Witold Pilecki quotes

Witold Pilecki photo
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Witold Pilecki

Birthdate: 13. May 1901
Date of death: 25. May 1948

Witold Pilecki was a Polish cavalry officer, intelligence agent, and resistance leader. He served as a Rotmistrz with the Polish Army in the Polish-Soviet War, Second Polish Republic, and World War II. He was also a co-founder of the Secret Polish Army , a resistance group in German-occupied Poland, and later a member of the underground Home Army . He was the author of Witold's Report, the first comprehensive Allied intelligence report on Auschwitz concentration camp and the Holocaust.During World War II, Pilecki volunteered for a Polish resistance operation that involved being imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp in order to gather intelligence and later escape. While in the camp, he organized a resistance movement and informed the Western Allies of Nazi Germany's Auschwitz atrocities as early as 1941. He escaped from the camp in 1943 after nearly 2½ years of imprisonment. He took part as a combatant in the Warsaw Uprising in August–October 1944. He remained loyal to the London-based Polish government-in-exile after the Communist takeover of Poland, and he was arrested for espionage in 1947 by the Stalinist secret police on charges of working for "foreign imperialism", a euphemism for British Intelligence. He was executed after a show trial in 1948. Information was suppressed about his exploits and fate until 1989 by the Communist regime in Poland.Pilecki is considered as "one of the greatest wartime heroes" because of his efforts. Poland's Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich writes in The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery: "When God created the human being, God had in mind that we should all be like Captain Witold Pilecki, of blessed memory." British historian Norman Davies writes: "If there was an Allied hero who deserved to be remembered and celebrated, this was a person with few peers." Polish ambassador Ryszard Schnepf described Pilecki as a "diamond among Poland's heroes" and "the highest example of Polish patriotism" at the commemoration event of International Holocaust Remembrance Day held in the US Holocaust Memorial Museum on 27 January 2013.

Works

Witold's Report
Witold Pilecki

Quotes Witold Pilecki

„So they didn't let anybody else off. I can't live anymore, they've done me. Auschwitz was just a child's play.“

—  Witold Pilecki

Having just been sentenced to death, 1948.
Source: Ewa K. Czaczkowska, Chcą beatyfikacji Pileckiego, Rzeczpospolita. Nr 249 (8150), 24 October 2008, p. A9

„I've been trying to live my life so that in the hour of my death I would rather feel joy, than fear.“

—  Witold Pilecki

After the announcement of the death sentence.
Source: Bartłomiej Kuraś, Witold Pilecki – w Auschwitzu z własnej woli, „Ale Historia”, w: „Gazeta Wyborcza”, 22 kwietnia 2013.

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