Monday, August 04, 2008

Witold Pilecki

During World War II, Pilecki became the only known person to volunteer to be imprisoned at Auschwitz concentration camp. While there, he organized the resistance movement in the camp, and as early as 1940, informed the Western Allies of Nazi Germany's Auschwitz atrocities. He escaped from the camp in 1943 and took part in the Warsaw Uprising. Pilecki was executed in 1948 by the communists. (....) On September 19, 1940, he deliberately went out during a Warsaw street roundup (łapanka), and was caught by the Germans along with some 2,000 innocent civilians (among them, Władysław Bartoszewski). After two days of torture in Wehrmacht barracks, the survivors were sent to Auschwitz. Pilecki was tattooed on his forearm with the number 4859. (....) beginning March 1941, Pilecki's reports were being forwarded via the Polish resistance to the British government in London. These reports were a principal source of intelligence on Auschwitz for the Western Allies. By 1943, Pilecki decided to break out of the camp. When he was assigned to a night shift at a camp bakery outside the fence, he and two comrades overpowered a guard, cut the phone line and escaped, taking along documents stolen from the Germans. In the event of capture, they were prepared to swallow cyanide. After several days, with the help of local civilians, they contacted Home Army units. Pilecki submitted another detailed report on conditions at Auschwitz.

4 comments:

cybrbeast said...

Very interesting. What a great hero. Extremely tragic and shameful that the British didn't decide to do anything.

Kamielkaze said...

interesting hero. Its a great story for a movie in mine opinion.

dekus said...

Very impressive!

cybrbeast said...

Kamiel, people are trying to get the studios to make a movie out of this.