Anti-commie firearms found buried behind former secret police HQ
Investigators hunting for the remains of resistance fighters killed by the communist authorities after the end of the Second World War have found around 20 weapons buried next to where the old secret police headquarters were located.
The rusted firearms are thought to have belonged to anti-communist partisans who waged a guerrilla war against state forces for a number of years after 1945.
Sometimes called the “cursed soldiers,” owing to the forlorn cause they fought for, the partisans battled on for most of the late 1940s despite facing overwhelming odds.
“The way the weapons were found allows us to accept the hypothesis that they were weapons confiscated by officers [of the secret police] around an amnesty in 1947,” said the Institute of National Memorial (IPN), the body charged with investigating communist-era crimes, and the agency leading the dig.
The weapons, which have a high archaeological value, will be cleaned and analysed before being donated to a planned museum intended to honour the memory of the “cursed soldiers”.
While many cursed soldiers died in fighting, others were executed by the communist authorities despite promises made during the 1947 amnesty that they would be allowed to go free if they handed themselves in.
“According to eyewitness accounts, victims of the communists were buried behind the secret police building, including Captain Henryk Flame,” said Monika Kobylańska from the IPN’s Bielsko-Biała office.
An officer in the National Armed Forces, a resistance group that fought first against the Germans and then the communists, Flame was shot dead by a communist policeman in 1947.
So far no human remains have been found in a dig that has been hampered by the presence of power cables.
The IPN said that it would like to continue excavating although it needs the continuing agreement of the landlord and tenants in the surrounding building to do this.