National Armed Forces - Narodowe Sily Zbrojne - NSZ - The Doomed Soldiers

National Armed Forces
Polish Underground Soldiers 1944-1963 - The Untold Story

Freedom And Independence - Wolnosc i Niezawislosc - WiN - The Doomed Soldiers


Polish Plane Crash In Russia - Smolensk, 2010

Latest News: Retired Central Intelligence Agency Officer Gene Poteat about the Crash of Polish TU-154 Plane Carrying President Lech Kaczynski In Smolensk, Russia: "Russian Image Management - The KGB’s latest intelligence coup, and NATO’s latest intelligence disaster"

Read More About Polish President's Plane Crash In Russia Here ...

"Letter from Poland", A Dutch TV Documentary about Polish Government Plane Crash in Russia.
Zolnierze Wykleci
National Armed Forces NSZ - Narodowe Sily Zbrojne
Foundation "We Remember" - "Pamietamy"


The committee's investigation was divided into two phases: First, to establish which nation actually was guilty of the massacre; and, second, to establish whether any American officials were responsible for suppressing the facts of the massacre with all of its ramifications from the American people.

Katyn Massacre Photo

On July 2, 1952, this committee filed with the House of Representatives an interim report (IX Rept. 2430) in which it fixed the guilt for the Katyn massacre on the Soviet NKVD) Peoples' Commissariat of Internal Affairs). On the basis of voluminous testimony, including that of recognized medical expert witnesses, and other data assembled by our staff, this committee concluded there does not exist a scintilla of proof, or even any remote circumstantial evidence, that this mass murder took place no later than the spring of 1940. The Poles were then prisoners of the Soviets and the Katyn Forest area was still under Soviet occupation. In the interim report this committee recommended the Soviets be tried before the International World Court of Justice for committing a crime at Katyn which was in violation of the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations. The United Nations Charter presently carries provisions for the legal action recommended by this committee. Furthermore, this committee called attention to the striking similarity between the Katyn massacre and events taking place in Korea today. For 2 years the Soviets disavowed any knowledge of the vanished Polish officers and deceived the Polish Government in its search for these men. Today the Communists are similarly prolonging the Korean peace talks because they cannot account for the 8,000 American soldiers reported by General Ridgway "killed as war crimes victims." There are many indications that Katyn was a blueprint for Korea.

The Congress requested that our committee determine why certain reports and files concerning the Katyn massacre disappeared or were suppressed by departments of our Government. Records and documents assembled from the State Department and War Department files provided a clear-cut picture of the tremendously important part the Katyn massacre played in shaping the future of postwar Europe. From these hitherto secret documents this committee learned that as early as the summer of 1942 American authorities considered a Polish Army extremely vital to the Allied war effort against Hitler and Mussolini. Documents introduced in our hearings describe conclusively the efforts made to create such an army on Russian soil as quickly as possible. We learned further that American authorities knew as early as 1942 of Poland's desperate efforts to locate her missing officers who could lead the Polish Army being formed on Russian soil. These same documents show that when high-level Polish officials failed to obtain an adequate reply from the Soviets regarding the whereabouts of their missing officers, American emissaries intervened. In every instance, American officials were given the same reply: The Soviets had no knowledge of their whereabouts. United States Ambassador to Moscow, Admiral William H. Standley, advised the State Department of September 10, 1942 that Soviet officials were opposed to United States intervention in Russo-Polish problems. This attitude was stated to Admiral Standley by Molotov when Standley inquired about the missing Polish officers. Throughout 1942-43-or until the mass graves were discovered at Katyn-this committee's record recites a long series of efforts being made by the United States to aid the Poles. But it also shows the total lack of cooperation the United States received from the Soviets. When Russia finally broke diplomatic relations with Poland (April 26, 19431 following the Polish request for an International Red Cross investigation of the Katyn massacre, Ambassador Standley warned the State Department that Russia had been seeking a pretext to break with Poland for some time. He emphasized that the Soviets were plotting to create a pro-Communist satellite Polish government which would take over Poland after the war. He warned that Russia was planning to create an entire belt of pro-Soviet governments in eastern Europe, which would jeopardize the peace of Europe. It is apparent that American authorities knew of the growing tension between the Soviets and the Poles during 1942-43-and they likewise knew about the hopeless search for the Polish officers-but at the time, all of these factors were brushed aside, on the theory that pressing the search would irritate Soviet Russia and thus hinder the prosecution of the war to a successful conclusion.

The Katyn Massacre

The Katyn investigation revealed that many individuals throughout the State Department, Army Intelligence (G-21, Office of War Information and Federal Communications Commission, and other Government agencies, failed to properly evaluate the material being received from our sources overseas. In many instances, this information was deliberately withheld from public attention and knowledge. There was a definite lack of coordination on intelligence matters between Army Intelligence (G-2) and the State Department, at least as far as the missing Polish officers and the Katyn massacre was concerned. The possibility exists that many second-echelon personnel, who were overly sympathetic to the Russian cause or pro-Communist- minded, attempted to cover up derogatory reports which were received concerning the Soviets. Former American Ambassador Averell Harriman-now Mutual Security Director-and former Under Secretary of State, Sumner Welles, explained why the United States acquiesced so frequently to outrageous Soviet demands. Both said the underlying consideration throughout the war was military necessity. They agreed that American foreign policy called for a free postwar Poland to assure stability in Europe. Both concurred in the fact that the United States wanted a Polish Army very urgently in the Near East campaign. They insisted, however, that these considerations had to give way to military necessity and to the maintenance of our alliance with Russia. These witnesses further maintained the Allies feared Russia might make a separate peace with the Germans. American emissaries who reported the status of conditions concerning the Soviets were either bypassed or disregarded if their views were critical of the Soviets. When some of the emissaries expressed anti-Soviet observations, President Roosevelt sent his personal representative to confer directly with Marshal Stalin. This was borne out by testimony of Ambassador Standley, who said that when he warned against Russia's postwar plans for forming a pro-Soviet bloc of nations around the U.S.S.R., President Roosevelt sent Wendell Willkie to confer with Stalin. Mr. Standley said he was not given the details of Mr. Willkie's mission. In retrospect, we now realize the prophetic truth of Admiral Standley's warning about the Soviets which he made in 1943, when the Katyn massacre was announced to the world for the first time. Both Mr. Harriman and Mr. Welles, in testifying before our committee, conceded in effect that the United States officials had taken a gamble of Russia's pledge to work harmoniously with the western democracies after the war-and lost. However, they presented arguments to justify their actions. Mr. Harriman insisted that agreements made at Tehran and Yalta would have assured a lasting peace if only the Soviets had kept their promises. Mr. Harriman insisted that territorial concessions made to the Soviets at the Big Three conferences were predicated on the military reality that the Soviets were actually in physical control of these lands. To have resisted their demands, or to have tried to drive the Soviets out by force, would have meant prolonging the war, Mr, Harriman maintained. He further testified that concessions made to the Soviets at Yalta were made at a time when the American Joint Chiefs of Staff insisted on getting the Soviets into the Japanese war at all costs. Mr. Harriman said he personally "was full of distrust of the Soviets at the time." He declared the Yalta agreements, were breached by the Soviets. He stated that the present government in Poland is not representative of its people. He added, "It is a puppet government of the Soviet Union." [...]


1. In submitting this final report to the House of Representatives, this committee has come to the conclusion that in those fateful days nearing the end of the Second World War there unfortunately existed in high governmental and military circles a strange psychosis that military necessity required the sacrifice of loyal allies and our own principles in order to keep Soviet Russia from making a separate peace with the Nazis.

For reasons less clear to this committee, this psychosis continued even after the conclusion of the war. Most of the witnesses testified that had they known then what they now know about Soviet Russia, they probably would not have pursued the course they did. It is undoubtedly true that hindsight is much easier to follow than foresight, but it is equally true that much of the material which this committee unearthed was or could have been available to those responsible for our foreign policy as early as 1942. And, it is equally true that even before 1942 the Kremlin rulers gave much evidence of a menace of Soviet imperialism paving the way for world conquest. Through the disastrous failure to recognize the danger signs which then existed and in following a policy of satisfying the Kremlin leaders, our Government unwittingly strengthened their hand and contributed to a situation which has grown to be a menace to the United States and the entire free world.

2. Our committee is sending a copy of this report, and volume 7 of the published hearings, to the Department of Defense for such action as may be proper with regard to General Bissell. We do so because of the fact that this committee believes that had the Van Vliet report been made immediately available to the Department of State and to the American public, the course of our governmental policy toward Soviet Russia might have been more realistic with more fortunate postwar results.

3. This committee believes that the wartime policies of Army Intelligence (G-2) during 1944-45 should undergo a thorough investigation. Testimony heard by the committee substantiates this belief, and if such an investigation is conducted another object lesson might be learned.

4. Our committee concludes that the staff members of the Office of War Information and Federal Communications Commission who participated in the program of silencing Polish radio commentators went beyond the scope of their duties as official Government representatives. Actually, they usurped the functions of the Office of Censorship and by indirect pressure accomplished domestic censorship which was not within the jurisdiction of either of these agencies.

5. This committee believes that if the Voice of America is to justify its existence it must utilize material made available more forcefully and effectively.

6. This committee began its investigation last year, and as the committee's work progressed, information, documents, and evidence was submitted from all parts of the world. It was at this same time that reports reached the committee of similar atrocities and violations of international law being perpetrated in Korea. This committee noted the striking similarity between crimes committed against the Poles at Katyn and those being inflicted on American and other United Nation troops in Korea. Communist tactics being used in Korea are identical to those followed at Katyn. Thus this committee believes that Congress should undertake an immediate investigation of the Korean war atrocities in order that the evidence can be collected and the truth revealed to the American people and the free peoples of the world. This committee will return to Congress approximately $21,000 in surplus funds, and it is suggested that this money be made available by Congress for such an investigation.


On September 1, 1939, Germany declared war on Poland and consequently World War II began. On September 13, 1939 the Polish Ambassador in Moscow was handed a note by the Soviet Government which stated that the Soviet Government was no longer in a position to remain neutral and that the Soviet Government had given orders to the supreme commander of the Red army to close the frontier of the Polish Republic. This note was without provocation and terminated the Soviet-Polish Treaty of Nonaggression. Then on September 17, 1939, the Soviets crossed the Polish border and, under the guise of coming to the Poles' assistance, Occupied the eastern part of Poland. On September 28, 1939, the German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty (commonly known as the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact) was announced to the world. Under this treaty Poland was divided with Germany taking 72,806 miles, population 22 million; the U.S.S.R. taking 77,020 square miles, population 13 million. From September 1939 through March 1940 a deliberate well-organized plan was executed by the NKVD to separate Polish Army officers and intellectual leaders from the mass of other Polish prisoners and the placing of those selected in three camps in Soviet Russia, namely, Kozielsk, Starobielsk, and Ostashkov. On June 22, 1941, the Germans attacked the U.S.S.R. On July 30, 1941, the U.S.S.R. and Poland signed an agreement renewing diplomatic relations. Under this agreement, all Poles interned in Soviet prison camps within the territory of the U.S.S.R. were to be released by the Soviets. The same agreement provided for the formation of a Polish Army whose commander was to be appointed by the Polish Government-in-Exile in London. On August 14, 1941, the Polish-U.S.S.R. military pact was signed. On August 16, 1941, General Anders began his fruitless search for the missing Polish officers. On April 13, 1943, the Germans announced the discovery of the mass graves at Katyn Forest in Russia containing bodies of Polish Army officers, intelligentsia, Government officials, and clergy. On April 15, 1943, the Polish Government-in-Exile in London ap pealed to the International Committees of the Red Cross to send a delegation to investigate on the spot the true state of affairs at the Katyn Forest, near Smolensk, Russia. On April 25, 1943, V. M. Molotov, the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. sent a note to Mr. T. Romer, Polish Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. Ambassador Romer refused to accept the note. On April 26, 1943, the U.S.S.R. severed diplomatic relations with Poland because Poland had approached the International Committee of the Red Cross to conduct a neutral investigation. On April 30, 1943, a medical commission of leading representatives of medical jurisprudence and criminology from 12 European universities and neutral countries, selected by the Germans, signed a protocol establishing these Polish officers were massacred in the spring of 1940. On January 24, 1944, the Soviet Special Commission To Investigate the Katyn Massacre released its own report stating that the Nazi Germans had committed the atrocity after the Poles fell captive to the Nazis in July-August 1941. On July 1 and 2, 1946, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg heard testimony from both German and Russian witnesses concerning the Katyn massacre. No decision as to guilt was announced by the tribunal.


Thousands of Poles were taken prisoners by the Soviet after its invasion of Poland in September 1939. These prisoners were grouped in some hundred-odd camps in Poland's eastern territories and the western provinces of the Soviet territory. However, three of these camps were especially designated for the confinement of Polish officers, lawyers, doctors, clergy, professionals, government officials, and intellectual leaders-most of whom were reserve officers in the Polish Army. These camps and the number of Polish prisoners interned in each are as follows: Kobielsk, located east of Smolensk, imprisoned 5,000; Starobielsk, near Kharkov, held 4,006 Polish officers; and Ostashkov, near Kalinin, where 6,400 Poles were interned. The committee heard testimony from 26 Polish officers who had originally been interned in one of these three camps. Their testimony revealed that- (1) A deliberate effort has been made by the Soviets to segregate the officers into groups. The majority of higher ranking Polish military officers were interned along with hundreds of Polish doctors-all army reservists-in Kozielsk. Noncommissioned officers 23 and Poland's peacetime political and educational leaders-also reservists-were interned in Starobielsk. And, finally, Poland's frontier guards, home police, and public officials of eastern Poland were interned in Ostashkov. Religious leaders were interned in all three camps. (2) There is general agreement that these special prisoners in the three camps totaled about 15,400. They comprised the elite of the Polish military and civilian leaders. (3) This NKVD action was a planned, well-conceived, and highly organized separation of the Polish intelligentsia to pick out potential leaders of Poland after the war. (4) These were not ordinary prisoner-of-war camps, but installations heavily guarded by the select NKVD, as contrasted to ordinary Soviet prisoner-of-war camps which were guarded by ordinary Russian soldiers. (5) These prisoners remained at the three camps from September-October 1939, until April-May 1940."


Read the full report here

National Armed Forces In Polish

National Armed Forces (pol. Narodowe Sily Zbrojne) Historical Background - Part 2

Pt. 1 | Pt. 2 | Pt. 3 | Pt. 4 | Pt. 5

The Graves And Weapons

In the account that follows I will outline the conduct of armed engagements in the occupied Poland [conducted by the National Armed Forces], and hopefully help you to understand the soundness of such activities. While reading accounts of activities conducted by the communists, and described by the communist writers - one would think - that the sole purpose of such engagement was to indiscriminately kill the enemy with complete disregard of consequences brought by such actions. Subsequently, the reader is being falsely convinced that such activities are vital to the outcome of war, which naturally is far from the true. The immediate reason for writing this memoir, which I prefaced with a lengthy introduction, was a conversation I had with one of my close friends - a well-read individual capable of critical thinking - who said, that the accounts written by members of the National Armed Forces or written about them lack spectacular descriptions, or bravado, and as such create specific perception of NSZ and of its contributions to the restoration of sovereignty of Poland. It is in this very context that one can hear the hollow echoes of the communist propaganda embedded in the pages of their "literary" accounts [of their "heroic deeds"]. For these specific reasons, several elementary concepts aught to be explained, namely: who was the enemy of Poles and of Poland, and what was characteristic of conspiratorial activities during World War II. It is also important in this context, to point out the issue of prevailing crime and how it was combated.

Who Were the Enemies of Poland?

Who were the enemies of Polish nation during World War II? I am convinced that once this question is posed, the preponderance of answers, particularly from those who didn't live during these times, will without any hesitation be - the Germans - often - the "Nazi Germany". Thus, based on this very precept, being a certainty, entire intellectual constructs are created which clarify, explain, praise, and condemn various groups and individuals who actively fought for "Free Poland". I am enclosing the words "Free Poland" in quotation marks, and I am doing that with absolute premeditation, because it is apparent that "black" doesn't mean "black" at all, and neither is "white" entirely white.

For some, the word "FREE" means "SOVEREIGN", and for some "FREE" means "joined in the brotherly union with the exultant republics of the Soviet Union" (an actual expression from this period). Often added were "lead by", followed by numerous adjectives, such as "the great friend of Poland, [the beloved], brilliant", "Joseph Vysaryonowitsh Stalin" [also an actual officially sanctioned expression from this period]. This isn't a black humor. These are the facts that will have a profound and tragic ramification for millions of people. The Polish school children will be taught in schools that II World War began with Nazi aggression on Poland on 1 September 1939, and that Poland was liberated in 1944-1945 by the "Red Army, and fighting at its side the Polish People's Army" organized in the "brotherly Soviet Union".

In order to understand men and women of the underground resistance one has to remember and be cognizant of the fact that these people with no exception knew and were absolutely certain that the war began with the aggression on Poland by two joined at hip totalitarian regimes: the III German Reich, and the Soviet Union. See more about the Soviet-Nazi Relations 1939-1941 here ...

  The Katyn Massacre - Soviet NKVD document ordering killing of 30,000 Polish Officers.
  Above: A memo from Lavrentiy Pavlovitch Beria (head of the Soviet NKVD) to Joseph Stalin dated March 5, 1940. This ordinary looking document will seal the fate of 22,000 Polish officers who will be murdered execution style with a single shot to the back of the head by the Soviet NKVD at Katyn. See the excerpt from the United States House Report No. 2405 in the left column.
Allied Soviet and Nazi soldiers meet after invasion of Poland.  

The Bolsheviks occupied 50% of the territory of Poland, and from the first day began their bloody extermination of Polish citizen by engaging in common mass murders of entire groups of population, by grand scale deportations [of Polish citizens] into the Asian republics of the Soviet Union, and by well planned and executed mass-murders [of intellectual and military elites] of which the Katyn became a symbol. See "A Forgotten Odyssey" documentary about the tragedy of 1.7 million Polish citizens of various faiths and ethnicities (Polish, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Catholic, Orthodox, Jewish) deported from eastern Poland (Kresy) in 1940-42 to special labour camps in Siberia, Kazakhstan and Soviet Asia.

The Soviet and Nazi internal security organizations signed well known agreement about their joint cooperation against any and all forms of resistance against them by the Polish people. This agreement was honored and implemented even during the time when Nazis and Soviets were already engaged militarily against each other.

The Soviets became part of the Western anti-Nazi coalition not because of their desire, but as a result of German aggression in June 1941 on Soviet Union. Thus forcibly, they became the Allies of our Allies, but it did not at all change their relationship with Poland or its people.

See "The Soviet Story" here ...

Photo above: September 20, 1939. Allied Nazi-Soviet forces meet after "victorious" invasion of Poland. [1]  
Nazi and Soviet Officers coordinate joint activities against Poland.  
Above: September, 1939. Allied Nazi and Soviet planners coordinating joint military operations against Poland. [2]  

Translator's Note. Tadeusz Bor-Komorowski, the Commander of the Polish Home Army writes:

“In March 1940 we received news that a special delegation of NKVD came to Krakow, which was going to discuss with Gestapo how to act against the Polish resistance [...] Talks in Krakow lasted for several weeks. I would receive reports of them, names of participants and their addresses”

Closing these brief deliberations pertaining to the question of whom we considered enemies of Poland, I will cite the Directive No. 3 from January 15, 1944 issued by the Commander In Chief of the NSZ, Col. Tadeusz Kurcyusz, nom de guerre "Zegota". This directive clarifies and explains the position of the Polish Underground State in relation to internal and external bolshevism.

National Armed Forces
General Command
L. 18/44

General Directive Nr. 3

In the face of crossing of Polish boarders by Soviet forces, the Polish Government in London and its Polish citizens living on the territory of Poland express their unwavering desire for the return of the sovereignty to the entire area of Poland within the Polish boarders established prior to 1939 through the mutually-binding Treaty of Rysk and reaffirmed by the general principles of the Atlantic Charter, as well as by the declarations of the Allied governments which did not concede to any territorial changes that took place in Poland after August 1939.

The stance of the Polish nation in 1939, as well as its conduct throughout the entire period of the Nazi occupation for which the Polish Nation made heavy sacrifices, fully affirms the statement made by the Polish Government [in exile] from January 4, 1944, that through its deeds, and on more than one occasion, Poland had proven that it will not concede to any imposed upon it by force changes or unilateral resolutions.

In addition to its stated claims to appropriate half of the Polish territory, the USSR wages on the Polish territory, and through its PPR [Polish Worker's Party] and Polish [People's] Army agents, a communist diversionary-revolutionary campaign directed against Poland's political system and its territorial integrity.

Soldiers! There is only one truly sovereign and independent Poland, capable of and willing to live in peace internally as well as [in peace] with its neighbors in the Central Europe. It is capable of providing all Poles the land and place to work. This Poland has its boarders in the East established by the Treaty of Risk and Odra and Nysa Luzycka in the West.

In accordance with the NSZ decree which states: "Our eastern boarders set forth by the Treaty of Rysk are not subject to any debate", I affirm:

The National Armed Forces will fight to restore to Poland its entire territory in the east.

In the light of the present situation I am issuing the following general directives:

The Soviet forces present on Polish territory are to be considered enemy forces. However, in the light of the present international situation, and the necessity to fight [the Nazi] Germany through combined strength of all opposing it forces, in accordance with the instructions of the [Government of the] Republic of Poland from 27 October 1943, and orders of the Commander and Chief, I order that military engagements with regular Soviet Army units are to be avoided. In an event that Soviet Government does not respect human life or does not respect property of Polish citizens, a special directive will be issued.

Based on the instruction of the Government of the Republic of Poland from 27 October 1943 anticipating cooperation with Soviet Armed Forces only in the event of prior normalization of Polish-Soviet relations, let it be known, that any cooperation of Polish citizens with the Soviet Armed Forces will be contrary to the directives of the Government and [in contrary with the Polish Reasons of State] and will be viewed as treason against the Polish Nation.

Our quest to normalize relations with the Government of the USSR, and reaching of such agreement in the future, cannot stop our unwavering fight against communism and diversionary activities of its Bolshevik agents on the Polish territory.

The districts in the east will receive detailed orders and instructions for the civilian population.

Commandant of the National Armed Forces
(-) Zegota

As a closing commentary, that in itself has even broader context, let us quote an excerpt from the book written by Zbigniew Siemaszka entitled “Poles and Poland during Second World War” [pol. “Polacy i Polska w drugiej wojnie swiatowej”]. Siemaszka writes:

Symbolic of psychological changes that took place after WWII in the collective psyche of the Polish society are the following events. In January 2000, during the 55th Anniversary of the entry of Soviet and Polish People’s Army units into Warsaw, the Chaplain Bishop [of the Polish Army …] celebrated Holy Mass at the Polish Army cathedral in Warsaw. Following the mass, wreaths were laid on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The lack of the understanding leading to such state-ecclesiastical celebrations lays in the lack of the understanding that the goal of the Soviet army during 1944-1945 was not liberation of Poland, but victory over Germany, expansion of the Soviet empire, and the enslavement of Poland.

The Fight In the Underground Conditions

From the very outset, the communist propaganda would accuse the Polish Democratic Underground of so called “shameful passive idleness and criminal inactivity in the face of the enemy" [pol. "hanbiaca bezczynnosc i zbrodnicze stanie z bronia u nogi" - actual citation]. We don’t have enough place here in order to exhaustively explore the strategy and tactics of underground combat in the occupied Poland, thus in a somewhat simplified fashion, I will only set the scene here. During these times, the primary military goal set forth by many Democratic Underground organizations was training of cadres and organizing of its underground units in order to, and at an appropriate time, raise a standing army in Poland. The military underground units were a safe haven for people whose identities were known to the Nazi occupiers [pol. “spalony”] and who were sought by them. The function of these units was to protect civilian populations against crime [pol. “bandytyzm”], to intimidate smaller military units of the occupier, particularly the regular and military police [ger. Gendarmerie] from free and unopposed movement, to locate and liquidate spies and collaborators, to secure various conspiratorial activities, to train and educate its cadres (i.e. the Officer Cadet and Officer Schools), and to conduct propaganda activities.

Tactical engagements against the enemy were to take place only on prior and explicit orders from the upper level command, and were primarily directed at freeing prisoners, carrying out death sentence [against spies, and collaborators], procurement of weapons or money, destruction of smaller units of the occupying force. The commanding officers in charge were cognizant that given overwhelming military potential and strength of the occupying forces, larger scale military engagements would not result in any significant military gains. Undertaking and conducting of ill-conceived military operations lead to bloody reprisals directed against civilian population.

National Armed Forces Unit under command of "Cichy" - Lublin area 1983.  Because of the fear of reprisals from the communist secret police, this photo, originally hidden by "Bujny" remained buried in a lemonade bottle until mid 1980's.

Photo above: Soldiers form the National Armed Forces unit lead by "Cichy" - 1 Pulk Legii Nadwislanskiej Ziemi Lubelskiej. Photo taken in the Lublin area, 1943. In the photo from left, front row: "Kwiatek", "Skierko", "Grot", "Bujny", "Pucio". Back row: "Matros", "Artur", "Bystry", "Szczawnik". Fearing Polish secret police reprisals, this photo originally hidden by "Bujny" remained buried in a lemonade bottle until mid 1980's.

Among the primary aims of the Democratic Underground organizations was to provide security for the civilian populations and to maintain as large a human potential as possible in order to retain sufficient infrastructure in place to rebuild Poland after the war. According to the orders issued by their Moscow's controllers, the communist underground on the other hand, had one primary goal at heart - to deplete the Polish nation of its human potential. Such orders most often concerned senseless military engagements. On such example is the hemorrhaging of the "Kosciuszko" Division during its battle at Lenino, or the destruction of the II Polish People's Army commanded by the NKVD agent, General Karol Swierczewski [who fought against his own country during Polish-Bolshevik war in 1920]. During 1939-1941, this very same command and control center organized mass deportations of Polish citizens into the east and orchestrated genocide against Polish civilian populations and Polish prisoners of war, of which Katyn became a symbol. One of the most effective forms of combating occupation forces conducted by the Democratic Underground was that of military and economic intelligence. Here the precursor of the NSZ, the Lizard Union [full name pol. - Organizacja Wojskowa Zwiazek Jaszczurczy. Engl. Military Organization Lizard Union], and later the National Armed Forces excelled (paying for their successes with very heavy losses); which to this day, and for some unknown reasons remain either concealed, or are undeservedly downplayed. One cannot also forget about the activities of publishers, printers, and courriers of underground publications. This was also an important form of our resistance paid for with the loss of countless lives, most often during defensive exchanges of fire with the enemy.

Combating the Crime (pol. Bandytyzm)

One of the most important activities conducted by the Democratic Underground partisan units, and in particular their armed tactical units (operating in the rural areas) was to combat crime which plagued some of the rural areas. Armed groups of thieves operated ruthlessly by stealing property of already an impoverished [by war] civilian population. For obvious reasons such common acts of thievery created animosity, and often hostility towards any armed units by the local populations, and among them the real partisan units. Such situation also created barriers in the procurement and stationing of partisan units. In the Lublin and Kielce regions, many of these criminal groups were to find safe haven within the ranks of the emerging communist PPR (pol. Polska Partia Robotnicza - Polish People's Party) by joining ranks of their armed units from GL (pol. Gwardia Ludowa - People's Guard) and AL (pol. Armia Ludowa - People's Army). In order to combat common criminal activities and to oppose the occupiers, the partisan units had to have a sufficient supply of weapons.


On December 11, 1943 we were returning from the Lubartow area into the Krasnik forests. Part of the unit "Znicz" marched into Krosnik area, while the other part of the unit - 30 men or so - remained in the Marianowka area. When we were near Marianowka or Wilkolaz, those entrusted with the most secretive aspects of the underground activities, by an unwritten rule, were required to report at the "Little Aunt" (pol. "Ciotunia") [Miss Ludwika Kleist's] place in Obroki. It was a permanent contact location of the Chief of Staff of the NSZ III District and Capt. "Niebieski" (Jozef Jagielski) who in addition to other responsibilities, also held position of the Commandant of the Wilkolaz outpost, and coordinated activities of the neighboring outposts as well. During conversations with Capt. "Niebieski" a suggestion was made to disarm German security detail guarding German convoy train resting at a sidetrack in Wilkolaz. This security detail consisted of a dozen individuals armed with two or three heavy machine guns, light machine guns, rifles, and side arms. The look of these soldiers didn't indicate that they were overly eager to die for Führer or the Great German Reich. It appeared that if we take advantage of the surprise element and of our firepower, there was a great chance of success of our planned operation.

We found out that the planned operation was approved by the Regiment’s commandant, Cavalry Captain (pol. rotmistrz) Leonard Zub-Zdanowicz, nom de guerre “Zab”. Captain “Niebieski” didn’t want to risk lives of men from the outpost without support of more experienced and battle-hardened men. “Znicz” agreed to proceed with the operation as planned, asking only, that several horse carriages with fresh horses were to be available.

National Armed Forces unit under command of Waclaw Piotrowski, nom de guerre "Cichy". Photo taken in the Lublin Area in 1943. In the photo: "Roman" (on the left) reports to "Stanislaw".

Above: National Armed Forces unit under command of Waclaw Piotrowski, nom de guerre "Cichy". Photo taken in the Lublin Area in 1943. In the photo: "Roman" (on the left) reports to "Stanislaw".

In the early evening our unit “Znicz” took up position at the wooded cemetery in Wilkolaz near the road connecting Wilkolaz village with Zakrzowek. From there, via country roads we departed into the direction of the railroad station. Marching in a secure formation through darkness, and in complete silence, we crossed the railroad tracks via the road crossing the tracks under an overpass, which I described earlier while writing about our operation against the German stores. Our line formation enveloped on the area of the station from south and west, and our positions to the east were at a distance of several dozen meters from the tracks. Several men took over the station building, and manned the phone exchange and the traffic control building (pol. nastawnia). Two men from the German security detail who were at the building at a time were disarmed. Unfortunately, because we didn't precisely locate position of the car housing the [German] security detail, we were not able to surprise them completely. They hid under the wheel of cars and opened fire to the south, west, and east. One machine gun fired along the line of trucks and the train platform in the northern direction. While this fire was not directed against any specific targets per se, it gave them enough time to take up firing positions.

At the time the fire exchange began “Znicz”, the section leader Sgt. “Wilczur” (Korzeniewski) and several our other men were inside of the building. “Znicz” departed towards our positions located in the west, while “Wilczur” and myself continued to observe [the enemy] in the north hidden behind the endwall of the railroad station. The German machine gun was firing along the tracks and the station platform. We could have tried to silence it by shooting from the north-east because our observation post was protected by wheels of several, or maybe a dozen carts. Without any dwelling about it I suggested to “Wilczur” that I will try to jump over the platform and maybe from that direction I will be able to silence that machine gun position. If not silence it, then perhaps make it as much difficult for it to fire as possible. I remember vividly “Wilczur’s” words who responded to my proposition: “No, son! I’ll jump first. We need to coordinate attack of our right flank. If I am not successful, you try.

He fixed his belt, magazines, bend down, and at the moment the machine-gun fire momentarily stopped, just as it was during training exercises, he jumped. Unfortunately, the German was vigilant. Just as “Wilczur” was about to jump again in order to get away from the platform, a shower of tracer bullets arrived followed by the sound of a bursting of machine gun fire. I saw “Wilczur” oddly crooked and falling on the platform. Automatically, and without any thinking I jumped and hid on the other side of the platform. This time the German was late. I lied down between the tracks and began rapid fire at more or less localized German positions. In a moment I heard loud voice of “Znicz” ordering us to open up with everything we had. A small inferno started. Particularly unnerving were whining ricochets bullets bouncing off wheels of the carts. Maybe after a minute of this shelling, the Germans began to shout that they are giving up and plead for us the cease fire.

Once the shooting stopped, the Germans started to emerge from under the carts. A soldier holding rifle over his head was walking towards me. While holding cocked revolver in my right hand, I quickly took it away from him with my left hand . The barrel of the gun was hot. I lead the “Fritz” (slang word; in Polish “Szwab”) under the light near the station building, and ordered him to take off his belt holding the magazines, his bayonet, and to take off his helmet. He handed me his wallet and took off his watch on his own without even being asked. I took his ID and some sort of documents with official seals from the wallet. In his wallet he also had some German Marks and some sort of family photos. I also noticed a wedding ring on his finger. I asked him to take it off and after putting it on the watch band gave it back to him along with his wallet. I suggested to him that he better hide it all, because somebody can take it away from him. I told him: We take away only weapons and equipment, because we are soldiers, and I knew how German soldiers are stealing from the civilian population. I think he was sad because he had to give up his boots. They were brand new field boots (pol. saperki) which served me well for some time to come.

“Wiczur” got shot in the stomach. He was saved a little by the magazine. He was immediately taken to Zakrzowka and placed under care of our friendly doctor Jan Koltun, M.D. His wounds were fatal however. “Wilczur” was put to rest at the Zakrzowek cemetery. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend his funeral. When, fifty years later, I stood over his grave I said: "This grave is in fact my own. I would have laid here if it wasn’t for his words “No, son! I’ll jump first”.

During this operation we disarmed 15 German soldiers. Two of them were wounded. We acquired two heavy machine guns, several light machine guns, some rifles, and a considerable amount of ammunition. The rifle I took away from the German served with me until the end of war. It was a short muzzle Mauser rifle made at the Ceska zbrojovka arms factory in Brno [Czechoslovakia]. I was hoping that after the war I would convert it into a hunting rifle. I will tell you about its merits at some point. It had a characteristic mark. The butt had a visible indentation created by a bullet that hit it at a sharp angle. Perhaps it was my bullet that made this mark? What survived until today is only the helmet on which I painted small Polish flags. It served with me until the end of the war. It survived somewhere amidst some junk in the attic at my Mom’s house until the fall of communism. What happened to this helmet is described in the document below.

Receipt of Gift - Polish Army Museum In Warsaw Receipt of Gift from Bohdan Szucki

Translation: MWP. Receipt of Gift Nr. 1997. The Polish Military Museum in Warsaw received from Mr. Bogdan Szucki residing in Lublin at 8 Kowalska Street, flat 3, German military helmet commandeered during operation against against German military train on 11 December 1943 at the Wilkolaz railroad station, Krasnik County, conducted by unit of the NSZ [National Armed Forces] commanded by Lt. Cybulski, nom de guerre "Znicz" and worn by said Officer Cadet B. Szucki. Warsaw 2.23.1993. Chief Curator of Polish Military Museum (-) Intelligible Signature, Signature. Dr. Zbigniew Puchalski.

During my casual conversation with a friend Maria Gradzinska, also active in the Ex-Servicemen Association of NSZ, who actively participated in the underground under the nom de guerre “Czajka” I mentioned that I intended to write an article reminding about these events and in preserving them.

After several days I received from her text entitled “Two Graves” (pol. “Dwie Mogily”) that perfectly complements and completes my own account. It brings back memories of events and of many people associated associated with Zakrzewek during these times. [Translator’s note: Zakrzowek is a small municipality located in the Lublin Voivodeship]

Two Graves

Two crosses made of birch stand next to each other at the Zakrzowek cemetery. The small plaque on the first one reads "Jan Nowicki – a soldier severely wounded in 1939 near Kock".

Not all soldiers who fought at Kock were captured. Some of them retreated discretely carrying with them from the field of battle their wounded comrades. The retreating division brought with them several wounded. They were gently cared for by a local doctor, and well know social worker Dr. Jan Koltun, M.D., who in a former factory building organized a makeshift hospital. Before war Koltun trained a group of young Girls Scouts Cadettes who volunteered at a local all-volunteer fire department. Along with [younger] local Girl Scouts they diligently assisted the doctor while he changed the dressings. The girls changed bedding and collected food articles from the locals who spared no effort in supplying food for the wounded soldiers. While the laundry and cooking were undertaken by two mature women, all auxiliary duties were performed by the girls – there were quiet a few of them, but I remember names of just few: Gienia and Kazia Bartysina, Stasia Malkowna, Helenka and Olga Nastajow (younger sisters of my mom). The entire Zakrzowek helped the doctor as much as they could to save the soldiers and was successful at it, regardless of the fact that the German occupation was already in full swing. Only one severely wounded soldier, Jan Nowicki from the Slask area, died.

Dr. Koltun was born and raised in the nearby Wilkolaz. He was well known and respected by locals in the area, carrying for wounded partisans and training auxiliary medical personnel – naturally in the conspiratorial fashion. Every year he would take Girl Scout Cadettes along with him and vaccinate [local inhabitants] against typhoid – this in effect would provide them with experience in giving injections.

His philanthropic work didn’t not escape attention of the communist partisans from the GL, AL, and PPR. On February 29, 1944, along with a local pharmacist Bronislaw Gorecki, he was kidnapped. Two horse carriages full of armed men rushed towards their homes located near the present Partyzantow Street (formerly Lobelska Street), and as quickly as possible, in a matter of dozen minutes, they were taken away in the direction of Sulow. I saw this with my own eyes, since then I lived next to the pharmacy, and the doctor lived just few houses down the street from me. The communists demanded 100 thousand zloty in ransom. It was a very large amount of money then, and none of the families of the kidnapped had such large sum at their disposal. The community in Zakrzowek was shocked – both the physician and the pharmacist were well respected and liked throughout this entire area, and there was no other doctor or pharmacist nearby. The local inhabitants began to voluntarily bring money to the pharmacy building – whatever they could – and there these amounts were recorded so at some point they would be paid back to those giving money. When a poor laundress, Miss. Ziembina, brought her widow’s pennies, Mrs. Gornicka (the pharmacist’s wife) started to cry.

I don’t remember how long they were held hostage, but from what the doctor said, I know that several times they were ordered to stand in the mud next to the birch tree and were daunted that they will be shot. When the ransom was paid [to the communists] and those held were freed, the entire Zakrzowek came out onto the streets to greet them.

The second grave is that of the National Armed Forces partisan nom de guerre “Wilczur”. His last name was most likely Korzeniewski. He died by a German bullet on 11 December 1943 at the Wilkolaz railroad station during [underground partisan] operation. His burial took place at night. During several dozen years there wasn’t any plaque on his grave, because the NSZ was among the Doomed Soldiers who were accused of every conceivable crime, short of cannibalism, as stated by Dr. Bohdan Szucki, President of the Ex-Servicemen Association of National Armed Forces who took part in the operation at the Wilkolaz station and was an eyewitness of these events.

These are the memories that hunt me when I visit the soldiers’ graves in my native Zakrzowek.

Maria Gradzinska, nom de guerre “Czajka”

Above I briefly mentioned the issue of the crime that was prevalent. One such instance is illustrated in the account given by “Czajka” where individuals were criminally kidnapped. Luckily enough, these innocent people were returned alive after the ransom was paid. On May 4, 1944 the same individuals who kidnapped Dr. Koltun and pharmacist Gornicki, murdered with premeditation members of the Democratic Underground partisan unit under command of 2nd Lt. Mieczyslaw Zielinski from the 15 Regiment of Home Army (pol. AK – Armia Krajowa) near Owczarnia. The ringleader [pol. herszt] of this gang – Boleslaw Kazmierak “Cien”[3] – left this world [died on 18 August, 1966 in Warsaw] with the rank of Colonel of the Polish “People’s” Army and was buried with honors at the “Honor Lane” (pol. Aleja Zasluzonych) at the “Powazki Wojskowe” cemetery next to other distinguished “heroic partisans” just like himself.

Your grave “Wilczur” had to remain one of an unknown soldier and to be hidden for half a century, because you died faithful to your oath – you fought for Poland that was to be free from occupiers regardless of where they came from, the East or the West.

Pt. 1 | Pt. 2 | Pt. 3 | Pt. 4 | Pt. 5


[1] Source: Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive), Bild 101I-121-0008-25. This photo is believed to be in the public domain, and is published here under the Greater Public Good Doctrine.

[2] Source: Commons:Bundesarchiv. This photo is believed to be in the public domain, and is published here under the Greater Public Good Doctrine.

[3] Translator’s Note: in 1945 Kazmierczak changed his last name to Kowalski. In 1951 he was arrested for complicity in murders of Jews in the Lublin area by Communist GL [pol. abr. Gwardia Ludowa - People's Guard] unit lead by Edward Gronczewski “Przepiorka”, but later released and promoted.




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