Operation Arsenal, which took place 80 years ago today, was to go down in history as one of the most daring prison breaks of the Second Word War. And yet few have ever heard of it. TFN's Joanna Jasińska looks back at the events surrounding one of WWII's lesser-known bitter-sweet triumphs.
Conceived 80 years ago this week, the fictitious radio station at Majdanek informed fellow prisoners about the latest whippings by SS guards or who had died of typhus, but also included radio theatre and education programmes aimed to raise morale and bolster resistance.
Most of the 11 Polish victims had their hands tied behind their backs, and some of the skulls have traces of injuries. The mass grave contained bullet casings from a German Mauser.
After falling in love with a Jewish woman, Jόzef Walaszczyk became compelled to save her and the lives of over 50 others from the Holocaust.
The international production tells the story of Irena Gut, a Polish nurse who hid twelve Jews under the nose of a Wehrmacht officer. Featuring a star-studded cast, the film will premier in cinemas next year.
Deported to the camp on 27 April 1942, Stefania Łącka “reached the peaks of heroism" trying to support and save others from death.
Begun at around 9am on the 22nd of July, the executions carried out by a special death commando unit saw prisoners shot dead in their individual cells before being herded together and killed en-masse. Others were gunned down in the castle’s corridors and courtyard.
Thought to contain WWII secrets including traitors, the archive believed to be inside the Bond-like underworld complex has been described as ‘an invaluable source of information about the dark times of the WWII occupation.’
Published in English, ‘Warsaw Ghetto Police: The Jewish Order Service during the Nazi Occupation’ by Holocaust academic Dr Katarzyna Person is the tragic story ‘of people who are placed in an impossible situation during war and the decisions they make.’
The Cichociemni, or the Silent Unseen, were elite special-operations paratroopers trained in the UK to carry out covert operations, sabotage and intelligence-gathering in occupied Poland. Most of them completed their training at Audley End House, an early 17th-century country house outside Saffron Walden, Essex, England, one of the finest Jacobean houses in the UK.