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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Upstate NY

    "The man who volunteered for Auschwitz": Poles exhume mass grave for bones of hero

    The horrors of totalitarianism.

    Poland hopes to identify remains of Auschwitz hero (AP)
    WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- It could hardly have been a riskier mission: infiltrate Auschwitz to chronicle Nazi atrocities. Witold Pilecki survived nearly three years as an inmate in the death camp, managing to smuggle out word of executions before making a daring escape. But the Polish resistance hero was crushed by the post-war communist regime - tried on trumped-up charges and executed.
    "He was unique in the world," said Zofia Pilecka-Optulowicz, paying tribute to her father's 1940 decision to walk straight into a Nazi street roundup with the aim of getting inside the extermination camp. "I would like to have a place where I can light a candle for him."
    Pilecki was 38 when Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, triggering the start of World War II. He helped organize a resistance campaign during which many fellow fighters were caught and sent to Auschwitz, which in the early war years served more as a camp for Polish resistance fighters than Jews. That inspired him to hatch an audacious plan: He told other resistance commanders that he wanted to become an Auschwitz inmate to check on rumors of atrocities.
    After escaping, Pilecki rejoined Poland's Home Army resistance force and fought in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, the city's ill-fated revolt against the Nazis. In 1947, he was arrested by the secret security of the communist regime, imposed on Poland after the war, and falsely accused of planning to assassinate dignitaries.
    much, much more - excellent feature article - at link above

  2. #2
    Wow. What a story. What a guy. Rest In Peace and to all those who have fought against evil to bring us the freedoms we now have. xx

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