Monodrama about Polish WWII hero wins award at United Solo Festival

A monodrama about a Polish WWII hero titled "The Auschwitz Volunteer: Captain Witold Pilecki" won the Best Documentary Show award at the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York City on Sunday.

The show, directed and performed by Marek Probosz, had its premiere at the Theatre Row, in Manhattan, on Nov. 11.

The festival's artistic director and its founder, Omar Sangere told PAP that every year he wanted a Polish performance to be shown in New York, and added that this year, the observances of Poland's independence centenary were a priority. Sangere explained that in his monodrama, Probosz stressed the universal nature of the subject and the timeless meaning of independence.

The United Solo Theatre Festival is an annual international festival for solo performances held in New York City. Audiences see one-person performances from all over the world, experience foreign cultures and traditions, and learn the perspectives of people from various walks of life. Productions are selected from openly solicited submissions and presented at the highly acclaimed Theatre Row in the heart of the New York City theatre district on 42nd Street, according to the festival's website.

Witold Pilecki was a Polish soldier in the pre-war Polish cavalry who, in German-occupied Poland, founded a Secret Polish Army resistance group in November 1939 and subsequently joined the 1942-formed underground Home Army (AK). Pilecki is best known for having deliberately allowing himself be captured by the Nazi Germans and sent to Auschwitz. He was the author of the so-called Witold's Report - the first comprehensive account of what was happening in the German Auschwitz concentration camp. After escaping from Auschwitz, Pilecki informed the Western Allies about the atrocities taking place in the camp. Arrested on May 8, 1947, by Poland's then communist authorities on charges of working for "foreign imperialism," he was sentenced to death after a show trial. Pilecki's burial site remains unknown.