping Jews in the Holocaust, and how they paid with their lives, like Pilecki. We must honour these examples and follow them today in the parts of the world where there are horrors again.”

    The historian Michael R.D.Foot said that the life and death of Mr Pilecki brought shame on the British and the Allies, who turned a blind eye to Stalin's European ambitions as well as the Holocaust. “The Foreign Office's betrayal of Poland is the darkest chapter in its history, even if that betrayal was a strategic necessity,” he said.

    Double life of Witold Pilecki, the Auschwitz volunteer who uncovered Holocaust secrets - Times Online

  10. #10

    Default Re: Witold Pilecki - The Polish hero that too few know about

    There is a book out in english of a supposed english agent who broke into Oświęcim and gave out info as well, but considering the mass hysteria in the West with the death camps and the holocaust im surprised no-one ever picked up on getting Pilecki's story worldwide in other languages considering the scope of it.....

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