Poland searches for remains of WW2 hero.

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panzerplatten
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Poland searches for remains of WW2 hero.

Post by panzerplatten » 09 Aug 2012 13:08

Interesting story from today's paper.
http://m.spiegel.de/international/europe/a-848853.html
Regards Mark.

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Re: Poland searches for remains of WW2 hero.

Post by David Thompson » 14 Aug 2012 04:49

Two opinion posts, which added nothing of informational value to the topic, and a now unnecessary reply, were removed by this moderator - DT.

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Re: Poland searches for remains of WW2 hero.

Post by henryk » 17 Aug 2012 20:01

The title is more appropriately "heroes".
http://www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/10947 ... ]President champions museum of communist crimes

PR dla Zagranicy Nick Hodge 17.08.2012 12:57

President Bronislaw Komorowski championed a museum of communist crimes on Friday while observing excavation work in Warsaw aimed at finding victims of Stalinist repressions.

Komorowski at Powazki: photo - PAP/ Rafal Guz

“Poland is one of the few countries in the former Soviet bloc which does not have a museum of communist crimes,” the president said, as cited by the Polish Press Agency.

“Such a place should be created,” he added, noting that two Warsaw sites have already been proposed for such an institution.

Komorowski raised the concept during a visit to the Powazki Military Cemetery in Warsaw, where a state-backed excavation is under way that may lead to the identification of the remains of some of Poland's most noted wartime resistance figures.

About 184 people are thought to have been buried in unmarked graves in a portion of the cemetery, relating to a rash of communist show trials held between 1948 and 1956.

So far, some 71 skeletons have been excavated, while DNA samples have been obtained from 90 relatives of prominent victims of Stalinist repressions.

The majority of the victims were buried in graves of about three people, with most appearing to have been shot through the head at close range.

Historians believe that among those interred at the site are such figures as General Emil Fieldorf (codename Nil), former head of a crack division of Poland's wartime underground Home Army (AK), and also Witold Pilecki, who deliberately got himself incarcerated at the Auschwitz death camp so as to garner an intelligence report. The ultimate report was one of the key documents used to try and convince the Western Allies that the Holocaust was taking place.

Historian Dr. Krzysztof Szwagrzyk, who is leading the project, noted that the first results concerning the identification of remains should be available in a few weeks from now.

Wawel entombment?

In spite of the fact that no identifications have been made as of yet, a campaign has already been launched for Witold Pilecki to be laid to rest in the crypts of Wawel Cathedral, alongside kings and a number of national heroes.

Michal Tyrpa, chairman of the Paradis Judaeorum Foundation that is dedicated to Pilecki's memory, has written a letter to President Komorowski proposing the idea, describing Pilecki as “a universal symbol of heroism.”

Following his escape from Auschwitz, Pilecki fought in the doomed Warsaw Rising against the Nazi occupiers.

After the war, with Stalin extending his grip across Central Europe, Pilecki agreed to collect intelligence information for the Polish government-in-exile in London. He was executed following a show trial in 1948, a fate shared by many former resistance leaders.

The current excavation is being carried out with the cooperation of two state-backed bodies, the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), and the Council for the Protection of Struggle and Martyrdom Sites (ROPWiM).

It is part of a nationwide programme entitled “The search for unknown burial places of victims of communist terror in the years 1944-1956." (nh)[/quote]

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Re: Poland searches for remains of WW2 hero.

Post by henryk » 05 Oct 2012 18:50

A similar search is being carried out at another site, the village of Dworzysko, about 30 km southwest of Opole, about 80 km southest of Wrocław.
http://www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/11429 ... [quote]New dig launched in Poland for victims of communist terror
PR dla Zagranicy Nick Hodge 04.10.2012 16:17

Excavation work began on Thursday near the village of Dworzysko in the southern Opole region in search of anti-communist resistance fighters slaughtered in the aftermath of WWII.

A mass grave has been located which historians believe may be the resting place of members of the National Armed Forces (NSZ), one of the chief Polish resistance groups to stay active following the end of the Second World War.

Victims appear to have been shot in the back of the head, a characteristic trait in executions carried out by Poland's Soviet-modelled secret police.

Researchers have indicated that the remains may belong to the underground division of Captain Henryk Flame (codename Bartek).

Captain Flame was himself shot down by a policeman in a restaurant in the Lower Silesian village of Zabrzeg on 1 December 1947.

Today's excavation comes under the auspices of a nationwide programme entitled “The search for unknown burial places of victims of communist terror in the years 1944-1956.”

The work is being carried out with the cooperation of two state-backed bodies, the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), and the Council for the Protection of Struggle and Martyrdom Sites (ROPWiM).

This August, excavations were also held at unmarked graves in Warsaw's historic Powazki cemetery, where a number of Poland's most noted resistance fighters are believed to have been buried.

DNA tests have been carried out on relatives of about 100 prominent victims of Stalinist repressions that may have been interred at the Warsaw cemetery. (nh)[/quote]

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Re: Poland searches for remains of WW2 hero.

Post by henryk » 15 Apr 2015 19:16

http://www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/20357 ... [quote]Bid to find partisans slain by communists

15.04.2015 09:08

Work has been resumed on a bid to find the remains of close to 200 partisans slain by communist security services in southern Poland in the aftermath of World War II.

A diver at work near the village of Barut, Opole region. Photo: PAP/Andrzej Grygiel

The guerrilla soldiers had fought under Captain Henryk Flame (codename Bartek) as part of the so-called National Armed Forces (NSZ). According to research by the state-backed Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), which is leading the initiative, the men were betrayed by a mole in their unit in September 1946.

The partisans apparently believed that they were being transported over the border to the US-controlled zone in Germany. However, the action was a ruse, and the men were shot. Captain Flame managed to escape after realising that something was amiss, but he himself was killed in December 1947, while dining in a restaurant in Zabrzeg.

The search in the woods near the village of Barut, Opole region. Photo: PAP/Andrzej Grygiel

Professor Krzysztof Szwagrzyk of IPN told reporters on Tuesday near the village of Barut, Opole region, that the site is undoubtedly a killing field, as fragments of bones with traces of gunshots were found there 3 years ago. He noted largest anti-communist partisan group functioning in Upper Silesia and the Beskid uplands. In October 2012, the remains of about 25 people were found in the village of Dworzysko. Work continues on trying to find DNA matches for the remains.

Post-war guerrillas, known in Poland as ''the Cursed Soldiers'' were a taboo subject in Poland during the communist era. Formations such as NSZ were rehabilit however that not a single skull was found, indicating that the remains were buried elsewhere. Work will take place both in Barut and in the village of Stary Grodków.

Flame's men represented theated after 1989. However, controversy remains over atrocities carried out by some units. President Bronisław Komorowski said this year on the annual 'Day of the Cursed Soldiers' (March 1) that memorials should be raised to both the fighters and in some cases their victims. (nh)

Source: PAP [/quote]

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Re: Poland searches for remains of WW2 hero.

Post by 4thskorpion » 17 Apr 2015 11:36

An excellent reference book on the subject of the anti-communist resistance in Poland was compiled by Poland's leading authority on the subject, dr.Rafał Wnuk. Although the text is in Polish, an extensive English language summary of the independence underground is also included.

Atlas polskiego podziemia niepodległościowego 1944-1956 (The atlas of the independence underground in Poland 1944-1956). ISBN9788360464458.
ID-7806-24-15-3_big.jpg
Rafał Wnuk's early paper on the subject - History of the Anti-Communist Conspiracy in Poland after the Second World War (1944–1956) - is available as a PDF download from the link below:

http://www.iwm.at/publications/5-junior ... 1944-1956/.
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Re: Poland searches for remains of WW2 hero.

Post by henryk » 18 Apr 2015 18:41

Thank you, 4thscorpion, for the link. The article is very informative.
When I visited Kłodzko, in 1995, I viewed the War Monument there. The dates on it were 1939-1947. When I asked my cousin why it was not 1945, he replied it was politics.
http://podziemiezbrojne.blox.pl/2014/10 ... Lalka.html
http://podziemiezbrojne.blox.pl/2007/05 ... esc-1.html
Monument for Sgt. Joseph Franczak "lalek/doll" - the last of the Cursed Soldiers, captured/killed 1963. Located in Piaski Lubelskich. His body was buried without his head.
Pomnik Lalek Detail.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B3zef ... uote]Józef Franczak (17 March 1918 – 21 October 1963) was a soldier of the Polish Army, Armia Krajowa World War II resistance, and last of the cursed soldiers – members of the militant anti-communist resistance in Poland. He used codenames Lalek (best known), Laluś, Laleczka, Guściowa, and fake name Józef Babiński. He was a resistance fighter for 24 out of 45 years of his life.
Józef Franczak was born in the Polish village of Kozice Górne, some 30 kilometers from Lublin. After attending a school for the gendarmerie in Grudziądz, he was stationed as a soldier of the Polish Army in Równe (then in Poland, now Rivne, Ukraine). He was captured during the Soviet invasion of Poland, but escaped and joined one of the first Polish resistance organizations, the Związek Walki Zbrojnej, which later became the Armia Krajowa.

In August 1944 he was conscripted into the Polish Second Army. In 1945, having witnessed some of his Home Army colleagues being executed by the communist Polish government, he left the Second Army and hid for a few months in different locations, such as Sopot and Łódź, using the alias of Józef Baginski. Subsequently he returned to the area of Lublin, and joined the militant anti-communist resistance in Poland, colloquially known as the cursed soldiers. His first unit was led by Hieronim Dekutowski (nom de guerre "Zapora"). Captured and arrested by the Urząd Bezpieczeństwa in June 1946, he managed to kill four guards and make his escape along with some others.

At the beginning of 1947, he took part in actions against the law enforcement agencies and the military of the communist authorities, particularly the milicja, and the functionaries of the Urząd Bezpieczeństwa and their informers. Later in 1947 he joined a unit led by a Wolność i Niezawisłość officer, Zdzisław Broński (nom de guerre "Uskok"), which operated northeast of Lublin. In 1949 he personally executed a former resistance member who had betrayed Broński. Then for several years he led a group bent on executing traitors and informers, who had joined with those he perceived to be the enemies of Poland.

In 1948, during a botched bank robbery, his cadre was intercepted by government forces and destroyed; from that time Franczak worked alone, as more and more of his former colleagues were killed, arrested, or simply gave up – especially after the amnesty of April 27, 1956. For the next few years he would be one of the most wanted people in the People's Republic of Poland. He hid near the village of Piaski, and in the area of Krasnystaw, Chełm and the area surrounding Lublin. It has been estimated that some 200 people were involved in giving him various type of aid. Those supporting Franczak exposed themselves to great risk and retribution, since he was regarded as a 'dangerous criminal', by the government. They threatened to punish anyone who helped him with several years of imprisonment.

The Lublin field office of the Polish secret police, the Służba Bezpieczeństwa, had already begun a plan to capture or kill him as early as November 1951, under the codename "Pożar" ("Fire"). In time over 100 different people were involved in the effort to locate and eliminate him. Agents of the SB installed bugs in several houses in the villages around Lublin. In May 1957, the first such device was implanted in the house that belonged to Czeslawa Franczak, Jozef's sister. Soon afterwards, bugs were installed in the house of another sister, Celina Mazur, as well as elsewhere.

Finally, in 1963, he was betrayed by a relative of his mistress, Danuta Mazur. Stanisław Mazur informed the secret police of Franczak's whereabouts and his planned meeting with Danuta, who was also the mother of his child. On 21 October 1963, 35 functionaries of a ZOMO (paramilitary riot police) unit surrounded a barn in Majdan Kozic Górnych, the village where Franczak was in hiding. They demanded his surrender; Franczak presented himself as a local peasant, but after having been asked about identity documents, he opened fire and was mortally wounded in the ensuing firefight. After an autopsy, Franczak's body (without its head), was returned to his family. He was buried in the cemetery in Piaski Wielkie.

Remembrance

In modern Poland, Franczak is considered a hero of the anti-communist resistance. On 17 March 2006, a special event was organized in his honor, with a mass led by the bishop of Lublin, Józef Życiński, and a memorial ceremony attended by the last president of the Polish government-in-exile, Ryszard Kaczorowski, the director of the Institute of National Remembrance, Janusz Kurtyka, and several members of the Polish parliament (Sejm). The Institute also organized a conference about Franczak and anti-communist resistance movements, and the local TV station Telewizja Lublin made a film dedicated to him. All of the events were sponsored by TV Polonia.[1][/quote]
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Re: Poland searches for remains of WW2 hero.

Post by henryk » 21 Apr 2016 19:05

http://www.thenews.pl/1/11/Artykul/2496 ... te]‘Cursed soldier’ to be buried in Warsaw
PR dla Zagranicy Roberto Galea 21.04.2016 15:00

Zygmunt Szendzielarz, a Polish WWII resistance commander known as "Łupaszka", will be formally buried with state honours at the Powązki military cemetery in Warsaw on Sunday.
Zygmunt "Łupaszka" Szendzielarz. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A funeral mass will be held at the Archcathedral Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, in Łódź, central Poland on Thursday. Major Szendzielarz was one of the so-called "Cursed Soldiers" who fought against the imposition of communism in Poland. Poland's official underground army (AK) was disbanded in January 1945, but thousands of Poles continued to fight in other formations, as the Red Army extended its grip across the country.

Szendzielarz was arrested in 1948, transported to Warsaw and imprisoned by the communist authorities. He was interrogated about 50 times. In a show trial, he was sentenced to death, and executed in February 1951. His remains were identified in a 2013 exhumation of a mass grave in Warsaw.

The subject of the so-called Cursed Soldiers was taboo during the communist era, and it was not until 2011 that an official day of remembrance was introduced. (rg/pk)[/quote]

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Re: Poland searches for remains of WW2 hero.

Post by henryk » 02 Mar 2019 20:25

http://www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/40881 ... t-fighters
UPDATE: Poland remembers post-WWII anti-communist fighters

Polish Radio 01.03.2019 14:01

Top politicians on Friday paid tribute to Polish post-WWII anti-communist resistance fighters.

Poles living abroad were also to pay tribute to the fighters, referred to by some as the “Cursed Soldiers” and by others as "indomitable soldiers". After Poland's official underground army (AK) of World War II disbanded, thousands of Poles continued to fight in other formations as the Soviet Red Army extended its grip across the country. The “cursed soldiers” faced a brutal crackdown by Poland’s communist authorities and were a taboo subject during the country’s decades under communist rule.

At a ceremony to mark the expansion of the Museum of Cursed Soldiers in Ostrołęka, north-eastern Poland, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said: "Thanks to a museum like this, history will not be silent about heroes.”

Meanwhile, at the presidential palace in Warsaw, President Andrzej Duda handed out state orders to former fighters and to people who had worked to spread the word about their deeds. Duda said: "Most probably there would not be a truly free, truly independent, truly sovereign Poland today if not for that heroism, suffering… it not for those indomitable soldiers whom the communists were afraid of.”

An official day of remembrance for the fighters was finally introduced in 2011, more than two decades after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
March 1 was selected as a poignant date for the day of remembrance, as on this day in 1951, seven prominent members of a post-war resistance force called Freedom and Independence were executed in Warsaw.
(pk)
Source: PAP/IAR

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