72 years ago, Witold Pilecki, the Rittmeister of the Cavalry of the Polish Army, a soldier of the Home Army, was executed by the judgement of communist authorities. The place of his burial remains unknown. The symbolic tomb is located at the quarters in the 'Łączka' section of the Powązki Military Cemetery.
Rittmeister Witold Pilecki aka "Witold"
Rittmeister Witold Pilecki was born on 13 May 1901 in Olonets, Karelia, northern Russia. He fought in the Polish-Soviet War in 1920 and in the 1939 Defensive War. In the same year, he started his underground activity. He was one of the founders of the Secret Polish Army (an organisation of professional officers of the Polish Army and landowners of a national-catholic character), later merged with the Union of Armed Struggle - Home Army.
Pilecki's report from Auschwitz
In 1940, he volunteered to be arrested and deported to Auschwitz to obtain information about the camp. After escaping from KL Auschwitz, he wrote a report in which, among other things, he described in detail the conditions in the camp. Rittmeister Witold Pilecki was the first to present the mechanism of the extermination of the Jews that was implemented by the Germans.
In the years 1943-1944, he was an officer of Kedyw (The Directorate of Diversion of the Home Army Main Headquarters). During the Warsaw Uprising he commanded a unit. After the capitulation, he was taken prisoner by the Germans. After his release, he reported for service in the Polish Armed Forces in the West.
Naming the hall at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister
In 2018, the Ceremony of naming the hall in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister after Rittmeister Witold Pilecki took place. As it was stressed by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki then, “Witold Pilecki died several times, because not only was he murdered after the war, as a soldier fighting for free Poland in a new state of enslavement, but also after murdering him not far from here, at ul. Rakowiecka, the Communists once again sentenced him to death by oblivion”.
The Museum of Cursed Soldiers and Political Prisoners of the Polish People's Republic is dedicated to soldiers of the independence underground after World War II and political prisoners of the Polish People's Republic. In 2018, the museum made part of the temporary exhibition available to the public, including the prison cell of Rittmeister Witold Pilecki.