Vitold Pilecki

Vitold Pilecki



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Vitold Pilecki 1901 yilda Polshada tug'ilgan. 1939 yil sentyabr oyida Germaniya armiyasi mamlakatga bostirib kirganida, Pilecki Polsha maxfiy armiyasi Tajna Armia Polskaga qo'shilgan.

Pilecki Osventsim borligini kashf etgach, yuqori martabali zobitlariga rejani taklif qildi. Pilecki o'zini hibsga olish va kontslagerga jo'natish kerakligini aytdi. Keyin u lagerda nima bo'layotgani haqida xabar yuboradi. Pilecki, shuningdek, ommaviy chiqishni tashkil qilish imkoniyatini o'rganadi.

Pilecki polkovniki oxir -oqibat rozi bo'ldi va Tomash Serafinski ismli soxta shaxsni tasdiqlagandan so'ng, u 1940 yil sentyabr oyida hibsga olindi. U kutilganidek Osventsimga yuborildi va u erda 4859 mahbusga aylandi. Uning ishi mahbuslar sonini ko'paytirish uchun ko'proq kulbalar qurishdan iborat edi.

Tez orada Pilecki Shutz Staffeinel (SS) soqchilarining shafqatsizligini aniqladi. 1940 yil 28 oktyabrda bitta odam qochishga muvaffaq bo'lganida, barcha mahbuslar parad maydonida peshindan kechqurun to'qqizgacha e'tibor berishga majbur bo'lishdi. Har kim ko'chib ketgan bo'lsa, otib tashlangan va 200 dan ortiq mahbus ta'sir qilishdan vafot etgan. Pilecki Tajna Armia Polska -ga nemislar o'z mahbuslariga qanday munosabatda bo'lishlarini tushuntirgan hisobotlarni qaytarib yuborishga muvaffaq bo'ldi. Keyin bu ma'lumotlar Londondagi xorijiy idoraga yuborildi.

1942 yilda Pilecki yangi, derazasiz beton kulbalar qurilayotganini aniqladi. Ko'p o'tmay, u mahbuslarni bu kulbalarga boqishayotganini va burunlardan siyanid gazini binoga yuborish uchun ishlatilganini eshitdi. Shundan so'ng, jasadlar yondirilgan bino yoniga olib kelingan.

Pilecki bu ma'lumotni Tajna Armia Polskaga oldi va u Britaniya tashqi ishlar idorasiga topshirdi. Bu ma'lumotlar keyinchalik boshqa ittifoqchi davlatlar hukumatlariga etkazildi. Biroq, hisobotlarni ko'rganlarning ko'pchiligi ularga ishonishdan bosh tortishdi va bu voqealarni polyaklarning ittifoqchilarning harbiy strategiyasini manipulyatsiya qilish urinishlari sifatida rad etishdi.

1942 yilning kuzida Polsha Kommunistik partiyasi a'zosi Yozef Kirankevich Osventsimga yuborildi. Pilecki va Cyrankevicz ommaviy yig'ilishni tashkil qilishda yaqindan hamkorlik qilishdi. 1942 yil oxiriga kelib ular qo'riqchilarini ag'darib tashlashga tayyor 500 kishilik guruhga ega bo'lishdi.

1942 yil 29 -dekabrda to'rt nafar mahbus o'z -o'zidan qochib ketishgan. Bu odamlardan biri, tish shifokori Kuczbara, gestapo tomonidan ushlanib, so'roq qilingan. Kuczbara Pilecki guruhining etakchilaridan biri edi, shuning uchun u xabarni eshitgach, SS bu qochish urinishlarini uyushtirganini anglashi vaqt o'tishi kerakligini tushundi.

Pilecki qochish yo'lini oldindan belgilab qo'ydi va tifga o'xshab, 1943 yil 24 aprelda kasalxonadan qochdi. Mahalliy o'rmonda yashirinib, 2 -may kuni Pilecki "Tajna Armia Polska" bo'linmasiga etib keldi. U 1944 yilning yozida Varshava qo'zg'oloni paytida jang qildi. Garchi Germaniya tomonidan asirga olingan bo'lsa -da, 1945 yil aprel oyida Ittifoq qo'shinlari tomonidan ozod qilingan.

Ikkinchi jahon urushidan keyin Pilecki Polshaga ko'chib o'tdi. Polsha maxfiy politsiyasi uni 1948 yilda qatl qildi.

(1) Vitold Pilecki Tajna Armiya Polskaga Osventsimda guvoh bo'lganlari haqida hisobot yubordi.

Yo'lda bizdan birovga yo'l chetidagi postga yugurishni buyurishdi va undan keyin darhol avtomatdan o'q otishdi. U o'ldirildi. Uning tasodifiy o'nta o'rtoqlari safdan chiqarildi va SS askarlari tomonidan uyushtirilgan "qochish" uchun "jamoaviy javobgarlik" asosida pistolet bilan yurish paytida otishdi. O'n bir kishini bir oyog'iga bog'lab qo'yilgan belbog'lar sudrab olib ketishdi. Itlarni qonli jasadlar bilan masxara qilishdi va ustiga qo'yishdi. Bularning hammasi kulgi va hazil hamrohligida.


Witold Pilecki: Faxriy rollarga munosib qo'shimcha

Jek Feyveyzer, Ko'ngilli: Bir kishi, er osti armiyasi va Osvensitni yo'q qilishning maxfiy missiyasi. (Witold Pilecki haqidagi hikoya.) Nyu -York: HarperCollins, 2019, 528 sahifa, $ 28.99, Amazon $ 20.49, Kindle $ 13.99.

1995 yilda, Xolokost haqida polshalik surgun muxbiri Yan Karski, ko'pchilik yahudiylarni ommaviy qotillikdan qutqara olmaganini aytdi:

Natsistlarga yahudiylarni o'ldirish oson edi, chunki ular buni qildilar. Ittifoqchilar yahudiylarni qutqarish imkonsiz va juda qimmatga tushdi, chunki ular buni qilmagan. Yahudiylarni barcha hukumatlar, cherkov ierarxiyalari va jamiyatlari tashlab ketishdi, lekin minglab odamlar tirik qolishdi, chunki Polsha, Frantsiya, Belgiya, Daniya, Gollandiyadagi minglab odamlar ularni qutqarishga yordam berishdi. Endi har bir hukumat va cherkov: "Biz yahudiylarga yordam berishga harakat qildik", deyishadi, chunki ular o'z obro'sini saqlab qolishni istaydilar. Hech kim etarlicha qilmadi.

1946 yil 1 -avgustga kelib, to'liq haqiqat ma'lum bo'lganda, Uinston Cherchill ko'p yahudiylar Evropani tark etayotganidan afsus bildirdi: "... Urush tugagach, sodir bo'lgan dahshatli qirg'inlar haqida bilmas edim". Uning 1942 yildan 1944 yilgacha bo'lgan hisobotlari bo'lsa -da, uning fikri haqiqatan ham to'g'ri edi. Hammasi ozod bo'lmaguncha, u o'lim lagerlarining to'liq kattaligi va sonini sezmagan. Hattoki, fashistlar tomonidan yo'q qilingan ko'plab dalillarni qayta tiklash uchun vaqt kerak bo'ldi. Urush davomida ko'plab davlat xizmatchilari va vazirliklar yahudiylarni qutqarish urush maqsadi emasligini ta'kidladilar. lekin g'alabaning yon mahsuloti.

"Bizga dalilni ko'rsating"

Yahudiylarni qutqarish uchun natsistlarning genotsidini isbotlash kerak edi. Guvohlik tog'ini rasmiylikka bo'lgan munosabatni hisobga olgan holda aniqlash qiyinroq edi. Cherchill o'zining va Ittifoqdosh hukumatlaridagi keng antisemitizmni bilar va undan nafratlanar edi. Ba'zi rasmiylarning aytishicha, yahudiylar yomon muomalalarini bo'rttirib ko'rsatgan va "yig'lashga moyil bo'lganlar". Haddan tashqari urg'u "jamoat ruhiyatiga yomon" edi va antisemitizmni "qo'zg'atishi" mumkin edi. Biroq, Germaniyaning mag'lubiyatini kamaytiradigan taktikalar urushni uzaytirishi qonuniy tashvish edi.

Shunga o'xshash dalillar Evian va Bermud qochqinlari konferentsiyalarida (1938, 1943) yahudiylarning G'arbga immigratsiyasiga qarshi chiqdi. Ular Gitlerning dunyoda hech kim yahudiylarni xohlamasligi haqidagi so'zlariga og'irlik qo'shdilar. Britaniyada Falastin mandati yana bir murakkablikni qo'shdi. Aytilishicha, u erdagi ko'p sonli yahudiy qochqinlar arab aholisini qo'zg'atish xavfini tug'dirgan.

Tarixning intellektual fan sifatida muammosi shundaki, bu haqiqatdan keyin juda oson. Ikkinchi Jahon urushi paytida hech kim uzoq vaqt kim g'alaba qozonishini bilmas edi. Ular qilgan paytda, yuz minglab odamlar uchun juda kech edi. Urush paytida, amalda qo'llaniladigan miqyosdagi sanoat genotsidi odamlarga noma'lum bo'lib, ko'pchilik tasavvur qila olmasdi. Ular juda kech o'rganishdi.

Witold Pilecki va#8230

... g'ayrioddiy ishlarni qilgan oddiy odam edi. 1940 yil sentabrda u natsistlar qutblariga kirdi va Osvensitga yuborildi. Dastlab, uning maqsadi mahbuslarning ahvoli haqida Polsha metrosiga xabar berish edi. 1940-41 yillarda Osvensimda asosan polyaklar bor edi. Biroq, 1942 yilga kelib, yahudiylar asosiy komponent bo'lib, dahshatli o'zgarish yuz berdi. Polyaklar quvg'in qilingan edi, yahudiylar o'ldirilgan. Pilecki voqealar o'zgarishi, gaz kameralari va krematoriyalar qurilishi haqida xabar berdi. U so'zma -so'z, panjara ortidagi dunyodagi sokin manzarani farq qildi:

Kulrang yo'l bo'ylab, chang bulutlarini ko'tarib, charm ishlab chiqaruvchi zavodga qarab yurganimizda, kimdir tongning go'zal qizil nurini, bog'lardagi oq gullarga, yo'l chetidagi daraxtlarga, yoki biz uchrashadigan yo'lga tikilganini ko'rdi. yosh juftliklar sayr qilib, bahorning go'zalligida nafas oladilar yoki ayollar bolalarini aravachada tinchgina itaradilar. Shunda miyasida noqulay aylanib yuradigan fikr paydo bo'ladi ... o'girilib, o'jarlik bilan hal qilinmaydigan savolga yechim izlaydilar: biz hammamiz odamlar edikmi?

Uch yildan keyin Pilecki qochib ketdi. U fashistlardan omon qolish uchun yashadi, faqat Polshaning keyingi suiiste'molchilari - kommunistlarga tushdi. U 1944 yil avgust-oktyabr oylarida Varshava qo'zg'olonida jang qilgan va kommunistik hokimiyatni qo'lga kiritgandan so'ng, quvg'indagi hukumatga sodiq qolgan. 1947 yilda u maxfiy politsiya tomonidan hibsga olingan va namoyishdan so'ng qatl etilgan. Fairweatherning Pilecki hisobi umuman yangi emas. Bu birinchi marta aytilgan Osvensimga qarshi kurash (1975), polshalik tarixchi Yozef Garlińskiy, o'zi sobiq Osvensim mahbus.

Londonga so'z

Pilecki oktyabr oyida Metropoliten rahbari Stefan Roweckiga hisobot berdi. Allaqachon polyaklar "Xudoning sevgisi uchun", Osvensitni tekislash kerakligini so'rashardi. Bu o'z joniga qasd qilish vazifasi bo'lishi mumkin va vahima qo'zg'atishi mumkin, dedi Pilecki, lekin ba'zi mahbuslar qochib ketishi mumkin. Rowecki Londondagi surgun hukumatining bosh vaziri Vladislav Sikorskiyga hisobot yuboradi. Pilecki 1942 yil o'rtalarida birinchi gaz kamerasining o'rnatilishi haqida xabar berdi.

Sikorskiyda muammo bor edi. Ko'plab britaniyalik mezbonlar polyaklarni "ismlari noma'lum, itoatsiz chet elliklar" deb hisoblashgan. Ma'lum bo'lishicha, Cherchill polshalik qo'mondon Kazimierz Soskovskiyga qo'ng'iroq qilgan. Inglizlar nemis kontslagerlari dushman askarlarini tuzatish uchun ishlatilganini bilishgan. Ular Polshaning vahshiylik haqidagi xabarlarini qabul qilishni istamadilar.

Pilecki odatda "polyaklarga qarshi qaratilgan qirg'in siyosati" ni ta'riflaganligi juda muhim. Nega yahudiylar emas? Fairweather G'arbning "yahudiy ishlariga befarqligi" Pilecki polyaklarni ta'kidlashga sabab bo'lgan deb hisoblaydi. Haqiqatan ham, Pilecki Sikorskiga aytganidek, yahudiylar haqida davom etayotgan xabarlar "oddiy polyaklar orasida Polsha hukumatining qo'llab -quvvatlanishiga putur etkazadi".

Keyin hujum mexanikasi paydo bo'ldi. Buyuk Britaniya bombardimonchilarini havoda ushlab turishga qiynaldi, hatto Polshaga qadar sharqdagi nishonlarga tegmasin: "RAFda 290 ta xizmat ko'rsatiladigan samolyot bor edi, lekin 1941 yil noyabr oyining oxiriga kelib uchdan bir qismini yo'qotdi", asosan tajribasiz yosh ekipajlar baxtsiz hodisalari tufayli. Ko'pincha "bombardimon" "kerakli vaqt" uchun uchib ketganidan keyin bomba joylarini ochishdan iborat edi! Vaqti -vaqti bilan bombardimonchilar Angliya sharqidagi nishonlarni xato qilib urishgan. Ba'zida nemislar "biron bir hujumning maqsadi nima ekanini bilishmagan". Osvensitni portlatish aniq operatsiya, degan tushuncha uchun faqat buyruq berish kerak edi.

Portal, Bosh vazir va Papa

Fairweatherning aytishicha, Cherchillning jadvali ularni eshitish uchun juda to'lgan edi, bu esa dalillarga ziddir (quyida qo'shimchani ko'ring). Pileckining murojaatlari havo shtabi boshlig'i Ser Charlz Portaliga etib keldi. Uning javobi keskin edi. Uning so'zlariga ko'ra, Osvensimni portlatish - bu boshqa yo'nalish. "Cheklangan kuch bilan shu masofadagi nishonga etkazilishi mumkin bo'lgan bomba og'irligi mahbuslarning qochishi uchun etarlicha zarar etkazishi dargumon".

1942 yil avgustda Cherchill fashistlarning oilalarni deportatsiyasini qoraladi. U hali o'limga jo'natilganini bilmas edi, deydi nemislar, yahudiylar "Sharqdagi mehnat lagerlariga" yuborilgan. AQSh Davlat departamenti "oddiy tergovni" ochdi, bu papadan so'rashdan iborat edi. Pius XII, albatta, deportatsiya qilinganlarning ommaviy qotilligi haqida bilar edi, deb yozadi Fervuezer. "Ammo u Gitlerning cherkovga g'azabini qo'zg'ashdan ehtiyot bo'ldi va izoh berishdan bosh tortdi."

Noyabr oyida The New York Times g'arbiy ommaviy axborot vositalarida Osventsimdagi qirg'inlar haqidagi birinchi xabarlarni e'lon qildi. Amerika yahudiylari kongressi ustozi Stiven Vays Ruzveltga Osvits haqidagi eslatmani keltirdi. FDR u xabardorligini aytdi, lekin hech narsa qilmadi. "Ruzvelt yahudiylarning azob-uqubatlariga e'tibor qaratib, uyda antisemitizmni qo'zg'atish haqidagi tashvishlarini oshkor qilmadi." Fairweather, Angliya-Amerika hukumatlari ko'proq antisemitizm qo'zg'ashdan qo'rqqanini isbotlaydi.

Fairweatherning xabar berishicha, Tashqi ishlar vazirligi xodimlari shunday deb yozishgan: "Biz polyaklarga bir necha bor aytganmiz, qasos olishlari istisno qilingan. Polshaliklar bundan juda g'azablanishmoqda ”. U Cherchillning o'zi 1942 yil dekabr oyidayoq bombardimonlik repressiyalarini muhokama qilgani haqida xabar bermaydi. (Qo'shimchani ko'ring.)

Pilecki "Polshalik"

Adolat uchun, Fairweather, Pileckining yahudiylarga hamdardligi chegaralari borligini ta'kidlaydi. Vitold hech qachon Xolokostni "Ikkinchi Jahon Urushining hal qiluvchi harakati" sifatida ko'rmagan. U hech qachon o'zining polshalikligini yoki milliy kurash tuyg'usidan voz kechmagan. Ba'zida ... u yahudiylarning gazini aniqlashda qanday qiyinchiliklarga duch kelganini ochiqchasiga aytadi ... Uning e'tiborini o'z mamlakatining, odamlarining va o'zini omon qolishiga qaratgan. "

Biz Esterdan, uning xotini Ser Martin singari Xolokost tarixchisi Ledi Gilbertdan o'z nuqtai nazarini so'radik. Ko'ngilli. Uning so'zlariga ko'ra, uning hikoyasi "Polsha tajribasi, dahshatli. Ammo, agar "Xolokost" deganda biz har bir oxirgi yahudiy va yahudiy jamoasini yo'q qilish niyatini nazarda tutgan bo'lsak, bu Xolokost haqidagi hikoya emas.

"Ha, Pilecki so'zlari chiqdi. Ammo uning muammolaridan biri shundaki, Polsha metrosi ikkiga bo'lindi Armiya Krajova, Ichki armiya va Armiya Lyudova, Polsha kommunistlari. Yaxshi tashkil etilganida, birgalikda ishlaganida, u ko'proq ta'sir o'tkazgan bo'lardi ».

Liley Gilbert davom ettirganidek, Pilecki hisobotlarining yaxshi samarasi 1942 yil dekabrdagi Ittifoqchilar urushi to'g'risidagi deklaratsiya edi. Bu aniq va aniq edi: “Germaniya hukumatlari inson huquqlarining asosiy elementlarini [yahudiylarni] rad etish bilan kifoyalanmay, endi Gitler va #8217-yillar Evropadagi yahudiy xalqini yo'q qilish niyatida.

Osvensim protokollari

Pilecki 1943 yil aprelda Osventsimdan qochib ketdi. Osvensim yahudiylarni yo'q qilayotgani haqidagi xabarlar 1943 yil dekabrdan 1944 yil apreligacha bo'lgan voqealarga guvoh bo'lganlar (Osventsim protokoli) bilan kelgan. Bu xabarlar Cherchillning mashhur buyrug'iga turtki bo'lgan: "Hammasini olib tashlang. Harbiy havo kuchlari, agar kerak bo'lsa, meni chaqiring. " 1941 yildagidek, yalpi majlislar, xuddi shu sabablarga ko'ra, ko'rib chiqishdi va yana yo'q deb javob berishdi. To'liq hisob Sir Martin Gilbertning aniq kitobida, Osvensim va ittifoqchilar.

Fairweatherning aytishicha, lagerni portlatish bo'layotgan voqealar haqida "dunyoni ogohlantirgan bo'lardi". Balki yo'q. Ittifoq deklaratsiyasi dunyoni ogohlantirdi, bunga ozgina munosabat bildirildi. Nemislar yashirish uchun usta edi. Ittifoqdoshlar Osventsim protokollari taqdim etilganida ham, bombardimonchilarni yubormaslik uchun sabab topdilar. Ba'zi polshalik er osti manbalariga ishonmagan. Harbiy ustuvorliklar boshqalarni rag'batlantirdi. 1943 yilga kelib, o'zlarini tutish qiyin edi.

Keyin yahudiylar mahbuslarni portlatishga e'tiroz bildirishdi - bu keng tarqalgan fikr. Osvensimga boradigan temir yo'llarni portlatish haqida nima deyish mumkin? Ular tor nishonlar edi va ularni osongina qayta qurish mumkin edi. Fairweatherning aytishicha, bombardimon qilmaslik qarori "vijdonan emas" edi. Bir qarashda, albatta, shunday ko'rinadi. O'sha payt? Fikrli odamlar bu borada farq qilishi mumkin. Tarix o'tmish izidan qoqiladi, deydi Cherchill, "avvalgi kunlarning ehtirosini oqarib yoqib yuborishga" harakat qilib.

Solihlar orasida joy

Fairweather, Pilecki va uning vatandoshlari munosib kredit ololmaydilar, deb hisoblaydi. Uning so'zlariga ko'ra, frantsuz qarshiliklari qit'adan Londonga yetib kelish haqidagi ma'lumotlarning yarmidan ko'pi polyaklardan olingan, lekin ular bo'linib ketgan. O'zini Osvensitga jo'natish jasoratli nafas olish edi. Tarix Pilecki va fashistlar qurbonlari, keyinroq kommunistlarning insoniyatga qarshi jinoyatlari haqidagi badiiy hikoyasini qadrlaydi.

Biz Quddusdagi Yad Vashem yodgorligi saytining bir qismi bo'lgan "Xalqlar orasida solih" saytida Vitold Pilecki ismini qidirdik. Ledi Gilbert buning sabablarini quyidagi izohda tushuntiradi.

Qo'shimcha

1940 yilda Fairweather Cherchillni "xavfsiz turar joyining tomida" Blitsni tomosha qiladi. Blitsdagi tomlar xavfsiz emas edi. Xodimlar o'z xavfsizligi uchun bosh vazir bilan gaplashdilar. Cherchill u erda olovni kuzatib o'tirmadi.

Polshaliklar Cherchillning e'tiborini ololmaydilar, chunki uning jadvali juda band edi, degan fikr jiddiyroq. O'qish Cherchill hujjatlari bundan ham jiddiyroq narsalarga vaqt ajratganini ko'rsatardi. U ko'pchilikni sharmanda qiladigan tafsilotlarga ega edi. Va yozuv shuni ko'rsatadiki, u polyaklarga vaqt ajratgan.

1942 yil dekabrdagi Ittifoqchilar deklaratsiyasidan sakkiz kun o'tgach, Sikorski Polshaning beshta tumanida "Polsha aholisini ommaviy ravishda quvib chiqarish, qirg'in qilish va ommaviy qatl qilish" ni tasvirlab berdi. U yahudiylar haqida gapirmagan. Bosh shtab boshliqlari qo'mitasi 31 dekabr kuni yig'ilish o'tkazdi. U erda Cherchill Portaldan polyaklar so'raganidek, repressiya sifatida "Polshadagi ba'zi nishonlarni" bombardimon qilish haqida so'radi. Portal 3 yanvarda shunday javob berdi:

Biz, menimcha, har doim havo hujumlari - bu harbiy maqsadlarga (shu jumladan, sanoat maqsadlariga) qarshi oddiy operatsiya va dushmanning jangovar mahoratini yo'q qilishga qaratilgan, deb ta'kidlaganmiz. Biz shu tariqa havo hujumlarini repressiya sifatida bekor qildik. [Ular] biz oddiy fuqarolarni bombardimon qilayotganimizni va havo ekipajlarimizdan shafqatsiz qasos olishni taklif qilishimizni aniq tan olamiz. [Polsha so'rovi] aniqroq siyosiy urush va yahudiylarga tegishli. [Gitler] tez -tez bu yahudiylarning Germaniyani yo'q qilish uchun qilgan urushi ekanligini ta'kidlagan, shuning uchun yahudiylar uchun qilingan bosqin dushmanlarning targ'ibotiga katta foyda keltirishi mumkin.

* * *

Yuqoridagilar shuni ko'rsatadiki, Cherchill va Portal yahudiylarning azob chekayotganini juda yaxshi bilishgan. Uch kundan keyin Portal uning fikrini kuchaytirdi. Fairweatherning qayd etishicha, Polsha 303 eskadrasi Britaniya jangida boshqa birliklarga qaraganda ko'proq nemislarni urgan. Portal so'zlari shuni ko'rsatadiki, u ham polyaklarning jasur hissasini qadrlagan. Martin Gilbertdan, Osvensim va ittifoqchilar, 222:

"Portalning yozishicha, eng yaxshi bombardimonchilarimizni Polsha nishonlariga yo'naltirish va ularni uzoq vaqt oy nurida va yaxshi ob -havoda kutib turish, ularsiz uzoq maqsadlarni aniqlay olmaslik" edi. Bundan tashqari, Angliya shunday masofada ishlab chiqarishi mumkin bo'lgan "kichik miqyosdagi hujum" "qasos olish kabi ta'sirli bo'lmaydi". Portal Germaniya ustidan muvaffaqiyatli amalga oshirilgan havo hujumidan so'ng, Polsha havo kuchlarining bunday reydida "dunyoga" ta'kidlaganini yozsa, yanada samaraliroq bo'lardi ".

Orqaga qarasak, bu juda oddiy ko'rinadi: Osvitsmni bombalash, qotillikni to'xtatish. Bizning dahshat haqidagi bilimimiz zamonaviy omillarni yengib chiqadi. Portalning qo'shimcha qilishicha, repressiya samarasiz bo'lsa ham, RAFni "boshqa ittifoqchilarning iltimoslari bilan, biz ham o'z shikoyatlarini xuddi shunday hal qilishimiz kerak" ga qo'shib qo'yadi. Buning natijasi "faqat ogohlantiruvchi sifatida to'liq samarasiz bo'lishi bilan bir qatorda, bizning operatsiyalarimizni qamrab oladigan qonuniylik plashining oxirgi parchasini ham yo'q qiladigan" jazo choralaridir ". - RML

Mualliflar

Richard Koen - ko'chmas mulk bo'yicha advokat, Londonda, Angliyada. U Xalqaro Cherchill Facebook guruhining moderatorlaridan biri va Angliya yahudiy tarix jamiyati Esseks bo'limining rahbari. Richard M. Langvort - Hillsdale kolleji Cherchill loyihasining katta ilmiy xodimi.


Mehnat lageri yoki undan ko'pmi?

1940 yilda Pilecki u erda nima bo'layotganini aniq bilmas edi, lekin u haqiqatni aniqlashga qat'iy qaror qildi. Ikki yarim yil davomida u Osventsim ichidan fashistlar ishlatgan usullar haqida tafsilotlarni etkazishga muvaffaq bo'ldi. Oxir -oqibat, u qochishga muvaffaq bo'ldi va lager haqida birinchi hisobotni yozdi.

Urushning dastlabki yillarida Osvensim haqida juda kam narsa ma'lum edi. Polsha betartiblikda edi, fashistlar va sovet ishg'ol kuchlari o'rtasida bo'lindi. Polsha qarshiliklari yashirincha ishlagan. Kapitan Pilecki lagerga kirmoqchi edi, lekin bu topshiriq uchun qo'mondonlarining roziligini ololmadi. O'sha paytda, bu harbiy asirlar uchun lager deb hisoblangan.

Oxir -oqibat, Pilecki 1940 yil 19 sentyabrda Varshava gettosida fashistlarning bosqini paytida hibsga olingan yahudiylarga kirgan Osventsimga yashirincha kirishga ruxsat oldi. U erga borgach, u qarorgoh qarshiliklar tasavvur qilganidan uzoqda ekanini bildi.

Pilecki yozgan hisobotda shunday o'qish mumkin: "Men boshqa yuz kishi bilan qamalib qoldim, lekin hech bo'lmaganda hojatxonaga borishga muvaffaq bo'ldim". «Men barcha shaxsiy narsalarimni sumkalar bilan berib qo'ydim, ularga raqamlar yopishtirilgan edi. Bizni oldirishdi va sovuq suv bilan yuvishdi. Men temir jilov bilan jag'imga qattiq urildim. Men oldingi ikkita tishimni yo'qotdim va uzoq vaqt qon ketdim. Shu paytdan boshlab men raqamlarga aylandim. Meniki 4859 edi. "

Pilecki raqami birinchi partiyalarda edi. Bir yil o'tgach, u erga kelgan odamlar 15000 va undan yuqori raqamlarni olishdi.


Pilecki izidan: "Ko'ngilli" kitobining hikoyasi

AQShning sobiq urush muxbiri Jek Feyveyzerning "Ko'ngilli: Osvensitga kirgan qarshilik qahramonining haqiqiy hikoyasi" deb nomlangan kitobi Pileckining o'tmishiga chuqur kirib boradi. Matbuot materiallari

Urush davridagi qahramon Vitold Piletski hayotini o'rganuvchi "Ko'ngilli" nomli yangi kitobni yozish haqida gap ketganda, vaqt o'tishiga qaramay, Jek Feyveyzer odamning izidan bormoqchi edi. Buning uchun u hatto bir necha o'n yillar oldin yilning xuddi shu kuni Osventsimdan qochib qutulganidan keyin Pilecki o'tib ketayotgan ko'prikdan o'tdi. Fairweather hatto fashistlar Germaniyasining eng qo'rqinchli o'lim lageridan keskin chiqib ketganidan keyin qochgan birinchi dam olgan o'rmonda boshpana topdi.

Fairweatherning izidan yurish istagi, 1940 yilda Osventsimga o'z ixtiyori bilan borganida, ko'p narsani qurbon qilgan odamni tushunish uchun kapitan Vitold Piletski o'tgan joylarni iloji boricha ko'rish va his qilish zarurligidan kelib chiqqan. allaqachon shafqatsizligi bilan mashhur bo'lgan lagerdagi sharoit haqida hisobot.

"Tadqiqotning eng hayratlanarli tomoni shundaki, men bu joylarni Pilecki bo'lgan va buyuk ishlar qilgan, uni tanigan va u bilan uchrashganlarning xotiralari bilan birlashtirgan paytlarim edi", - dedi Feyveyzer TFNga bergan intervyusida.

"Ajablanarlisi, Pileckini boshpana topgan oilalarni topish edi", deya qo'shimcha qiladi u. "Ular o'sha paytda bolalar edi, lekin ular uni eslashadi. Bu oilalar qolgani va odamlar hali ham tirik ekanligi aql bovar qilmas edi. Agar men bu hikoyani bir necha yil o'tgach bajarishga harakat qilsam, bu oilalar taqdim etishi mumkin bo'lgan tafsilotlarni o'tkazib yuborgan bo'lardim ».

Pileckining izidan tushgani, Fairweatherni Polsha bo'ylab sayohatga olib keldi, chunki u bir muncha vaqt oldin hech narsa bilmaydigan odamning ajoyib voqeasini bilib oldi.

Vitold Pileckining hikoyasi jasorat va qahramonlikdan deyarli xayolga ham kelmaydi. Jamoat mulki

Bu Bag'dodda tasodifiy suhbat bo'lib, u birinchi bo'lib Fairweatherni Pilecki hikoyasini ogohlantirdi. Britaniyaning The Telegraph gazetasi uchun Iroq urushini yoritgan, u Osventsimdan qaytgan urush muxbiri bilan suhbat qurgan va lagerda qarshilik ko'rsatish harakatini uyushtirishga uringan bir odamning hikoyasi suhbatda tugagan.

"Bu men uchun juda hayratlanarli edi va men Osvensim nima ekanligini butun hissiyotimni o'zgartirdim", deydi Feyrveyzer. "Bu odamlar o'zlarining eng katta yovuzligi bo'lgan fashistlarga qarshi jang qilishlari mumkin edi."

Keyinchalik, Fairweather 1945 yilda Pileckining hisobotini o'qidi va uning muallifining hikoyasi bilan hayratga tushdi, uning so'zlariga ko'ra, bu chuqur shaxsiy tasodifni ham keltirib chiqardi.

"Men hisobotni o'qiganimda, men Pilekki bilan tengdosh edim, menda ham xotin, ikkita bola va uy bor edi va men bu qarordan (Osventsimga borish) biroz hayratda qolganimni eslayman", deydi Feyrveyzer. "Kimdir bunday topshiriqni bajarish uchun hamma narsadan voz kechishga nima majbur qiladi? Bu jinnilikka o'xshaydi. "

Mana shu jasorat va hamma narsani qurbon qilishga tayyorlik, deydi Volunteer muallifi, Pileckining hikoyasini boshqalardan ajratib ko'rsatdi va nashriyotchilar Polshadan tashqarida bir necha kishi eshitmagan kitobga buyurtma bergani haqida eslatib o'tdi.

"Pileckining hikoyasi, odamlar qaerda bo'lishidan qat'i nazar, ular bilan bog'laydigan hikoya edi", - tushuntiradi Feyrveyzer. "Bu jasoratli harakat juda ajoyib hikoya edi. Nashriyotchilar bunga qiziqish bildirishdi. Uning hikoyasining kuchi hamma narsani o'zi bilan birga olib bordi.

Kitob hozir nashr etilgach va Feyrveyzer kitobning boshlanishidan kitob boshlanishigacha sayohat qilar ekan, u jamoatchilikning hayajonli reaktsiyasi Pileckining hikoyasini eshitganida birinchi bo'lib ko'rgan reaktsiyasini aks ettiradi.

Jek Feyveyzer, "Ko'ngilli" kitobining muallifi. jackfairweather.com

Ammo Feyrveyzerning qo'shimcha qilishicha, reaktsiya ham oldinga siljigan va Ikkinchi Jahon urushi voqealariga nisbatan polyaklar va yahudiylar o'rtasida ishonchsizlik, chalkashlik va vaqti -vaqti bilan adovat bo'linishini bartaraf etishga yordam bergan.

"Aftidan, uning hikoyasi odamlar bilan aloqa o'rnatishga qodir va AQShda bo'lib o'tgan kitob tadbirlarida Polsha va Osvensim yahudiylari haqidagi hikoyalari bo'lgan odamlarni birlashtirgani juda ta'sirli edi", deydi u. "Menimcha, Pileckining hikoyasi lagerning ikki tomonini bir -biriga bog'lab turadi.

"Polshada bilganingizdek, Osventsim polshaliklarning shahid bo'lgan joyi, dunyoning qolgan qismi esa Osvitsitni yahudiylarning ommaviy o'ldirilgan joyi deb biladi va bu ikkalasi o'rtasida g'alati uzilish bor. Pilecki hikoyasi bu ikki tomonni birlashtiradi. ”

Pilecki hayotini chuqur o'rganib chiqqan Fairweather, yana bir qimmatbaho meros qoldirganiga ishonadi.

"Men Polecki millatchilari va o'ta o'ng qanotlari tomonidan Pilecki qanday ishlatilayotgani haqida o'ylaganimda, menimcha, bu Pilecki taqdim etgan hamma narsaga zid", - deydi u. "O'ylaymanki, u Polsha Polsha duch keladigan har qanday tahdidga qarshi turish uchun polyaklar birlashishi kerakligini himoya qilar edi. U siyosiy qarashlardan tashqariga chiqishga va odamlarni fe'l -atvoriga qarab baholamoqchi bo'ldi, shuning uchun u ajoyib yollovchi edi, shuning uchun ham unga xiyonat qilmagan.


Vitold Pilecki: Dunyoni ogohlantirgan Osventsim ko'ngilli

O'lim jazosiga hukm qilingan va 1948 yil mart oyida qatl etilgan kapitan Vitold Pileckining shou -sud jarayoni

Osventsim dahshatli shafqatsizlik joyi haqida mish -mishlar tarqaldi, lekin Polshaning er osti rahbariyati sodir bo'layotgan dahshatning haqiqiy darajasini bilish uchun erga kimdir kerak edi. Xotini va ikki bolasini tashlab, Pilecki 19 sentyabrda hibsga olindi va uch kundan keyin Osvensimga keldi. Uning vazifasi lagerga kirib, aql -idrokka ega bo'lish va iloji bo'lsa, hujumni uyushtirish edi. Keyingi uch yil mobaynida u ichki qarshilik va bir qator qochishlarni uyushtirishga muvaffaq bo'ldi, Xolokostning dahshatli haqiqati haqidagi hisobotlari yashirincha olib chiqib, Londondagi surgun qilingan Polsha hukumatiga etkazildi. vahshiyliklar.

1943 yil aprelda Pileckining o'zi Osventsimdan qochdi va keyin lagerga er osti hujumini uyushtirishga urindi. Bularning hammasidan so'ng, u 1947 yilda kommunistlarga qarshilik ko'rsatgani uchun hibsga olingan, shafqatsiz qiynoqlarga solingan, sinab ko'rilgan va keyin boshiga o'q bilan qatl etilgan.

Vitold Pilecki tavalludining 120 yilligi va vafotining 73 yilligi kuni, mukofotga sazovor yozuvchi va jurnalist Jek Feyveyzer, "Volunteer: The Real Story. Kirgan qarshilik qahramoni "filmi sizga ajoyib jasorat va fidoyilik hikoyasini taqdim etadi, Polsha ofitseri minglab boshqalarni qutqarish uchun o'zini qurbon qilganini ko'rdi.

Fairweatherga Pilecki instituti direktori doktor Voytsex Kozlovski qo'shiladi, kim Pilecki haqidagi tadqiqotning eng yangi kashfiyotlarini, institutning Polshadagi va butun dunyodagi faoliyatini va tashrif buyuruvchilar institutda nimani ko'rishni kutishlari mumkin-shaxsan yoki deyarli. Muzokaralardan so'ng ma'ruzachilar bilan munozara/Savol -javob. Tadbirga Osecvits ko'ngilli hikoyasini jonlantiradigan Pilecki instituti tomonidan taqdim etilgan noyob arxiv materiallari ilova qilinadi.

JEK FAIRWEATHER Osventsimdagi fashistlar jinoyati to'g'risida o'z ixtiyori bilan xabar bergan Polsha er osti ofitserining Kosta mukofotiga sazovor bo'lgan "Ko'ngilli" va "8221" kitoblarining eng ko'p sotilgan muallifi. Kitob 25 tilga tarjima qilingan va Berlindagi yirik ko'rgazmaning asosini tashkil etadi. U Daily Telegraph -ning Bag'doddagi byurosi boshlig'i va Afg'onistondagi Washington Post gazetasida jurnalist -jurnalist bo'lib ishlagan. Uning urush haqidagi ko'rsatmalari Britaniya matbuoti mukofoti va chet el matbuot klubining mukofotiga sazovor bo'ldi.

POLONYA PILEKKI INSTITUTI 20 -asr siyosiy tarixi uchun muhim ahamiyatga ega bo'lgan masalalar va voqealarni, ya'ni fashistlar va sovet totalitar tuzumlari va ularning harakatlarining global oqibatlarini fanlararo va xalqaro tahlil qilishni osonlashtirish maqsadida tashkil etilgan. Uning vazifasining muhim elementi o'sha qiyin paytlarda Polsha fuqarolari va turli fuqarolikdagi polyaklarga yordam va yordam bergan odamlarni hurmat qilishga qaratilgan. Shuningdek, u 20 -asrning tanlangan jihatlariga tegishli hujjatlarni to'playdi va taqdim etadi, ilmiy tadqiqot dasturlarini qo'llab -quvvatlaydi va madaniyat va tarixni qamrab oladigan ta'lim loyihalari va hodisalari orqali davr haqidagi bilimlarni tarqatishga yordam beradi.

Tadbir Polshaning Londondagi elchixonasi bilan hamkorlikda tashkil etildi.


Tegishli maqolalar

Amazonning "Ovchilari" - bu umuman tartibsizlik, lekin nima uchun buni ko'rish kerak

Auschwitz memoriali Amazonni "Ovchilar" seriyasi va antisemitizm kitoblari uchun tanqid qiladi

Holokostdan omon qolgan yuzlab yoshlarning urushdan keyingi Britaniyada qanday qilib reabilitatsiya qilinganligi haqidagi haqiqiy hikoya

Ammo akademiya va Polshadan tashqarida, Pilecki oilaviy nom emas. Isroilda, xususan, u haqida kam odam eshitgan, shuning uchun isroillik o'quvchi uchun Fairweather & rsquos kitobi bu ajoyib hikoya bilan tanishish uchun birinchi imkoniyatni taqdim etadi.

Witold Pilecki va rsquos hikoyasi 1939 yil sentyabr oyida Polshani fashistlar Germaniyasi va Sovet Ittifoqi tomonidan bosib olinishi, ikki oydan keyin Pilecki va boshqalar tomonidan ndash tashkil etilishi va quvg'indagi hukumat bilan kelishilgan holda Polshaning er osti qarshilik harakatining boshlanishi bilan boshlanadi. Parijda tashkil etilgan va keyinchalik Londonga ko'chib o'tgan.

"Ko'ngillilar: Osvensitga kirgan qarshilik qahramonining haqiqiy hikoyasi" muqovasi, Jek Feyveyzer Skott Barbur / Getty Images / Ha

1940 yil sentyabr oyida, o'shanda 39 yoshda va ikki farzandi bor bo'lgan Pilecki o'z joniga qasd qilish uchun yuborilgan edi: uch oy oldin fashistlar tomonidan Osvitsim shahri tashqarisida qurilgan Osventsimga polshaliklar uchun kontslager sifatida kirib kelish. mahbuslar. Katolik Pilecki, 1919-21 yillardagi Polsha-Sovet urushi paytida Polsha armiyasida, shuningdek, Polshaga bostirib kirganida nemis tanklariga befoyda hujumlarda qatnashganlar orasida bezatilgan ofitser edi. Endi, ikki yil o'tgach, Polsha qarshilik uyining dominant uyushmasi tarkibiga kirgan "ndash" er osti guruhining a'zosi sifatida, unga Osventsimda er osti tarmog'ini yaratish buyurildi. Uning maqsadi: razvedka ma'lumotlarini to'plash va lagerdagi ommaviy qotillik haqida xabar berish, u erda hibsda tutilgan o'rtoqlar va boshqalarga yordam berish va fashist asirlariga qarshi hujum uyushtirish.

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Is it correct to consider Pilecki a &ldquovolunteer,&rdquo as the name of the Fairweather&rsquos book suggests &ndash and which is also in keeping with the way he has been described by politicians and media outlets in Poland and elsewhere in the world? Perhaps, but we must be very careful not to fall into the very tempting trap of cutting corners and ignoring complex, complicated or controversial parts that transform a story from history into literature.

As every novice historian knows, reality in most cases is not black or white, absolute good versus absolute evil. Even heroes have their weaknesses, even national symbols and legends have other sides, which proper historical research is supposed to reveal and grapple with &ndash not downplay or avoid in order to serve a narrative that will help to sell more books. On the other hand, perhaps that is what&rsquos necessary to &ldquosell&rdquo Pilecki to the average American or Israeli reader, who may be put off from reading another book about the Holocaust or is looking for stories of unimaginable heroism.

Pilecki did not volunteer of his own free will and enter Auschwitz blindly. To do such a thing he would have had to be nonhuman. In spite of the name of Fairweather&rsquos book, a perusal of it reveals that the hero actually hesitated before accepting the mission in Auschwitz, and that there were differences of opinion about sending him there &ndash arguments and ideological clashes within the Polish resistance. These are downplayed in the book, so as not to confuse the reader with an overly complex and tortuous plot, and perhaps also to make the entire story more heroic.

Anyone who wants to learn the full story must also become more familiar with Jan Wlodarkiewicz, Pilecki&rsquos commander in the underground group created in 1939, who had nationalist and even anti-Semitic leanings. In addition, we must make an acquaintance with one of Pilecki&rsquos deputies in the movement, Dr. Wladyslaw Dering, a Polish doctor who helped the Nazi doctors in Auschwitz. During the trial of that war criminal in communist Poland, after World War II, a Jewish Holocaust survivor living in Israel testified against Dering, claiming that he &ldquowas involved in killing his victims by injecting poison, sending them to the gas chambers and conducting experiments on living people.&rdquo

Pilecki himself was neither anti-Semitic nor a nationalist. But the fact of there being such people in his immediate surroundings is worthy of a more detailed, complex discussion &ndash even at the price of a decline in book sales.

&lsquoSix weeks to live&rsquo

When the underground received information about a German invasion of a specific area in Warsaw, Pilecki was sent there in order to be arrested on purpose. During his research on the book, author Fairweather met Pilecki&rsquos nephew, who was 3 years old at the time of the invasion. Together they visited the apartment where Pilecki had lived at the time of his arrest, during a Nazi roundup of citizens on September 19, 1940. From a distance of so many decades, the nephew still remembered the stomping of the Germans&rsquo boots in the stairwell and his uncle, who gave him a teddy bear before being arrested.

The plan was successful: Pilecki was put on a train and deported to Auschwitz, where he became prisoner No. 4859. He spent two and a half years there.

A photo showing the train station of the Auschwitz concentration camp. REUTERS

Another famous Polish prisoner was deported to the death camp then as well &ndash Wladyslaw Bartoszewski who, after his release from Auschwitz the following April due to efforts by the Polish Red Cross, saved the lives of many Jews who fled the Warsaw Ghetto, according to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial website. Bartoszewski, who was granted the title of Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, also served as the Polish foreign minister.

Upon entering the death camp as a prisoner, Pilecki was shocked by the brutality, hunger, disease and death he saw there. &ldquoNone of you should imagine that he will ever succeed in leaving this place alive,&rdquo said the SS man who received the new inmates. &ldquoAccording to the calculations, you have six weeks to live,&rdquo he added.

Another guard threatened the prisoners that their only way out was by way of the ovens: Indeed, although systematic mass murder by gassing had yet to be instituted when Pilecki arrived, the crematoria were already operating.

During his long stay there, Pilecki witnessed many changes in the camp. For example, in September 1941 Zyklon B gas was used for the first time its initial victims were Soviet and Polish prisoners. In early 1942 the mass murder of the Jews in began in the gas chambers, and later the adjacent Birkenau camp began to operate, too.

According to Fairweather&rsquos account, Pilecki recruited new friends to the resistance movement from among the camp&rsquos prisoners and, under impossible conditions, helped fellow comrades and other inmates survive by providing them with food and medicine, and set up an underground intelligence network that managed to smuggle information to the outside world. The first time he did so was in October 1940, shortly after his deportation: A Polish prisoner who was released from the camp memorized a message given to him by Pilecki, and conveyed it verbally to the underground in Warsaw.

Along with a report about the despair and horror he and others suffered at Auschwitz, Pilecki called on the Allies &ndash at a very early stage, even before the systematic murder of European Jewry had begun &ndash to bomb Auschwitz, even at the risk of killing inmates there, including himself. During his in-depth research for &ldquoThe Volunteer,&rdquo Fairweather found evidence of this demand.

Pilecki continued to smuggle out reports about what was happening in the camp: Some were sent via Polish farmers who were working nearby others by prisoners who managed to escape. Every message was more terrible than its predecessor: The Nazis are conducting medical experiments on prisoners the Nazis are murdering thousands of Polish POWs the Nazis are conducting experiments with gas to be used in mass murder operations the camp is expanding trains filled with Jews are arriving and their passengers are immediately dispatched to their deaths hundreds of thousands of men, women and children are being murdered.

In April 1943, when Pilecki realized that no help was coming from the outside, he again did something virtually inconceivable: He succeeded in escaping. While working a night shift at a bakery outside the gates of the camp, he and two friends managed to overpower a guard, disconnect the phone lines and escape under cover of darkness.

Despite the obvious drama surrounding any individual who succeeds in escaping from &ldquoanother planet,&rdquo it&rsquos important to note that Pilecki was not the first nor the only one to escape from Auschwitz. Of among the approximately one million prisoners there, some 900 tried to escape throughout the years, most of them Poles, Russians and Jews. Most were shot to death while fleeing or were murdered immediately afterward by the Nazis. About 200 of them succeeded in escaping, according to the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum website.

Battle of narratives

The plan to attack Auschwitz, which Pilecki proposed to the underground forces, was never approved. He continued with his resistance activities and fought in the Polish Warsaw uprising in 1944, about a year after the Jewish Warsaw Ghetto revolt. He subsequently fell into German hands as a POW but eventually returned to fight on behalf of the resistance. At the end of World War II he actively opposed the communist occupation of his homeland, which led to his arrest in 1947.

Condemned to death for treason, on May 25, 1948 (10 days after the establishment of the State of Israel) Pilecki was executed in a Polish prison. Only in 1990, after the fall of the communist regime and the advent of Polish independence was his name was cleared and he became a national hero.

In January, during the events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin placed a wreath at the foot of a monument commemorating Pilecki in Poland, and shook the hand of his daughter Zofia. It was a very tense visit, in light of the battle of World War II narratives now being waged between Israel, Poland and Russia &ndash i.e., surrounding the identity of the war heroes and the war criminals, of who started and who ended the war, and of who collaborated with the Nazis and who opposed them.

On the backdrop of these fraught historical and political debates, Pilecki stands out. Not as a superman, but as a courageous Polish patriot, who tried &ndash unsuccessfully (it&rsquos doubtful whether he could ever have succeeded under those circumstances), to warn the world of the horrors of Auschwitz before it turned into the largest factory of death in the history of mankind.


Witold Pilecki: Bravery Beyond Measure

In this great mortuary of the half-living — where nearby someone was wheezing his final breath someone else was dying another was struggling out of bed only to fall over onto the floor another was throwing off his blankets, or talking in a fever to his dear mother and shouting or cursing someone out [while still others were] refusing to eat, or demanding water, in a fever and trying to jump out of the window, arguing with the doctor or asking for something — I lay thinking that I still had the strength to understand everything that was going on and take it calmly in my stride.

That was on a relatively yaxshi day at the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp in 1942, in the words of the only known person to have ever volunteered to be a prisoner there. His name was Witold Pilecki. His story is one of history’s most amazing accounts of boundless courage amid bottomless inhumanity.

Powerful emotions gripped me when I first learned of Pilecki and gazed at his picture. I felt rage toward the despicable regimes that put this honorable man through an unspeakable hell. I welled up with admiration for how he dealt with it all. Here you have a story that depicts both the worst and the best in men.

To label Pilecki a “hero” seems hopelessly inadequate.

Olonets is a small town northeast of St. Petersburg, Russia, 700 miles from present-day Poland. It’s where Witold Pilecki was born in 1901, but his family was not there by choice. Four decades earlier, when many Poles lived under Russian occupation, the czarist government in Moscow forcibly resettled the Pileckis in Olonets for their part in an uprising.

For the first time since 1795, Poland was reconstituted as an independent nation at the conclusion of World War I, but it was immediately embroiled in war with Lenin’s Russia. Pilecki joined the fight against the Bolsheviks when he was 17, first on the front and then from behind enemy lines. For two years he fought gallantly and was twice awarded the prestigious Cross of Valor.

To label Pilecki a “hero” seems hopelessly inadequate.

In the 18 years between the end of the Polish-Russian war in 1921 and the beginning of World War II, Pilecki settled down, married, and fathered two children with his wife, Maria. He rebuilt and farmed his family’s estate, became an amateur painter, and volunteered for community and Christian charities. And, after extensive officer training, he earned the rank of second lieutenant in the Polish army reserves. He probably thought his days of mortal combat were over.

Hitler and Stalin secretly agreed in August 1939 to divide Poland between them. On September 1, the Nazis attacked the country from the west, and two weeks later, the Soviets invaded from the east. The world was at war again — and so was Pilecki.

An overwhelmed Warsaw surrendered on September 27, but Polish resistance never ceased. Together, Pilecki and Jan Włodarkiewicz cofounded the Secret Polish Army (Tajna Armia Polska) in early November. They and other elements of a growing underground movement carried out numerous raids against both Nazi and Soviet forces. In September 1940, Pilecki proposed a daring plan that in hindsight appears nearly unimaginable: he would arrange to be arrested in the hope that the Nazis, instead of executing him, might send him to the Auschwitz camp where he could gather information and form a resistance group from the inside.

If he could survive arrest, Pilecki figured, Auschwitz would likely be where the Nazis would incarcerate him. It was nearby, and many Polish resistance fighters were imprisoned there. It wasn’t yet the death camp for the Jews of Europe that it would soon become, but there were murmurings of executions and brutality that the Polish resistance wanted to investigate so that they could inform the world.

On September 19 in Warsaw, Pilecki kissed his beloved wife and two young children goodbye (both of whom are still alive today). Equipped with forged identity papers and a new name, he walked into a Nazi roundup of some 2,000 civilians. Two days and a few beatings later, he was Auschwitz inmate number 4859.

Viktor Frankl, himself an Auschwitz survivor and author of the powerful 1946 book Man’s Search for Meaning, had men like Pilecki in mind when he wrote,

The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity — even under the most difficult circumstances — to add a deeper meaning to his life. It may remain brave, dignified and unselfish. Or in the bitter fight for self-preservation he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal. Here lies the chance for a man either to make use of or to forgo the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him. And this decides whether he is worthy of his sufferings or not.

Fired by a determination that almost defies description, Pilecki made the most of every opportunity that his 30-month imprisonment at Auschwitz presented. Despite bouts of stomach ailments, typhus and pneumonia, lice infestations, backbreaking toil hauling rocks, extremes of heat and cold, and relentless hunger and cruelties at the hands of German guards, he formed an underground resistance group, the Union of Military Organization (Związek Organizacji Wojskowej, ZOW). His initial reports of events and conditions within Auschwitz were smuggled out and reached Britain in November 1940, just two months after his detention began. Using a radio transmitter in 1942 that he and his fellow ZOW conspirators built, he broadcast information that convinced the Western Allies that the Nazis were engaged in genocide on an unprecedented scale. What became known as “Witold’s Report” was the first comprehensive account of the Holocaust from a firsthand witness.

“The game which I was now playing in Auschwitz was dangerous,” Pilecki later wrote. “This sentence does not really convey the reality in fact, I had gone far beyond what people in the real world would consider dangerous.” That too is an understatement. He was surrounded by a camp staff of 7,000 Nazi SS troops, each of whom possessed life-and-death power over every inmate. It was a hell on earth — one where no moral rules applied.

Are you wondering why you’ve never heard of this man before?

More than two million people died at Auschwitz. As many as 8,000 per day were gassed with the deadly chemical Zyklon-B, while others died of starvation, forced labor, disease, or through hideous “medical” experimentation. Smoke from the ovens that burned the corpses could be seen and smelled for miles. Pilecki saw it, wrote about it, broadcast news of it, and even prepared for a general uprising of inmates against it — all under the noses of his captors.

By spring 1943, the Germans knew full well that there was an extensive resistance network in Auschwitz. Many ZOW members had been found out and executed, but Pilecki’s identity as the ringleader hadn’t yet been discovered. Then, on the night of Easter Sunday, 1943, Pilecki accomplished what only 143 other people in the history of Auschwitz ever could. He escaped, bringing with him incriminating documents that he and two fellow inmates had stolen from the Germans.

If this were the end of the story, Witold Pilecki would already be a major figure in the history of World War II. Incredibly, there’s still more to tell — and it’s every bit as stunning as what you’ve read so far.

Avoiding detection, Pilecki made his way from Auschwitz to Warsaw, a journey of some 200 miles. There, he reestablished connections with the underground in time to assume a commanding role in the Warsaw Uprising, the largest single military offensive undertaken by any European resistance movement in World War II.

For 63 days, fighting raged in the Polish capital. No one came to the rescue of the brave Poles — not even the Soviet Army, which halted its advance just east of the city and watched the slaughter like vultures overhead. Warsaw was demolished, the rebellion was put down, and Pilecki found himself in a German POW camp for the remaining months of the war. If the Nazis had realized who he was, summary execution would surely have followed quickly.

Germany’s surrender in May 1945 resulted in the immediate liberation of its prisoners. For Pilecki in particular, it meant a brief respite from conflict and confinement. Stationed in Italy as part of the 2nd Polish Corps, he wrote a personal account of his time at Auschwitz. But as the summer turned into fall, it was becoming apparent that the Soviets were not planning to leave Poland.

In October 1945, Pilecki accepted yet another undercover assignment — to go back to Poland and gather evidence of growing Soviet atrocities. This he did, marking him by the pro-Soviet Polish puppet regime as an enemy of the state.

In May 1947 — two years to the day after Nazi Germany capitulated — Witold Pilecki’s cover was blown. He was arrested and tortured for months before a sham public trial in May 1948, where he was found guilty of espionage and given a death sentence.

His last words before his execution on May 25 were, “Long live free Poland!” He was 47.

Are you wondering why you’ve never heard of this man before?

For decades, information about Pilecki was kept hidden by the leaders of the postwar, Soviet-installed regime. They couldn’t recount his anti-Nazi activities without completing the story and telling of his anticommunist work as well. With the release in recent years of previously classified or suppressed documents, including Pilecki’s own reports in their entirety, his superhuman exploits are finally becoming known around the world. (At this writing, American film producer David Aaron Gray is working on a movie about Pilecki’s life, slated for release in 2016.)

Polish author and translator Jarek Garlinski, in his introduction to The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery, summarizes the extraordinary character of Witold Pilecki:

Endowed with great physical resilience and courage, he showed remarkable presence of mind and common sense in quite appalling circumstances, and a complete absence of self-pity. While most inmates of Auschwitz not slated for immediate death were barely able to survive, he had enough reserves of strength and determination left to help others and to build up an underground resistance organization within the camp. Not only that, he managed to keep a clear head at all times and recognize what he needed to do in order to stay alive.

Pilecki’s reports from the death camp, Garlinski wrote, were more than indispensably valuable for intelligence purposes. They also represented a “beacon of hope” — demonstrating that “even in the midst of so much cruelty and degradation there were those who held to the basic virtues of honesty, compassion, and courage.”


The Polish hero who volunteered to go to Auschwitz — and warned the world about the Nazi death machine

It wasn’t until the 1990s that Zofia and Andrzej Pilecki found out their father was a hero. As teens in postwar Poland, they had been told he was a traitor and an enemy of the state, and they listened to news reports about his 1948 trial and execution on the school radio.

In fact, Witold Pilecki was a Polish resistance fighter who voluntarily went to Auschwitz to start a resistance, and he sent secret messages to the Allies, becoming the first to sound the alarm about the true nature of Nazi Germany’s largest concentration and extermination camp.

Auschwitz was liberated 75 years ago on Monday. In a new book, “The Volunteer: One Man, an Underground Army, and the Secret Mission to Destroy Auschwitz,” former war correspondent Jack Fairweather unearths the story of Pilecki’s heroism.

Pilecki (pronounced peh-LET-skee) was born into an aristocratic Polish farming family in 1901. As a young man, he fought against the Soviets in the Polish-Soviet War, earning citations for gallantry. Upon inheriting the family land, he took up the life of a country gentleman, married and had two children.

When the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939 at the start of World War II, Pilecki was called back to military service. But Poland fell in less than a month, split by the Nazis and the Soviets. Pilecki went into hiding and joined the burgeoning Polish resistance.

“The French resistance is so famous, but in actual fact, over half of all the intelligence from continental Europe to reach London came from the Polish underground,” Fairweather said in an interview with The Washington Post. “It was the biggest operation in Europe, and they provided the highest-quality intelligence — much prized by the Allies — about German capacity and war production.”

As the Nazi occupation’s grip tightened on Polish Jews, some Poles turned against Jews, too, while many others secretly helped their Jewish neighbors. The leader of Pilecki’s resistance cell pushed to make the group Catholic-only. Pilecki was a Catholic, but he argued against the change and pushed successfully to unite the group with a mainstream resistance cell that believed in equal rights for Jews.

“When [the Nazis] are doing their best to try and atomize society and break down the bonds between Poles, Pilecki doesn’t turn inwards, he doesn’t retreat into his ethnicity or his class,” Fairweather said. “He actually does the complete opposite, and begins to reach out to those around him.”

Then Pilecki got his first big mission: get arrested and sent to Auschwitz. At the time, the site run by Germany in occupied Poland was known to be a Nazi work camp for Polish prisoners of war. Pilecki was to gather information about conditions inside and organize a resistance cell, perhaps even an uprising.

The dangerous mission was voluntary he could have refused. On Sept. 18, 1940, he placed himself in the middle of a Gestapo sweep and was sent to Auschwitz.

Nothing could have prepared him for the brutality he found. As he leaped out of a train car with hundreds of other men, he was beaten with clubs. Ten men were randomly pulled from the group and shot. Another man was asked his profession when he said he was a doctor, he was beaten to death. Anyone who was educated or Jewish was beaten. Those remaining were robbed of their valuables, stripped, shaved, assigned a number and prison stripes, and then marched out to stand in the first of many roll calls.

“Let none of you imagine that he will ever leave this place alive,” an SS guard announced. “The rations have been calculated so that you will only survive six weeks.”

The mass gassings that came to define the Holocaust had yet to begin, but the crematorium was up and running. The only way out of Auschwitz, another guard said, was through the chimney.

Thus began 2½ years of misery. As Pilecki and other prisoners starved, lice and bedbugs feasted on them. Typhus outbreaks regularly ranged through the camp. Work assignments were exhausting. Guards delighted in punishing them. Prisoners, in desperation, stole from and betrayed one another for scraps. Many killed themselves by leaping into the electrified fence.

But slowly, Pilecki organized his underground. At first it was just a few men he knew from before. In the end, there were nearly a thousand. They formed a network to steal and distribute food and extra clothing, sabotage Nazi plans, hide injured and sick prisoners, and improve morale with a sense of brotherhood and regular news from the outside world.

“With almost a thousand men by 1942, and — barring for one incident with a Gestapo spy — not one of Pilecki’s men betrayed each other, in extraordinary circumstances of starvation and violence,” Fairweather said. “He built something really powerful in that camp.”

‘Bomb Auschwitz’

Starting in October 1940, the underground worked together to smuggle messages to the resistance outside. The first was sent via prisoner Aleksander Wielopolski. In Auschwitz’s early days, a few prisoners were able to secure their release if their families paid big enough bribes. Wielopolski was one of those few. Rather than risk smuggling out a paper report, Pilecki had him memorize it.

Once free, Wielopolski passed the message on to Pilecki’s friends in the resistance. Pilecki never knew whether his reports reached the Allies, but Fairweather and his researchers were able to track down how they were smuggled across Europe to the highest levels in London.

His first message was blunt: Bomb Auschwitz. Even if it meant killing everyone inside, himself included, it would be merciful. Conditions were horrifying, and the Nazis had to be stopped, he implored.

The British considered Pilecki’s request in early 1941, Fairweather found, but ultimately decided against it. The United States had not yet entered the war, and the British Royal Air Force was down to fewer than 200 planes, all of which lacked radar. It would have stretched the limits of their fuel capacity. And the British had no precedent to take action for humanitarian reasons.

Over the next two years, Pilecki continued to send messages to London via risky escapes by his men and notes passed to Polish farmers neighboring the camp.

Each message was more dire: The Nazis were conducting disgusting medical experiments on patients in the camp hospital. The Nazis killed thousands of Soviet POWs in a mass execution. The Nazis were testing a way to gas prisoners en masse. The camp was expanding. Huge trainloads of Jews were being gassed and cremated. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children were being murdered.

“Pilecki, by recording every step of the camp’s evolution towards the Holocaust, he was in some ways grappling with the very essence of the Nazi’s evil before anyone else,” Fairweather said.

Pilecki kept asking: Couldn’t the Allies at least bomb the train lines leading to the gas chambers? Or create a distraction so the prisoners could try to rise up and escape?

Fairweather said he gained a lot of sympathy for the British from their initial decision not to bomb the camp. But later, when the United States joined the war, bringing a far superior air force, continuing that decision “becomes untenable,” he said. The Allies fell back on the original decision without considering that both the necessity and their capabilities had changed.

Not bombing Auschwitz is “one of history’s great might-have-beens,” Fairweather said.

An enemy of the state

By spring 1943, it was clear the Allies weren’t going to help the prisoners of Auschwitz. Without any outside help, an uprising would never succeed. Increasingly frail and in danger of being found out, Pilecki decided it was time for him to leave.

It took months to plan, but he and two friends pulled off an incredible escape through the camp bakery in the early hours of April 27. From there, he sneaked into Warsaw, where he was briefly reunited with his wife and children.

Pilecki began working for the resistance again, but the symptoms of what we might now call post-traumatic stress disorder dragged him down. He “struggled to connect” with his friends and family, according to Fairweather, and wrote day and night about the horrors he had witnessed. He even returned to Auschwitz after the war, where he found other former prisoners living in their old barracks and giving tours to the curious.

In the summer of 1944, the Soviets were advancing on the German army, pushing them westward and out of Poland. The Polish resistance hoped to kick the Germans out of Warsaw ahead of the Soviets’ arrival to reestablish a sovereign state. Pilecki was one of thousands who fought in the Warsaw Uprising, the largest action taken by a European resistance group in World War II. In the end, the Soviets held back their advance so the Nazis could crush the Poles. Then they swooped in and took over.

The Soviets liberated Auschwitz on Jan. 27, 1945. By then, 1.1 million people had been killed there, most of them Jews.

“For a lot of us in the West, we think of May 1945 as the end of the Second World War in Europe, and parades and so on,” Fairweather said. “Pilecki’s story is a powerful reminder that what happened in Eastern Europe was the Allies gave [Soviet leader Joseph] Stalin a free hand to occupy and subjugate half of continental Europe. And the war didn’t end for so many people.”

Poland would spend the next four decades as a communist puppet state behind the Iron Curtain. But Pilecki didn’t see much of it. He remained loyal to the idea of a free Polish republic and continued sending messages to British intelligence. He was arrested by communist authorities in 1947, tortured repeatedly and executed as an enemy of the state the next year.

According to a Polish newspaper, as he was led to his death, he said, “I’ve been trying to live my life so that in the hour of my death I would rather feel joy than fear.”

Pilecki’s reports remained hidden away in Polish archives until the 1990s. Now he has been showered with posthumous awards and hailed as the hero he was. A documentary about him is scheduled for release this year.

He is also a symbol of the way many Poles were forced to bury their war experiences for decades, Fairweather said, comparing it to if the American heroes of D-Day had been treated as traitors and pariahs.

That reckoning continued as leaders from all over the world gathered in Israel on Thursday to commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz. In attendance was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has recently spread misinformation about the Poles during World War II. He was given a top speaking role at the ceremony, prompting Polish President Andrzej Duda to boycott the event.

Duda is expected to attend a commemoration ceremony at Auschwitz on Monday. Zofia and Andrzej, now 86 and 88, will not be there, Fairweather said — they prefer to honor their father on the day of his execution. For years under communism, Zofia would light a candle alone outside the prison walls where her father was killed. Last year, hundreds of people joined her.


Witold Pilecki

Why Famous: Considered one of the greatest wartime heroes, Pilecki founded one of the first Polish resistance movements against the Nazi occupation. He volunteered in 1940 to be imprisoned in Auschwitz, where he gathered some of the first information about the Holocaust, passing it onto the Western Allies. In 1943 he made a daring escape, rejoined the Polish Home Army, and took part in the Warsaw Uprising.

After the war he remained loyal to the London-based Polish government-in-exile. In 1948 he was executed by the communist authorities in Poland.

Born: May 13, 1901
Birthplace: Olonets, Russian Empire

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Ox
Star Sign: Taurus

Died: May 25, 1948 (aged 47)
Cause of Death: Executed after a show trial


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