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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

British tabloid remembers Polish WWII hero Witold Pilecki

21.09.2021 15:00
The British tabloid The Sun has carried an in-depth story about Polish World War II officer Witold Pilecki. 
Witold Pilecki
Witold PileckiCommons.wikimedia.org/T. Bór-Komorowski, Armia podziemna, Warszawa 1990/Domena publiczna

The daily described him as a “hero soldier" who "decided the only way to find out the true horrors of Auschwitz was to see for himself—so he volunteered to infiltrate the concentration camp.”

It added that “Pilecki reported back to the Allies about the brutality he witnessed—but his incredible bravery was not acted on as many believed his reports were too horrific to be true.”

The Sun reported that “Pilecki was a soldier in the Polish cavalry when his country was invaded by the Germans in 1939, and became part of the underground resistance when the Nazis began their brutal occupation.”

It further said that “Pilecki, a staunch patriot and devout Catholic, volunteered to leave his wife and children for what was, on the face of it, a suicide mission. He hatched a plot to get himself arrested by the Nazis in Warsaw and sent to Auschwitz … His reports from the camp were sent to the Allies using a courier system that the Polish resistance operated throughout occupied Europe.”

The British tabloid also described Pilecki’s plight after his escape from Auschwitz and participation in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising.

It wrote: “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. But after the war he fell foul of the Soviet-installed Polish Communist regime and was arrested and tortured. He was subjected to a show trial on trumped up charges of espionage and then executed in 1948.”

The Sun quoted the Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich, as saying that Pilecki was “an example of inexplicable goodness at a time of inexplicable evil.”

September 19 marked the 81st anniversary of Pilecki’s arrest by the Germans in Warsaw.

(mk/gs)