Death of a hero! Warsaw Uprising soldier dies at 101

Brigadier General Zbigniew Ścibor-Rylski was highly decorated for his wartime activities and one of the initiators of the Warsaw Uprising Museum. Jacek Turczyk/PAP

A hero of the Warsaw Uprising has died, just one day after Poland marked the 74th anniversary of the start of the operation.

Brigadier General Zbigniew Ścibor-Rylski, who was highly decorated for his wartime activities and one of the initiators of the Warsaw Uprising Museum, passed away yesterday (Friday) at the age of 101.

At the outbreak of war, Ścibor-Rylski was an officer in the Polish Air Force.

After taking heavy losses during fierce fighting in the Battle of Kock, he was taken prisoner but later managed to escape, making his way back to Warsaw.

Once there he joined the underground Home Army (AK) resistance movement and quickly rose through the ranks before taking command of an Infantry Battalion during the Warsaw Uprising.

At the end of the war he returned to civilian life in the city of Poznań where he worked as head of the Bureau of Automobile Repairs Motozbyt.

He was awarded with several Polish distinctions, including the Virtuti Militari medal and was Chairman of the Association of Warsaw Insurgents.

Later in his life he admitted to having been an informant for the communist secret police (SB) but claimed he had been instructed to do so by his former AK commander so that he could protect partisan colleagues from being arrested.

The news of his death was confirmed by Jan Ołdakowski, head of the Warsaw Uprising museum.