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War-time hero Pilecki remembered

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 02.10.2014 14:48
Warsaw is to have a memorial to Captain Witold Pilecki, known as the ‘Auschwitz volunteer’.

Captain Pilecki: photo - wikicommons

The city authorities have announced a competition for the design of the memorial, which is to be located in the Żoliborz district in north Warsaw, close to the site where Pilecki, in September 1940, allowed himself to be arrested by the Germans and sent to Auschwitz.

He managed to send reports from the camp, indicating that an extermination of European Jews was being prepared by the Germans. In 1943, having escaped from Auschwitz, Pilecki reached Warsaw, and a year later fought in the Warsaw Rising.

After the war he went to Italy and joined the Second Corps. He was sent by the Polish intelligence to Poland as a spy. However, he was captured and executed by the communist authorities in 1948.

His burial place has never been found. In 1990, he was rehabilitated and in 2008 received posthumously the Order of the White Eagle, the highest Polish state distinction.

The results of the competition are to be announced in December.

In 2012, Pilecki’s original 400-page Auschwitz Report was published in the United States under the title ‘The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery’, with an introduction by renowned historian Norman Davies and a foreword by Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland. (mk/pg)

tags: Auschwitz
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