Polish president, PM honour WW2 hero Witold Pilecki
President Andrzej Duda spoke on Monday with Zofia Pilecka, daughter of Polish WW2 hero Witold Pilecki, to mark the 72nd anniversary of Pilecki's execution by Poland's post-war communist regime. Pilecki was executed in a Warsaw prison on May 25, 1948.
After the meeting, Duda tweeted that Pilecki's heroism and patriotic stance served to reinforce the Poles' national identity.
Also on Monday, Zofia Pilecka accompanied by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki laid flowers in a Warsaw museum dedicated to Polish anti-communist fighters and political prisoners under communism, located on the premises of the prison where Pilecki was executed.
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 deliberately allowing himself to be captured by the Germans and sent to the notorious Nazi-German Auschwitz death camp in south-eastern Poland, the main site of the Holocaust. He was the author of the so-called Witold's Report - the first comprehensive account of the atrocities committed at Auschwitz.
After escaping from Auschwitz, Pilecki informed the Western Allies about the atrocities taking place there. 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 and executed. His burial site remains unknown.