Trove of WWII underground court rulings uncovered
PR dla Zagranicy
An extraordinary collection from Poland's underground WWII justice system has been identified after being found in Korzeniste, a village in north east Poland.
A metal ammunition box crammed with documents was initially uncovered by farmers ploughing fields in the area, and the material was presented to the local priest.
He in turn passed on the box to the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), a state-backed body charged with investigating historical crimes against Polish citizens.
Following careful restoration under the auspices of IPN, many of the documents are now legible.
Preliminary studies indicate that the materials cover the period 1942-1944, and were probably hidden so as not to fall into the hands of the retreating Nazi Germans, and the advancing Red Army.
The documents include sentences meted out in the region by the underground courts of Poland's Home Army (AK).
The Home Army, Poland's principal underground force, was empowered by the Polish government-in-exile in London to mete out sentences – including death sentences – on the terrain of occupied Poland. (nh)