Warsaw Supports Statue in Honor of Resistance Hero Witold Pilecki

Councillors of Poland’s capital city showed support in favor of a statue to honor resistance hero Witold Pilecki who is best known for imprisoning himself in the Nazi’s deadliest concentration camp, Auschwitz, to gather intelligence reports from the notorious area.

The project’s main supporters were Warsaw Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz together with the clubs of chief coalition partner Civic Platform as well as major opposition party Law and Justice.

“Now begins the most important work,” Sebastian Kaleta of the Youth for Poland said.

The said association was the one that initiated the project by proposing the monument.

“However, we are optimistic, and most importantly, the town hall has backed our idea,” he added.

Who Is Witold Pilecki?

Witold Pilecki was a Polish cavalry officer during the Second Polish Republic. When Germany occupied Poland, he, along with two other men, founded the resistance group Secret Polish Army which came to being on November 1939.

Pilecki authored the the first intelligence report ever gathered from the Nazi’s Auschwitz concentration camp – the Witold’s Report.

At the start of World War II, he offered himself to be imprisoned within the notorious walls of the Nazi’s most savage camp just so he could gather intelligence. After almost three years in that hell hole, Pilecki was able to escape. His report allowed the Government of the Republic of Poland in exile to convince the Allies of World War II that the Holocaust is real and was taking place that time.

After WWII, Pilecki continued to collect intelligence for the Soviet-supported communist regime that reigned in the country. However, he was arrested by the Stalinist secret police in 1947, underwent a communist trial show and was executed the following year.

Because he was deemed a traitor, his grave was left unmarked. Speaking about his exploits was a taboo in Poland until the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989.

Rightful Place

The Polsih state recently backed digs at the unmarked graves in the military section of Powazki Cemetery in Warsaw in the hopes of finding Pilecki’s remains as well as the other resistance personalities who were executed under the communist regime. 

A number of the dug remnants have been identified though the resistance hero’s remains is still on the search’s list.

Though the location of the Pilecki statue is still unknown, opposition party Law and Justice wants it to replace the much disputed 1945 marker which is a tribute to Polish-Soviet Bortherhood in Arms.

-Article Source: Polskie Radio and Wikipedia

Heziel Pitogo

Heziel Pitogo is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE