Wednesday, November 16, 2011

[Resources] Witold Pilecki

Witold Pilecki (1901-1948) was a Polish soldier and resistant fighter. He fought in WWI in a Polish self-defence unit until the unit was destroyed by the Russians. For a time, the survivors acted as partisans. He joined the Polish Army and fought in the Polish-Soviet War (1919–1920).

Before the outbreak of WWII, he rejoined the Polish military and after the fall of Poland to the Nazis and the Soviets, he was one of the founding members of the Secret Polish Army.

In 1940, he came up with a daring plan to be captured and sent to Auschwitz to gain vital intelligence. While in Auschwitz, he formed a united resistance movement to provide the underground with information about the camp. He escaped the camp with German documents in 1943 after overpowering a guard.

In 1944, he participated in the Warsaw Uprising. He was captured and spent the rest of the war in a German prison camp.

Liberated in 1945, he worked with the Polish government in exile against the Soviets. Captured in 1947, he underwent torture and was tried in a mock trial in 1948. Sentenced to death, he was executed in May and buried (presumably) in an unmarked grave.

Posthumously honored with the Order of Polonia Restituta (1995) and Order of the White Eagle (2006), he is considered a hero of Poland.

Since he was active from 1918 to 1947, he'd make an excellent contact in any WWI or WWII Eastern Front game, or in the interwar period.


  1. An awesome individual. Thanks for bringing this man's story to (our) attention. :)

  2. I'm from Poland and Pilecki is one of many Polish people who fighted with Communism in Poland. Can you imagine life in Soviet Poland? People had no freedom, they couldn't say wiat did they want, there was even not much food. If someone had piece of meet - it was something.
    The other Polish people which are heroes of our Republic are Łupaszko and general Nil (it comes from latin, not from polish word for river Nile), and also Lech Wałęsa.
    The free Europe started in Poland, not Germany. In Gdańsk, called by Nazists Danzig… but Danzig is dead. Now there is only Gdańsk. There is no Polen, its Polska (Poland).
    Sometimes I hear about some Americans, which had many Polish people in their families. I don't mean, that they must speak Polish, but they even don't know history of Poland!
    I'm very happy and glad, that you wrote something about my country. Pilecki was first man, that told the West about Holocaust and that many Jews are killed.
    Thank you very much, thank you.
    Greetings from Poland:)

  3. horsefan, thanks for reading my blog. I discovered Witold Pilecki a few years ago on Wikipedia and was very impressed with his history.


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