VIDEO: Having engineered his own arrest so that he would be imprisoned in the camp, Pilecki’s escape was one of the most important, if not the most important, of all the nearly 1,000 escapes undertaken by Auschwitz prisoners.
The building in the centre of Augustów in north-east Poland was used by the NKVD and the Communist secret police to hold and interrogate victims of the 1945 Augustów Roundups, known as the little Katyń.
In this episode of The Debrief, we find out more about a Polish film dating from the 1930s which has just been unearthed at the German Bundesarchiv in Berlin.
Made in 1931 by surrealist Warsaw artists Stefan and Franciszka Themerson, the anti-fascist film ‘Europa’ was intended to reflect an atmosphere of horror and all-pervading societal decline as Hitler rose to power in Germany.
Through blending eye-witness commentary with cinema-style re-enactments, Katarzyna Kowalska’s documentary Polski El Greco (The Polish El Greco) which premieres Monday night, took four years to make and, says the director, “is the story of the struggle of two female inventors, unheard, unappreciated, who for many years no one wanted to take seriously. It is a story about the extraordinary passion of two young women who did not doubt for a moment what their intuition told them.”
Aid to Jews in German-occupied Poland during World War Two is one of the finest pages in Polish history, PM Mateusz Morawiecki wrote in a letter accompanying the Friday opening of an exhibition devoted to Poles executed by the Germans for helping Jews.
Polish issues were missing at German ceremonies marking the 75th anniversary of the conclusion of World War II, PAP was told by Hanna Radziejowska, head of the Pilecki Institute in Berlin, a Polish government history facility.
To mark the 80th anniversary of Soviet deportations of Poles from occupied territories, newly released testimonies make harrowing reading.
The so-called Ładoś List, named after the head of Polish war time delegation in Switzerland, includes names of people who received fake Central American passports prepared by Polish diplomats in Bern as a way to escape the horrors of the Holocaust.
In an in-depth interview TFN's Patrick Ney talks with Wojciech Kozłowski, director of the Pilecki Institute, about Poland's complicated and painful past and its influence on the present.