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The Dialectics of Pain1 The Interrogation Methods of the Communist Secret Police in Poland

jan marek chodakiewicz|Sunday, September 4, 2011

Throughout the ages, torture has been applied to extract information needed for
a utilitarian purpose. With a few exceptions5, the objective has been to find out the truth.
According to a 3rd century legal authority, Ulpian, „By quaestio [torture] we are to
understand the torment and suffering of the body in order to elicit the truth.” Writing in
the 13th century the judicial expert Azo explained that „Torture is the inquiry after truth
by means of torment.” Four hundred years later, the lawyer Bocer defined the phenomenon
in the following way: „Torture is interrogation by torment of the body, concerning a
crime known to have occurred, legitimately ordered by a judge for the purpose of eliciting
the truth about the said crime

The Dialectics of Pain1
The Interrogation Methods of the Communist Secret Police in Poland
Find the man and we shall find a paragraph for him.
A Stalinist saying
Our task is not only to destroy you physically,
but also to smash you morally before the eyes of the society. 2
Major Wiktor Herer, a superior officer
at the Office of Public Security, to a prisoner, 1948
The duty of the public security is to beat the enemy;
the duty of the prosecutor is to guard revolutionary legality.
Each of those organs has its own methods of work. 3
Józef Ró˝aƒski, Director of the Investigative Department
of the Ministry of Public Security, Warsaw, December 1950
I believe that Christ will be victorious!
Poland will regain her independence and human dignity will be restored.4
Lieutenant Colonel ¸ukasz Ciepliƒski,
a Polish underground leader, shortly before his execution, December 1950
Throughout the ages, torture has been applied to extract information needed for
a utilitarian purpose. With a few exceptions5, the objective has been to find out the truth.
According to a 3rd century legal authority, Ulpian, „By quaestio [torture] we are to
understand the torment and suffering of the body in order to elicit the truth.” Writing in
the 13th century the judicial expert Azo explained that „Torture is the inquiry after truth
by means of torment.” Four hundred years later, the lawyer Bocer defined the phenomenon
in the following way: „Torture is interrogation by torment of the body, concerning a
crime known to have occurred, legitimately ordered by a judge for the purpose of eliciting
the truth about the said crime.”6
The practice reflected the theory into the modern times. For example, the Nazi
Gestapo tortured captured members of the underground to force them to reveal the
whereabouts of their confederates. Once the interrogation was over, if the victim survived,
he or she was disposed of, that is, either sent to a concentration camp or shot. A few of
them were even given a brief trial and sentenced based upon the evidence the Gestapo
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In essence, the Nazi secret police torturers were interested in learning the truth
from their victims.8 Not so the functionaries of the Communist terror apparatus. The
Communist interrogators also tortured members of the underground or, more broadly,
their political opponents. However, the reason for inflicting pain was two-fold: to extract
true information and to force the prisoner to confess to false charges which the interrogators
themselves knew were untrue. The objective of the latter endeavor was to break the
spirit of the individual under interrogation and then to destroy his image in the eyes of the
public.9 Nonetheless, just like in the case of the Nazi police, the ruthless reputation of the
Communist secret police, justly earned by its frequent application of torture, served to terrorize
not only the immediate victims (and intended victims) but also the population at
This paper investigates the process within which torture was used and abused
throughout various stages of the interrogation.
Communist Torture in Contemporary Sources
The use of torture by the Communists was ubiquitous. The secret policemen of
the Public Security Office (Urzàd Bezpieczeƒstwa Publicznego – UBP, or, colloquially, UB)
tortured cruelly even a few of their own comrades accused of ideological „deviation,”
including in a secret prison in Miedzeszyn.10 However, torture was applied primarily
against the independentist camp. This entity encompassed all covert and overt forces from
the extreme left to far right enrolled in the anti-Communist underground and the political
opposition, originating in the war-time Polish Underground State and its Home Army
(Armia Krajowa – AK). The most notable among them were the Freedom and
Independence Union (Zrzeszenie WolnoÊç i NiezawisΠoÊç – WiN); the National Military
Union (Narodowe Zjednoczenie Wojskowe – NZW); the National Party (Stronnictwo
Narodowe – SN); the Christian Democratic Labor Party (Stronnictwo Pracy – SP) and,
last but not least, the Polish Peasant Party (Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe – PSL). Because
of its scope, terror also affected the population at large.11
According to an underground newspaper of July 1945
It has been established that the NKVD and RB [sic UB] torture their prisoners
terribly at the Chopin Street [police headquarters] in Lublin, at the Strzelecka
Street [facility] in Warsaw, and in WΠochy. The most popular methods of extracting
confessions include ripping off fingernails slowly, applying „temple screws”
[i.e., clamps that crush the victim’s skull], and putting on „American handcuffs.”
The last named method causes the skin on one’s hands to burst and the blood
to flow from underneath one’s fingernails. The torture is applied passionlessly
in a premeditated manner. Those who faint are revived with a morphine shot.
Before the torture session some receive booster shots [zastrzyki wymacniajàce].
The torturers strictly observe the opinion of the chief interrogating officer
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whether it is acceptable to allow the interrogated to die…
At the infamous Lublin Castle [prison], because of the injuries inflicted during
interrogation, mortality among the political prisoners reaches 20 persons per week.12
In a dramatic plea for help, smuggled out of a jail in Radomsko in April 1946, an
imprisoned insurgent of the Conspiratorial Polish Army (Konspiracyjne Wojsko Polskie –
KWP) begged his superior, Jan Rogólka („Grot”):
Lieutenant, Sir, yesterday, meaning on Thursday, they gave it to me again.
This time I was not electrocuted but just whipped on my back and buttocks.
Next, they beat me on the soles of my bare feet. They used an iron rod and
a whip on my bare legs. They kicked me so much that I barely dragged myself
back to the cell. They torment me as if I were an animal, but I have
not broken down. I am surprised myself because yesterday I was so sick.
Despite that I withstood everything. Once they found out that I was sick, they
immediately took me to be interrogated in the morning. Mercy, SOS,
because they will murder all of us. Almost all of us in the cell are investigated in the
same affair and all of us are tortured the same way. It is very cold here.
Lieutenant, Sir, half of me is gone but I’ve been observing everything nonetheless.
Our infamous tormentors are: Lieutenant Wieczorek, a dark-haired young man,
who lives on Krakowska Street, and Mr. Kowalski. I’d like a [food] package, because
we suffer hunger. Please tell them at home to send me one; otherwise I shall
succumb to tuberculosis.13
Secret police terror was so fierce that by 1948 quite a few insurgents preferred to die in
battle rather than allow themselves to be taken alive. Some even committed suicide or, upon
request, dispatched their seriously wounded comrades to spare them from being captured.14
The insurgents wanted to avoid torture and the almost inevitable break-down, leading to the
denounciations of one’s own confederates and civilian supporters. Under the circumstances, at
least on one occasion the underground press praised the suicide of a disabled insurgent as „heroic.”
15 The weak and wounded were considered a liability. On January 1, 1947, an insurgent
commander, Captain WΠadysΠaw ¸ukasiuk („MΠot”), admonished one of his underlings that
under no circumstances are you allowed to have any wounded [insurgents]...
You must be aware that today each wounded is considered 80% lost...
Whoever leaves the unit gets caught right away and is forced to denounce us
[ka˝dy sypie]... The civilian population is quite aversely predisposed [zra˝ona]
to us because we have caused them grief since [captured insurgents who broke
down under torture] ‘Burza’ and ‘Mewa’ drive around with
[the UB and KBW] and denounce everyone [sypià wszystko].16
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Although most broke down, a few exceptional individuals withstood the torture.
In October 1945, the UB arrested Stefania Broniewska, a courier of the National Armed
Forces. She was tortured mercilessly but remained defiant throughout. According to a
secret police report,
on November 11, 1945, I, Szlek Kazimierz, a functionary of the UB in B´dzin,
would like to report that, during our interrogation, Kowalska aka Broniewska
Stefania, the wife of General Bogucki [i.e. Colonel Zygmunt Broniewski,
the Commander-in-Chief of the NSZ], refused to testify about the organization
of the NSZ and other matters related to it. She behaved in an arrogant manner,
wanting to show her superiority over us, the working class. She stated that she
had been working in the NSZ since its inception, that she was devoted to its ideology,
and that she would never recognize as correct the policies of the Government
of National Unity [i.e. the Communist proxy regime of Soviet occupation].
Further, she expressed her negative feelings about the Polish-Soviet alliance
calling the [Red] Army and the Soviet Nation [sic] her enemies. When questioned,
she refused to give any information about the organization and people she is
affiliated with. She said she would die and take the secrets to her grave but
the current democratic system [i.e. Communist dictatorship] would not persevere.
He who laughs last, wins, she said, believing fervently in the victory of the NSZ.17
Torture continued even when the factor of the fierceness of the battlefield was no
longer applicable. A close analysis of the interrogation records allows us to ascertain the
ubiquity of torture, additionally revealing the modus operandi of the Communist secret
police. Let us look for example at the interrogation record of a Home Army (Armia
Krajowa – AK) liaison from Wilno. She was captured and interrogated by the NKVD in
Wilno. The record of the session of July 7, 1945, is contained on a single sheet of paper.
The front was completely covered with a text of exceedingly large letters in undisciplined
hand-writing. Only half of the reverse side was used. One third of the front page contained
the data of the person under interrogation. Then the interrogating officer asked (and
wrote down) two questions. First, he asked whether the woman realized that the allegations
against her stem from Article 58-Ia of the Soviet criminal code: counter-revolutionary
activities. She answered in the affirmative, which was written down. The second
question concerned her activities in the underground. The interrogating officer wrote
down three short answers she provided, containing mostly false information. Then,
according to the rules, he read the contents of the document to the prisoner and had her
sign it on both sides. Lastly, he appended his own name to the record. Apparently, this
should have been a short procedure: no longer than ten minutes. However, at the top of
the page, it was noted that the interrogation session started at 12:40 and ended at 14:00
(2:00pm). Meanwhile, according to her recollections, the AK liaison woman was tortured
mercilessly for hours. Anytime the written interrogation record seems too short relative to
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the amount of time spent assembling it, we can safely assume the prisoner was tortured
psychologically or physically or both to extract a confession from him or her.18
In fact, torture was routine even in cases of detention unrelated to any insurgent
or political activity. In July 1951, a Soviet diplomat informed his superiors that
in the Province of Bydgoszcz during the peak season of grain purchase
[i.e. forced grain seizure] many arrests of middle peasants [Êredniacy] took place
by the militia organs. They were held in detention and beaten during interrogation.
In Bydgoszcz a peasant woman was tortured applying barbarian methods.
She was interrogated and beaten and then before her very eyes the militiamen drank
a shot glass of vodka each and thus ‘fortified’ the militiamen continued the beating.19.
Frequent use of torture by the secret police throughout Poland eventually prompted
the Minister of State Security to criticize his underlings in a secret speech:
The question of the qualification of a crime is an important issue to maintain
a correct policy of repression. The qualification of the crime must strictly adhere
to the reality of the crime, must be fully in harmony with the evidence,
and completely tally with the objective truth. Only then will our repression
and punishment be correct. All instances of „cooking up the case”
[naciàganie sprawy] during the investigation is harmful and unacceptable. However,
this sin is not unknown to some of our operatives, the investigators in particular.
Based on its experiences, the Prosecutor’s Office in a letter to the
leadership of the [Communist] party states that „we frequently encounter a lack of
objectivity during interrogation, a complete disregard for the circumstances and
evidence provided by the suspects, the practice of shaping the witness testimony
in a manner convenient to construct accusations but not in congruence with
reality… The interrogating officers often strive to make the investigative material
(suspect and witness interrogations) tally ideally with the material supplied
by the [secret] agents…
An analysis of the Kielce case (Kozienice) and other similar cases shows that poor
operational work very often leads our employees to resort to the means of physical persuasion
on a detained person. The very fact that people are arrested without the appropriate
justification, without checking and cross-checking information and denunciations,
without any responsibility, and in incomprehensible and unnecessary haste somehow
pushes the [security] employee to look for proof. On the one hand, his attitude is that,
after all, he is dealing with a criminal. On the other hand, he therefore even more zealously
attempts to find the proof by coercing a confession because he simultaneously
attempts to justify his incorrect decision that led to the arrest of the suspect in the first
place. At the same time, the security officer fails to notice that he himself goes down a
wrong path and continues to make mistakes. Even if he has made a mistake by arresting
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a person without checking and justifying it with evidence, the mistake must be rectified
as soon as possible. We must not persist in error and make further mistakes by „beating
the evidence out” [dobijanie si´ dowodów] because that always turns out to be false in the
subsequent investigation or during the trial.20
The Scholars
Indeed, the UB frequently excelled in „cooking up the case” and „beating the evidence
out.” According to Janusz Borowiec, who studies the secret police in the Province of
Rzeszów, the proof of the widespread aplication of torture can be gathered from the court
records between 1946 and 1955. However infrequently, at least some of the bravest of the
torture victims complained openly to judges about the treatment they had received from
the UB men. Borowiec discovered no less than 31 individual and group instances of physical
torture that varied from beating, electrocuting, and hanging by the genitals, to killing
during the interrogation. Incidentally, Borowiec learned that practically all the victims had
confessed.21 Sebastian Bojemski arrived at a similar conclusion after studying the records
of the police interrogations and court trials of soldiers of the National Armed Forces in
Warsaw. Almost everyone confessed; a few truly exceptional individuals who refused to
talk paid dearly for it with their health, if not with their lives.22 In her valuable study of a
provincial insurgent command, scholar Anna Gra˝yna Kister has shown that a single arrest
of a suspect who was subsequently tortured by the secret police could and did trigger a
veritable chain reaction of terror. For example, following the capture and torture of a few
insurgents connected to the AK Lublin District Command, the NKVD and the UB seized
„more than 440 persons” in Lublin between October 7 and November 11, 1944. The
prisoners were tortured and forced to divulge the names and addresses of further 280
Home Army soldiers.23 According to Kazimierz Krajewski, Tomasz ¸abuszewski, Piotr
Niwiƒski, and others torture was all pervasive and ubiquitous at every stage of the interrogation
process. The secret police tortured captured insurgents right on the battlefield,
mostly to extract information about their units but also to terrorize their civilian sympathizers.
Members of the families of the insurgents were routinely tortured as well. Women,
children, and the elderly were not spared. The Communists frequently despoiled their
homes and sometimes even destroyed them.24
Regional historian Krystyna Pasiuk conducted a case study of a single independentist
insurgent unit fighting the Communists in the SuwaΠki area between 1949 and
1954. She confirms that „contemporary interrogation offices were torture chambers…
[and] the beating of the prisoners was the norm.” However, Pasiuk stresses that the secret
police torture was the most ferocious during the initial arrests. Later, once every insurgent
that was not killed on the battlefield was captured, „the beating ceased.”
By that time, having eradicated the immediate threat, the secret police had
enough evidence to secure convictions and, because of the hopelessness of their predica-
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ment, the insurgents were physically and psychologically exhausted enough to confess to
However, in some cases torture was evidently applied even following a police
provocation when the functionaries of the terror apparatus were intimately aware of all
the details of a situation they themselves had set up. According to historian Ryszard
Âmietanka-Kruszelnicki, that was the case with the so-called Polish Organization of Anti-
Jewish Youth (Polska Organizacja MΠodzie˝y Anty˝ydowskiej – POMA) in Ostrowiec
Âwi´tokrzyski. This creation of the secret police attracted a handful of conspirators, most
of whom were likely UB agents. Nonetheless, the participants were forced to confess that
the POMA enrolled 200 persons in its covert structures and 100 persons in a guerrilla unit.
In reality, the POMA existed mainly in the interrogation records of the UB.26
At times, insurgents ostensibly tried for a particular crime were hardly interrogated
concerning that charge. Instead, the secret policemen simply forced them to reveal the
infrastructure of their organization, to divulge the whereabouts of their confederates, and
to confess to general charges like „killing Jews” or „killing Communists.” According to several
scholars, this was most notably the case with the so-called „Wierzchowiny trial” of 23
officers of the National Armed Forces (Narodowe SiΠy Zbrojne – NSZ) in Lublin in 1946.27
Further, as Krzysztof Szwagrzyk has shown, the torture did not automatically stop when
the interrogation was concluded. For example, military judge Major Feliks Aspis ordered
his prisoners to be tortured if they retracted their confessions in court.28 Also the research
of John Micgiel confirms readily that the Communist legal system employed illegal means
to extract confessions from its prisoners.29
Jerzy KuΠak researched the interrogation methods of the functionaries of the
Security Office (Urzàd Bezpieczeƒstwa – UB) and concluded that „torture and killing of
prisoners were typical features of their work.”30 Next, he analyzed nine major show trials
held at the central level and numerous other cases before lower Communist courts. The
scholar has established that every prisoner was tortured either physically or psychologically
or both. The secret police targeted the heroes of the anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet underground,
opposition politicians, and Catholic priests. Almost all of them were forced to confess
to untruths both during their interrogation and during their show trials, which were
broadcast live on the Polish Radio. Besides securing guilty verdicts in almost all cases, the
Communists pursued successfully also another goal: to compromise them morally and
everything they stood for before the Polish society. False confessions disseminated by mendacious
propaganda served to destroy, or at least to undermine, the traditional nationalistic
symbols and to create new pseudo-nationalistic images depicting the Communists as
the only decent and patriotic force in Poland. Torture was an indispensable tool to achieve
this comprehensive goal. According to KuΠak,
The main objective of the political trial was to change the consciousness
of the people (unlike in a normal country, where the objective is to punish
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the criminals). The people were to be informed that hitherto they had lived
in the morally tainted environment of pre-war Poland, where the ruling class
had perfidiously lied to them. The Communists also aimed at destroying
the legend of the war-time and post-war independentist underground.
The homo sovieticus was to be persuaded that thanks to the media and newspapers,
i.e. the propaganda of the Communist proxy regime, he knew the truth about
the government of interwar Poland. The truth was presented to him as
a conspiracy theory concocted by the Communist secret police. A denizen
of the Polish People’s Republic could learn that the leadership of the AK
continued the criminal policy of [Polish pre-war Foreign Minister Józef]
Beck and [Marshal Edward] ÂmigΠy-Rydz who collaborated with Nazi Germany.
One understood from the Communist propaganda that the outbreak
of the Warsaw Uprising had been coordinated with the Germans
and that the Communists were the only true patriots, fighting for Poland’s
independence. Meanwhile, the AK and the Office of the Government Delegate
unscrupulously denounced the Communists to the Gestapo in exchange for
freeing members of the pro-London underground. The latter conspiracy was
hence only apparent, because it feigned its struggle against the Germans
in congruence with the theory of „passive struggle.” Thus, the Communists
changed the meaning of such words as honor, patriotism, and independence.
Once the Polish society learned that all of its heroes were really traitors,
renegades, Nazi agents, murderers of democratic activists and peasants,
the [Communist] People’s Tribune and other newspapers were also able to announce that
the [Catholic] priests are American and English intelligence agents and had earlier served the Gestapo.
If those were baseless allegations, their influence on the society would
be nil. However, the charges against the greatest authorities of pre-war Poland
and the heroes of the struggle for national independence, so eagerly preached
by the Communist press, were levelled by pre-war political activists, government
officials, soldiers of Underground Poland, oftentimes heroes of the Cross of
Virtuti Militari [Poland’s highest military decoration for valor], and persons
enjoying universal respect.
Thus, the Communist system proved that every single human being
could be broken. In exchange for the halt to the unimaginable torture and in the hope
of escaping the death sentence, the prisoners, who had been interrogated
for many months in the dungeons of the Ministry of Public Security on
Koszykowa Street in Warsaw and who had been turned into the human wrecks,
were ready to sign anything so that the secret policemen would desist beating them;
so that the prisoners could sleep for a moment following a week-long, non-stop
interrogation session, where only the interrogating officers rotated.
Most of the accused and witnesses acquiesced in playing the role assigned
to them by the secret police officers and propaganda experts. During the show trial,
the prisoners stuck strictly to the plan masterminded beforehand by the supervisors
of the investigation. Even if the main accused in a case did not play well the role
that had been imposed on him, there were plenty of witnesses who splendidly filled in
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the gaps. The audience at the show trial also influenced its atmosphere by angrily
reacting to the testimonies of the accused and witnesses.31
Torture was also the norm when the unfortunates were already serving their jail
sentences. According to Mateusz Wyrwich, it still has not been established how many thousands
of prisoners, out of 500,000 people who were incarcerated by the Communists
between 1944 and 1956, perished because of torture and other forms of maltreatment.32
For example, over 800 witnesses have appeared to testify about torture in the Wronki
prison, where, between 1945 and 1956, about 15,500 people were incarcerated, mostly
political prisoners. Victims were routinely made to strip and wait in the prison yard, winter
time included. Then, they were chased between two rows of wardens who beat them
with truncheons and keys. The functionaries most responsible for the torture were the
prison head Jan Boguwola, and his underlings: Adam Serwata, Wiktor Urbaniak, Józef
MikoΠajczak, Marian Kraus, Jerzy BiaΠas, Marian Dusik, Tomasz Nowicki, and Jan
Torture was an integral part of Poland’s totalitarian reality. It was fully harmonized
with the „legal” system and reflected in the official propaganda.34
The Legal Basis of Torture and the Communist Propaganda
No law explicitly permitted torturing anyone under Communism. However,
between 1944 and 1956, the laws and regulations35 commonly applied against political
offenders were utterly dehumanizing and, hence, implicitly encouraged their abuse,
including torture. Two types of distinct legal systems functioned at the time: the Soviet
and the Polish. The former applied not only in Poland’s eastern territories incorporated
into the Soviet Union after the return of the Red Army in 1944, but also to the west of the
so-called Curzon line, wherever the Soviet terror apparatus (and judiciary) happened to
operate. While at the mercy of the NKVD, most commonly, the political offenders were
charged under the infamous Article 58 of the Soviet penal code. According to Article 58, a
Home Army soldier, who was ethnically Polish, born in pre-war Poland, and a life-long
citizen of Poland could be sentenced as „traitor to the Soviet Motherland” in addition to
being a „counter-revolutionary,” „Hitlerite collaborator,” and „fascist.” 36
Simultaneously, although always deferring to the Soviet law, the local
Communists in Poland introduced their own legal regulations. More precisely, they
amended the existing pre-war laws with a bevy of their own decrees. Arguably, the most
important of them was the infamous Decree of August 31, 1944, against „the fascist-
Hitlerite criminals and traitors of the Polish Nation.” The decree was promulgated by the
Communist proxy regime and used mainly as a political and legal tool of repression
against the independentists fighters and politicians, who were routinely branded as
„Hitlerite collaborators,” „fascists,” and „reactionaries.” The August 31, 1944 Decree was
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also applied to real and alleged Nazi collaborators, including for instance persons accused
of participating the massacre of Jews at Jedwabne, thus from a legal point of view making
it a political rather than a criminal case.
The language of the August Decree was extremely violent. It reflected the language
of contemporary Communist propaganda. And the Communists dubbed as „fascists”
and „reactionaries” anybody who disagreed with them.39 The independentist insurgents
were of course the primary targets of the Stalinist vituperation. The guidelines for
propaganda of the Central Board of Political Formatting of the Polish People’s Army aptly
titled „Concerning the mobilization of hatred toward the reactionary thugs” instructed the
political commissars to „brand with all your strength the criminal activities of the bastards
of the NSZ and AK, Hitler’s emulators. Develop hatred among the soldiers and push them
against the reactionaries.”40
Accordingly, Communist military political commissars publicly preached that
during the Warsaw ghetto uprising the following forces fought against the Jewish insurgents:
„the German air force, the SS, and tanks as well as Polish hooligans, Polish reactionaries
and, actually, the AK.”41 Therefore, „the criminals of the AK and NSZ work hand
in glove with the Hitlerites. And they should be treated just like the Hitlerite murderers.”42
A Communist pundit editorialized that „during the [Nazi] occupation the NSZ formed an
auxiliary formation of the SS and Gestapo.”43 „Put on trial the AK and NSZ murderers,
Hitler’s helpers!” screamed the official posters in unison.44
As Professor Krystyna Kersten has noted perceptively, the independentist insurgents
and the parliamentary opposition were the chief „reactionaries.” Significantly,
„reactionary” was synonymous with „bandit,” „traitor,” „fascist,” „Hitlerite,” „anti-
Semite,” and „Jew-killer.” Whoever killed Jews was not just a traitor, but also „an agent
of Hitler.” Anybody who opposed the Communists was also a potential „Jew-killer,” or at
least could be accused of such terrible anti-Semitic deeds, and, hence, branded „a Nazi
collaborator.” This was a convenient propaganda device commonly employed to dupe the
West into believing that the opponents of the Communists were pro-Nazi and that the
brutal crushing of the independentist insurrection and the parliamentary opposition in
Poland was simply a mop-up operation which fittingly concluded the anti-German struggles
of the Second World War. This was also a useful tool to rally the population behind
the Communists in meting out justice to alleged Polish „Hitlerites.”45 (The trick was further
intended to endear the proxy regime to the Jewish community at home and abroad.)46
Communist law was well-harmonized with the propaganda. It seems that the
intention of the authors of the August Decree was to limit, if not outright preclude, the
possibility of a fair investigation and a fair trial. The objective was to punish „Nazi collaborators,”
whether real or alleged. In other words, the Communist policemen, prosecutors,
lawyers, and judges involved in the cases pursued and tried on the basis of the August
Decree were not interested in recreating the crimes, describing their details, identifying the
victims, and finding the perpetrators. They were out to destroy the enemy: physically and
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morally. Numerous accounts of the victims of the Communist investigative and legal
process seem to signal just that.
Case Studies: Ejszyszki and Jedwabne
Two separate case studies conducted by us strongly suggest that both the investigation
and the court proceedings widely departed from the Western standards of justice.
The most jarring abuses included the lack of professional meticulousness and the application
of torture.
In the case of Ejszyszki, following the attack of the Home Army (AK) on that town
on October 19/20, 1944, the Soviet secret police initially did not bother to collect any witness
accounts. The NKVD policemen simply beat confessions out of most of the suspects.
A few refused to give in; most confessed, gradually yielding to their tormentors. The confessions,
of course, included killing Jews and collaborating with the Gestapo. Later, some
of the victims retracted their confessions in court. Nonetheless, some were sentenced to
death, while most were sent to the Gulag on the basis of Article 5847. In the case of
Jedwabne, where a number of Polish inhabitants were accused of assisting the Nazis in
murdering the local Jews, the police and the judiciary were concerned about establishing
neither the sequence of the events nor even the date of the mass murder.48 Using as a
blue-print the imprecise and internally contradictory testimony of a second hand witness,
they tortured the suspects into confessing to killing Jews and collaborating with the Nazis.
Later, the accused were tried on the basis of the August 31, 1944, Decree.49
In both the Ejszyszki and the Jedwabne cases the secret police seized a number of
suspects, including completely innocent people, who confessed under duress to their complicity
in the alleged crimes. On the other hand, at least a few prisoners customarily
denied their culpability and blamed their confederates, in particular those who had been
killed or were otherwise beyond the reach of the secret police.50
The reality of the interrogation and the trial should not obscure the fact that some
of the suspects did take part in the AK assault on Ejszyszki, while others did participate in
the massacre at Jedwabne. The gruesome ruthlessness of the Communist secret police and
the judiciary should give us cause to pause, however, before we treat the Communist
interrogation records at their face value. All documents should be checked and crosschecked
against other sources. Initially at least, all accounts of torture should also be treated as
raw data.
Raw Data
We have drawn our raw data on the topic of torture from the following sources:
historical monographs, personal testimonies, legal records, and newspaper accounts.
Legal records concern both the original cases from the 1940s and 1950s as well as con-
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temporary cases generated by the investigative arm of the Institute of National
Remembrance. Polish newspapers, ranging from the dynamic leftist Gazeta Wyborcza
[Electoral Gazette] through the most respected centrist daily Rzeczpospolita [Republic] to
the right-wing Catholic nationalist Nasz Dziennik [Our Daily], routinely report on court
cases regarding the trials of both Communist secret police personnel and their political
opponents. Further, the popular press periodically runs investigative historical stories on
the anti-Communist insurgents and their tormentors. In all sources, the topic of torture is
broached openly most of the time. The description is graphic and detailed.
From these accounts we learn that, aside from beating, the secret policemen liked
to tear the hair out of the victim’s body, extinguish their cigarettes on him or her, and
apply many other methods of torture. Pathological behavior of this sort was also prevalent
in low profile cases. Arguably, secret policemen serving in remote provincial outposts
tended to be even more cruel because they lacked immediate supervision. But even if their
sadism reflected itself just in beating and not in sexual perversion, it still was the norm.
There were no boundaries to the cruelty and no consideration was given to the status, sex,
or health of the victim. In one instance socialist Irena Sendlerowa of the Home Army miscarried
after she was abused by the UB.51 In another case, the UB-man Edmund Kwasek
tortured Józefa Gradecka of the AK who was pregnant.52
In our sample below we have documented more than 500 cases of torture. Almost
all victims described below were ethnic Poles and Catholics, save for a single Jewish man.
One hundred and fifty one victims are identified by name, including 21 women. Most of
the victims of torture, except for some of the youngest ones, were involved in both the
anti-Nazi and anti-Communist struggle from 1939. The victims were subjected at least
to 49 types of torture. Twelve prisoners were tortured to death, while 8 were shot immediately
after the torture sessions (usually following a sham trial). Eight prisoners, including
three women, withstood the torture, refused to confess, and survived their ordeal. In 142 cases
the prisoners broke down and confessed their real and alleged „crimes.” Hence, our research
strongly suggests that torture served its intended purpose53, a few exceptions notwithstanding.54
As for the perpetrators, although the Soviets led the way,55 they found many
eager Polish collaborators. Although no thorough search has been undertaken in the
secret police personal files nationwide, the evidence accumulated here suggests that
most of the functionaries of the Communist terror apparatus were ethnic Poles of
lower class origin. The witnesses mention but a few Jewish Communist perpetrators.
56 At times, the crimes were perpetrated jointly by the Soviets and Poles. For
example, between 1945 and 1955 in a military restricted area of Biedrusk near
Poznaƒ, dozens of prisoners were tortured and summarily shot by Soviet and Polish
Communist military intelligence officers. The executions took place in a church. The
victims were lined up behind the altar and executed.57
Of course not everyone was physically tortured. For example, Major Zygmunt
Szendzielarz („¸upaszko”) of the Wilno AK was only tormented psychologically.58
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However, preliminary research suggests that his case was an exception. His soldiers and
other insurgents were tortured routinely.
We have discerned three types of situations under which torture occurred: preliminary
interrogation, interrogation proper, and post-interrogation. First, while operating in the field, the
Communist secret police routinely tortured captured insurgents and suspected sympathizers to
extract information regarding the whereabouts of their confederates and arms stores. Second,
during the interrogation proper, the secret police applied torture to extract precise information
about the insurgency, political opposition, and war-time activities as well as to force the victims
to confess to trumped up charges, some of which were also morally damaging (e.g. the routine
but false allegations about collaborating with the Nazi police and murdering Jews and Soviets).
Third, during the post-interrogation the prisoners were sometimes tortured if they deviated from
their forced confession in court or just for the sake of it as they were serving their sentences in
jail. To put it plainly, whereas at the initial stage of an investigation the UB officers concerned
themselves with finding out the truth, the desired outcome of the intermediate stage was a full
confession which freely mixed truth with fiction.
The following examples, presented chronologically, concern mostly the interrogation
proper. However, in general, the evidence presented below attests to the prevalence
of torture at every stage of one’s experience with the Communist secret police.
Case by Case
Between September 1944 and 1945, about 3,000 prisoners were incarcerated at
a concentration camp run by the NKVD at Kàkolewica, near ¸uków in the Province of
Lublin. According to the estimates of the underground, up to 1,800 people were shot following
a gruelling interrogation. Cadet officer Antoni Sztolcman („Mewa”) was one of the
16 local NSZ-AK company soldiers seized between September 28 and October 6, 1944.
He and his friends were beaten daily and held in a dugout partly filled with water.
Because he refused to turn in his older brother, who was a Home Army fighter, the seventeen-
year-old CzesΠaw P´kaΠa was kicked on his head until he fainted. His NKVD interrogators
also shoved thin wooden splinters under his fingernails.59
On October 30, 1944, Major Jakub HaΠas („Kuba”) of the AK Lublin District Command
fell into an NKVD trap. He died of blood infection after the blows of the torturers shattered his
ribs and punctured his lungs on December 30, 1944. His underling, Lieutnant Witold Engelking
(„Prot”), was captured on November 7, 1944, and beaten to death shortly after.60
In the fall of 1944, AK soldier Irena Antoszewska-Rembarzowa was interrogated
by the NKVD in Lublin. Although pregnant, she was ordered to strip and when she
refused, her Soviet interrogator beat her on her head until she fainted.61
In February 1940, Father MichaΠ Pilipiec („MichaΠ”) volunteered for the underground
Union of Armed Struggle (ZWZ), and later the AK. First, he was a chaplain of the BΠazowa outpost
and later he became the head chaplain for the Rzeszów sub-district (obwód). Father
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Pilipiec continued his underground activities under the Soviet occupation until he was arrested
by the NKVD and Polish Communist secret police led by Zygmunt Bieszczanin on
December 3, 1944. He was brutally tortured at the Lubomirski Zamek prison in Rzeszów. He
shared his cell with AK soldiers Dominik Sobczyk, StanisΠawa Rybka („Szpak”), Józef Bator,
and Jan Szela. On December 7, Father Pilipiec was sentenced to death along with his cellmates.
The prisoners were shot the same day, except for cadet officer Rybka who escaped from
the place of the execution and left the following account of torture:
The priest was unable to stand on his own. We helped him to reach his straw
mattress. Then we put him down on it. He was terribly massacred. His cassock
was torn in many places. There were wounds all over his body. The skin on his head
was broken and a stream of blood dripped from it. He writhed in pain. This must
have been some incredible pain as the priest was unable to refrain from crying and moaning.62
In March 1945 the Communist secret police boss of Radom, Jan Byk aka CzesΠaw
Borecki, arrested the wife of AK-WiN Captain Stefan Bembiƒski („HarnaÊ”). To force the
woman to reveal the whereabouts of her husband and his confederates, Byk „beat me
with a flat of his hand on my face, breaking my teeth.”63
On April 18, 1945, the NKVD and the UB seized a few soldiers of the NZW’s Emergency
Special Action (Pogotowie Akcji Specjalnej – PAS) in Lubaczów, including Lieutenant Konstanty
Kopf („Zawisza”). After three days in local jail, the prisoners were transferred to the UB headquarters
in Rzeszów. Tortured from April through October 1945, Kopf recalled that:
The interrogation sessions lasted 24 hours. The UB interrogators applied a variety
of physical torture. That included hitting the prisoner, suspending him tied
from a bar, tearing off his fingernails, beating him on the soles of his feet,
applying electric shocks during questioning, and putting him in solitary
confinement [karcer]. This was a closed cell two meters by two with a large,
round hole in the middle leading to the septic tank down below which served
as the main depository for refuse from the whole jail. The prisoner could only
stand up in that cell and walk around that hole. The stench of feces and amonia
caused one’s eyes to become infected. Standing caused one’s legs to swell.
If the prisoner was not able to withstand that kind of torture, he would fall into
the hole and drawn. There were also instances of the prisoner standing in that
cell and they hosed him with water. The present writer was sentenced to 102 hours
of solitary confinement.64
In December 1944 and August 1946, in Nisko, the UB officer StanisΠaw
Suproniuk arrested Lieutenant Skarbimir Socha („JaskóΠka”) of the NOW-AK-NZW. First
in Nisko and then in Rzeszów, „Suproniuk beat me with a chain and his assistant Józef
Orsa with the butt of his submachine gun.”65 In April 1945 Suproniuk and his underlings
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arrested Janina Oleszkiewicz, the wife of the NOW-AK-NZW insurgent Major Franciszek
Przysi´˝niak („Ojciec Jan”). She was in an advanced stage of pregnancy. Oleszkiewicz was
interrogated overnight and then taken out for a ride and summarily shot.66
In August 1945 the secret police arrested Captain Kazimierz Moczarski, who
served in the Home Army during the Nazi occupation and afterward in one of its clandestine
successors, the Delegation of the Armed Forces (Delegatura SiΠ Zbrojnych – DSZ).
Moczarski was also a liberal and a leader of the center-leftist Democratic Party
(Stronnictwo Demokratyczne – SD). As Moczarski recalled, UB Colonel Józef Goldberg,
aka Jacek Ró˝aƒski, „told me that… I would go through a ‘hellish interrogation’ – which
really happened later.” Ró˝aƒski threatened the victim that he would receive the death
penalty. He also explained that „we can always prove that you were a Gestapo agent
because we have the blank originals of the official stationery of the Gestapo, their rubber
stamps, and the like. We also are holding such former Gestapo members who will very gladly
sign a post-dated file prepared by us that you were a Gestapo agent.” Although Moczarski was
tortured horribly, he refused to confess his „crimes” but was nonetheless sentenced to death.
Subsequently, Moczarski enumerated forty-nine different types of torture he was
subjected to by eight officers of the UB during the interrogation which lasted from
November 30, 1948, to September 22, 1952. The torture included beating with a nightstick,
a piece of wire, and a metal rod on Moczarski’s throat, nose, fingers, and feet; tearing
out his hair (from his genitals, beard, head, and chest); burning him with cigarettes
and candles (on his lips, eyes, and fingers); crushing his toes with jackboots; kicking his
entire body; stabbing him with needles; injuring his rectum with a screw and a stool leg;
forcing the prisoner to do sit-ups until he fainted; forcing the prisoner to run up and down
the stairs for long periods of time; locking him naked in solitary confinement; depriving
him of sleep for up to 9 days at a stretch and preventing him from falling asleep by periodically
slapping his face; forcing him to stand at attention for hours with his hands
raised; and depriving him of food and drink for days. Physical torture was accompanied
by psychological torment. It included depriving Moczarski of any contact with his family;
informing him alternately that his wife „whom...[he] loved very much” was either
dead or cheating on him; writing on the forehead of this famous anti-Nazi fighter the
word „Gestapo”; and, finally, locking him in a cell for almost a year with Gestapo men,
including SS-General Jürgen Stroop, the executioner of the Warsaw ghetto. All these and
other methods were employed to force Moczarski to talk.67
In September 1945, the Communist secret police captured insurgent liaison
Barbara Nagajewicz-WoÊ („Krystyna”) of the AK-WiN unit led by Major Heronim
Dekutowski („Zapora”). Despite being tortured for three weeks, she refused to budge and
was sentenced to 10 years in jail. According to an account of her torture in Lublin,
This was a terrible night. She was beaten. She screamed... Investigating
officer Maksymiuk beat her with a wire-tipped pole. He threw ‘Krysia’ over
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a chair, pulled up her skirt, and whipped her. Then she was prostrated on the floor
and the torturers poured cold water into her nose. She lost consciousness several
times. ‘Will you talk?’ they asked her when she opened her eyes. She kept silent.
‘Whip her some more!’ Maksimiuk yelled. She was thrown back into her cell
at 7:00am. She was completely covered in blood... The beating and torture did
not help. ‘Krysia’ kept completely silent.68
In September 1945 in Urz´dów an UB expedition caught Mrs. Gajewska, whose
son served in the AK-WiN „Zapora” unit. She was tortured in front of her other son,
StanisΠaw, who was 15-years old at the time. UB Captain Pokrzywa attempted to force
the boy to reveal the whereabouts of his brother: „StaÊ did not answer. The scream of his
mother, who was being beaten, reverberated in his ears.” The same expedition captured
at the time several AK-WiN insurgents. They shot three, refused any medical help to two
wounded guerrillas, and beat their three colleagues with wooden sticks in front of the villagers
of Urz´dów-B´czyn who were forcibly herded to witness the execution.70
In September 1945, to discourage support for the insurgents, the UB men in
Bielsk Podlaski beat a civilian suspect with a board studded with nails. Then they sent his
bloody shirt to his wife as a warning, finally releasing her husband after a while.
Consequently, the man told the insurgents: „Gentlemen, please do not stay at my farmstead!
Forgive me! Or kill me! I can’t stand being arrested again.”71
In ¸ódê, the infamous security officer Major Adam Humer ordered his underlings
to hold down the captured insurgent cryptographic expert, Second Lieutenant Maria
Hattowska of the WiN. Then Humer stood on her chest and beat her on her crotch with
a steel-tipped whip. Humer applied similar methods to another woman, the insurgent
liaison Second Lieutenant Ruta Czapliƒska of the NZW. Aside from torturing many suspects,
he and his colleagues, including UB Second Lieutenant Tadeusz Szymaƒski, beat to
death at least one independentist, Tadeusz ¸ab´dzki, whose „crime” was to have edited
underground publications.72
Between December 27, 1945, and January 26, 1946, the secret police launched
an anti-insurgent expedition in the area of Drohiczyn. „Thirty-six persons were arrested.
In many villages people were beaten and tortured on the spot. The secret police demanded
the surrender of weapons by persons who often had none.”73
On January 13, 1946, uniformed secret police troops of the Internal Security
Corps (Korpus Bezpieczeƒstwa Wewn´trznego – KBW) raided M´˝enin near Siedlce and
Drohiczyn. They seized insurgent post commander Edward Gregorczuk („Bonawentura”)
and two of his soldiers, all of them seasoned anti-Nazi and anti-Communist fighters.
Gregorczuk „was subjected to incredibly cruel torture. After he was terribly beaten, with
his face massacred and his bones broken, the UBP and the KBW drove him around the
area to force him to denounce members of the underground to them. Gregorczuk refused
to...[and] he was killed by functionaries the Communist terror apparatus... near M´˝enin.”74
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In February 1946, in the county of KraÊnik, the NKVD and UB arrested several
hundred independentist sympathizers in a massive sweep. They were then brought to the
UB headquarters in KraÊnik. According to an underground dispatch,
Everyone is accused of [illegal] possession of weapons. However, because they
do not have any weapons, no one confesses to possessing any. The UB tries to
force an inculpatory confession. Namely, the detainee is laid out on a bench.
Two UB-men or bolsheviks [i.e., NKVD] sit on him. One sits on his head and
the other on his back. The third beats him on the heels of his feet with
a walking stick. On average one receives 1,000 blows on the heels. After such
an interrogation, the prisoner is unable either to walk or to stand because his bones
are shattered. Another way [to extract confessions] is to pour water into one’s nose.
Apart from this they wave a gun before the prisoner’s eyes and threaten to shoot him.
In one instance, while issuing such threats, a shot was fired and shattered the knee
of the person under interrogation.75
In March 1946, following the assassination of a local Communist party apparatchik,
the UB seized Albert Bil in Krzemieƒ near Szczecin. Bil had been a Home Army
soldier in the Wilno area but after mid-1945 he discontinued his insurgent activities and
had nothing to do with the assassination. His arrest was an act of approximated terror,
striking at a possible rather than actual culprit. Alfred Zimmerman supervised the interrogation
of Bil. In the course of the interrogation of March 23, 1946, the AK soldier had
six of his teeth crushed with a pair of pliers, needles jammed under his fingernails, and a
chair leg jammed into his rectum. Finally, Zimmerman ordered that Bil be locked into
„the barrel of truth,” a closed container half-filled with feces. After a while, the man confessed
and was sentenced to 10 years.76
On April 15, 1946, the secret police arrested Piotr Kosobudzki, an officer of the
PAS NZW ¸ódê. He left the following account of his ordeal:
The leading interrogator in our case was the Jewish officer Frenkel. His assistant
was a muscular ape named Bocheƒski. Frankel sat behind the desk and asked
questions. To stress his own seriousness, he played with a pistol. Meanwhile,
Bocheƒski, foaming at the mouth, kept hitting me with a stick [paΠa] on my head,
repeating one word over and over again: „talk, talk” or „sign it, sign it”….
One time Bocheƒski broke a police batton on my head, and then a massive chair.
Finally, he beat me with a chair leg…
One of my tormentors, a Jew named Zajdel, had a magnificent way of proving false
confessions right. He made me lay my hands down on the table and he hit me with
a rod [pr´t] on my nails. If I withdrew my hand, that meant to him that I was
not telling the truth.
During that interrogation they often changed their tactics abruptly.
They offered me a cigarette allegedly to calm my nerves. When I took a drag on
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it once, they would box me on my jaw so hard that the cigarette either was
crushed between my lips or fell down. They dubbed this procedure, in
the secret police swaggering jargon, „to let him smoke.77 Occasionally, Frenkel
was capable of being perfidiously “kind.„ While the tired executioner Bocheƒski
rested on a chair, Frenkel “sympathized„ with my plight: “Do you think it would be
hard for us to announce that you died of blood infection?78
On May 14, 1946, the UB men of ¸om˝a arrested the grade school teacher
Halina Sawicka aka Komorowska („Jerychonka”) in Cwaliny Du˝e. At seventeen, the
woman joined the independentist underground during the first Soviet occupation in 1939.
She continued her clandestine activities against the Nazis. During the second Soviet occupation
in 1945 she served as a local liaison of the National Military Union and as a distributor
of the underground press. The search of her household failed to yield any incriminating
material. Nonetheless, Sawicka was taken to ¸om˝a where UB Lieutenant Eliasz
Trokenheim and his men beat her on the soles of her feet and repeatedly hit her face,
breaking two of her teeth. Then, the woman was summarily sentenced to death in a mock
trial at the UB headquarters that lasted less than three minutes. Together with six other
victims, Sawicka was stood against a wall to be shot. Unexpectedly, she and another prisoner,
Domuratówna, were reprieved. However, the five men suspected of independentist
activities were shot right then and there in front of the petrified Sawicka. Still, the woman
refused to confess.79
In May 1946, the Resistance Movement of the Home Army [ROAK] unit of Wiktor
Zacheusz Nowowiejski („Je˝”) freed one of its soldiers, Edmund Morawski („Lipa”), from
a prison ward at the hospital in Przasnysz.80 The liberated insurgent was subsequently
hidden at the farmstead of Kazimierz Chrzanowski. Morawski had his legs burned and
smashed by the secret police and required urgent medical attention. His host recalled that
the insurgent „had unhealed wounds on his feet and broken bones were protruding from
his open wounds… Throughout his incarceration he was kept in a small cell. He was so
exhausted by the interrogation that he was in a critical state both physically and psychologically.”
In Poznaƒ, the Military Counterintelligence (Informacja Wojskowa) officers routinely
tortured their prisoners. For example, between April and July 1946 Kazimierz S.
was kept in a basement filled with cold water. His interrogators beat him with rifle butts
and rubber truncheons and crushed his fingers in the door crack. The military counterintelligence
also shot their prisoners summarily.82
On June 18, 1946, the secret police caught Henryk Jarzàbek („Tolek”) of the
Conspiratorial Polish Army (Konspiracyjne Wojsko Polskie – KWP). While making the
arrest, the policemen killed his brother, Kazimierz. Subsequently,
I was taken to KoÊciszew and there at the manor house the so-called interrogation
commenced. Among other things, they inserted my hand in the door crack,
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closing the door gradually on it and crushing my fingers. Then they pushed
a needle under my fingernails. Next, I was taken to Piotrków Trybunalski,
where at the Military Intelligence headquarters I was interrogated and constantly
beaten with a whip.83
In July 1946 in Gdaƒsk, the UB captured Danuta Siedzikówna („Inka”). This
seventeen-year-old girl served as a medic with the insurgent unit of Major Zygmunt
Szendzielarz („¸upaszko”). The UB men stripped her naked during the interrogation sessions.
She was „beaten and abused.” The teenager stubbornly refused to confess. Later,
„Inka” refused to beg for clemency. She was promptly sentenced to death and shot on
August 28, 1946.84
Antoni J´draszek („˚uk”) of the KWP was arrested in August 1946 by the UB in
The so-called investigation was conducted by several thugs, usually drunk,
who bragged that they were ‘the Polish Gestapo.’ They were sadists without
any conscience or consideration. They beat me all over my body… They beat me
with their fists, a whip, and a stick. They kicked me. When I lost consciousness,
they poured water over me. The fate of the victim depended on the mood of
the UB men. Often they beat and tortured me for fun and pleasure, and to
fulfill their bestial desires. One time during an interrogation session they beat me so
much that I lost consciousness. I was dragged out on the corridor and doused
with a bucket of cold water. After I regained my senses, wobbling on my feet,
I attempted to get a drink of water. Then one of the torturers, called ObierzaΠek,
kicked me and said: ‘for you, you fascist, there is no water in people’s Poland.’
They dragged me by my legs back to my cell…. As a result of such methods
of total terror, a human being slowly became an inert mass of meat incapable
of controlling his feelings and thoughts… Therefore the confessions, prepared by
a secret policeman, were full of contradictions. This caused more interrogation
sessions and torture and so on. Finally, one signed anything that one was given,
without any reading, or making any corrections. Every correction or objection
meant a new round of beating and torture. 85
The superior officer of Jarzàbek and J´draszek, Lieutenant Jan Nowak („Cis”) was
arrested on September 14, 1946. Subjected to cruel torture, Nowak confessed on October 11,
1946, and was sentenced to death. This sentence was later commuted to 15 years.86
In October 1946 the UB arrested 18-year old Tadeusz Sikorski and his sister
WΠadysΠawa Sikorska-˚órawska of Lipinki near Tuchola. Both had served in the
Pomeranian Gryphon (Gryf Pomorski) and, later, the AK; Tadeusz had also survived torture
by the Gestapo and imprisonment at the Stutthof concentration camp. After the war
the siblings cooperated with the unit of WΠadysΠaw Heliƒski („MaΠy”) which was subordinated
to the „¸upaszko” squadrons. One of the partisans was arrested by the secret police
and broke down during the interrogation, implicating the Sikorski family. During an ear-
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lier raid of their farmstead on June 3, 1946, the UB shot their older brother Jan, who was
an insurgent commander. Next, the secret police seized Tadeusz and WΠadysΠawa. The UB
„beat [us] more than the Gestapo.” Both siblings were tortured and sentenced to jail. He
received eight years, and his sister nine.87
Upon his arrest, Piotr Woêniak, an officer of the AK and NZW, was first forced to
stand at attention non-stop for 24 hours. Next, he was interrogated continuously for 72
hours. According to his memoirs,
When on the second day various methods of psychological pressure failed,
Capt. Gajda and his superior… attacked me. I was hit on the face…, and again.
I briefly passed out and my legs buckled but I did not fall. Then I received
dozens of blows to my head, face, chest, and the entire upper portion of my torso.
After a while I could not hear anything but buzz in my ears, pain in my head,
and the room floated and fell with me. I think I was on the floor….
After a brief rest…., Gajda began to kick me with his jackboot on my shin,
systematically from my foot up to my knee…. His face reflected either sadism
or drug addiction. He was hitting me and smiled with a satanic grin as if
deriving pleasure from the torture. After many blows, the skin on my legs was
completely torn off. Gaping and bleeding wounds formed, and after a score
of hours my legs swelled enormously. I could not stand up although they were
forcing me with kicks to do just that.... When that did not work and I continued
to refuse to confess, they turned to another, more effective type of torture.
They used a metal rod covered with rubber to beat me on the soles of my feet…
I felt at that time that my brain would explode under my skull…. I could not get
up on my feet, so I was crawling on my hands and knees. And then the ubowcy
[UB-men] kicked me anywhere they could as if I were an inanimate object.88
In August 1946, the UB apprehended Lieutenant Edward Bzymek-StrzaΠkowski
(„Swoboda”), who led the intelligence arm of Freedom and Independence (WiN). He was tortured
cruelly and, consequently, attempted suicide by plunging headlong from a third floor window at
the police headquarters. Bzymek-StrzaΠkowski survived, albeit completely crippled. While delirious
at the prison hospital in Cracow, he was drugged and his interrogators successfully forced him
to confess his „crimes.”89 His liaison, StanisΠawa RachwaΠ („Zygmunt”), was seized in Warsaw on
October 30, 1946, and tortured for eleven months before being sentenced to death.90
On October 23, 1946, after a fire fight, the KBW and UBP captured two wounded
insurgents hiding at a farmstead near Tuchola, Pommerania. One of them, BolesΠaw
PaΠubicki („Zawisza”) broke down under torture and provided his captors with the names
of 35 civilian supporters who were promptly arrested.91
Between November 1946 and January 1947, in Krosno, the secret policeman
BronisΠaw P. „in order to force the arrested Jan M., a former soldier of the AK and member
of the WiN, to talk beat him many times during his interrogation, forced him to sit on
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the leg of a stool, inserted his fingers in a door crack and then he [the secret policeman]
would slam the door.” In the case of the AK soldier Jan G., the security man „beat him
with a cable until the man fainted, …forced him to hop around while holding his ankles,”
and forbade him „to use the toilet.” He also dragged his victim by the ankles down the stairs.92
On December 21, 1946, the UB arrested the peasant Aleksander Florczuk of
Kolonia Kamieƒczyk. He was tortured and confessed that for one night, on December 12,
1946, he sheltered and fed a 12-man strong insurgent detachment of Captain WΠadysΠaw
¸ukasiuk („MΠot”) of the AK-WiN. On December 23, 1946, Florczuk was formally charged
and shot the following day, Christmas Eve, following a „trial” that lasted an hour.93
Henryk ¸oÊ („Tur”) served in the AK-NOW-NZW units of Second Lieutenant
StanisΠaw Pelczar („Majka”) and Józef Zadzierski („WoΠyniak”). In January 1947,
I went into hiding. The militia and the NKVD observed my house and when I
came by once they arrested me and took me to the [police] post in Krzeszów.
They beat me there, mostly with an iron rod on the soles of my feet. I was only able
to stand on my toes. They tied up my hands and legs and suspended me on a beam.
They poured water into my nose and gagged my mouth….. The militiamen
[Jan] Hasiak… and… [Jan] Tryka beat me the most…. I said to him [i.e. Tryka]:
‘I saved your life [by having freed him earlier from insurgent captivity], and you
are beating me.’ It made no impression on him.94
The secret police subjected MirosΠaw Ostrom´cki of the NSZ to sleep deprivation,
starvation, psychological torture, and beating. After falling seriously ill, the victim was
hospitalized only to be abruptly taken out of the infirmary and thrown into a tiny, freezing
cell with a low-celing filled with excrement. Ostrom´cki soon confessed and was sentenced
to death. His sentence was later commuted to life in prison.95
For participating in the underground scouting movement of the AK, Marian
Barcikowski was imprisoned by the Nazis in Piƒczów in 1944. Two years later he was
arrested by the UB and NKVD and incarcerated in the same jail along with some friends.
„The interrogation methods we were subjected to were more refined than those of the
Gestapo. The ‘arguments’ used during the interrogation sessions included: the leg of a
chair, a hard rubber truncheon, the rifle butt of a sub-machine gun, being kicked all over
our bodies, and being beaten by fist. Each time we were tortured until we lost consciousness.”96
Between 1946 and 1948 UB man Józef S. of Rzeszów tortured at least 20 insurgents
of the AK-WiN and NOW-NZW. Beating and kicking his victims was the norm as was
food and sleep deprivation. Józef S. further delighted in stripping his prisoners naked and
exposing them to extreme winter conditions in an unheated solitary cell.97
On May 8, 1947, Cavalry Captain Witold Pilecki was seized by the UB. Pilecki
fought the Nazis in 1939 and joined the underground afterwards. In 1941 he volunteered
to be arrested and sent to Auschwitz, so he could report to his superiors about the camp.
Eventually, Pilecki escaped from the camp and fought the Germans as a Home Army offi-
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cer. Taken prisoner, he survived a POW camp and joined the Free Polish Forces in the West.
Dispatched back to Poland, he was promptly arrested and charged with espionage. The
UB men not only tore off his fingernails but also beat him, starved him, and held him in
solitary confinement. Following six months of brutal interrogation, on November 4, 1947,
Pilecki confessed to being a „Gestapo agent” and a „spy for [General] Anders.” He was
shot soon after.98
In July 1947 the secret police arrested a prominent Nationalist politician, Adam
Doboszyƒski. His only „crime” was that he returned from the West hoping to persuade the
insurgents to cease their armed struggle. Instead, the Communists accused him of being
an American and British spy and, of course, „collaborating with the Hitlerites,” an absurd
charge in the light of Doboszyƒski’s anti-German ideology, exemplary anti-Nazi combat
record, and the fact that between 1940 and 1945 he served with distinction in the Polish
Armed Forces in France and England.99 Before he was shot for his „crimes,” the politician
informed the court about his ordeal with the secret police:
The moment came when the interrogating authorities presented the charge
of my [alleged] collaboration with the German intelligence service… I resisted for
a long time and I did not want to confess to something that is not true… I continued
to struggle. Then they applied physical pressure against me…. I was beaten and
tortured for four days and nights non-stop… After four days and nights, seeing
that at best the torment will ruin my health, and therefore even an acquittal
would be worthless, I decided to confess to deeds that I had never committed
and to withdraw my confession at the first opportune moment, i.e. during
the first public trial… The investigation lasted two more years. I had to continue
incriminating myself because they threatened that the torture would start again.100
Second Lieutenant MichaΠ Biebrzyƒski („S´p”) of the NZW ¸om˝a surrendered
to the Communists during the amnesty in April 1947. He was arrested on September 5,
1947, tortured, tried, and sentenced to death, but later had his sentence commuted to life.
Bierzyƒski recalls his ordeal at the Security Office in ¸om˝a
One night sometime in October or November the doors to my cell opened…
„Get out,” they told me. They did not take me upstairs anymore but to an empty
room downstairs. There were whips, sticks, chains, and handcuffs hanging
on the wall. There were two wooden support beams [kozΠy] standing there,
and a long log. They tied my hands. They pulled up a chair and made me sit on it.
They placed my knees between my legs and inserted the log under my knees.
There were four thugs.
„Up!” They shouted. They lifted me up and I immediately turned
upside down. Then they rested each end of the log on the support beams.
And I was dangling down on it. It started to hurt me so much that I asked
them to kill me:
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„Shoot me, gentlemen, do not murder me this way.” After a while I heard
a noise and next thing I felt was that they were shoving a funnel into my nose.
And they were pouring something into it. Well, I was convinced I was drowning.
Water kept streaming out of my ears and everywhere. They were yelling but
I could not hear exactly. I only heard: „Confess, confess, you bandit!” Then
they kicked me a few times and threw me down on the floor. I was untied,
dragged on the floor, and propped up against the wall. The rest of the water
flew out of me and they asked me:
„OK, are you going to confess?” That’s how it’s going to be all day long.
„You are to denounce everyone. Where is the county commander? Where is the
district commander? Where is your contact place? Where are your hiding places?
Tell us everything!” I did not tell them anything however because I knew that
after I surrendered all contact spots and contact people were changed.
Because I did not tell them anything, they fell on me. They beat me
almost unconscious right away. Even before I answered, they beat me, and
then beat me some more. When I came to, regained some of my strength,
they lifted me up and one of them said: „Get out,” and again, holding me
under my arms, they dragged me to my cell.101
In November 1947 in Cracow, the UB captured Captain Franciszek BΠa˝ej, the
propaganda head of the WiN. „He was beaten for so long that his body started to rot and
gangrene set in.” The victim broke down and confessed.102
A Catholic priest recalled his ordeal with the UB, following a ten-day long torture session:
At one point… I still reflexively comprehended the situation because, crying like
a child, I stressed that my mother had taught me to do right and brought me up
to be an honest man. Finally, however, I broke down and testified that I was indeed
a spy. I confessed to such nonsense that my confession reflects best that
I was not of a right mind.103
Secret police Captain Roman Laszkiewicz, dubbed the „white executioner of the
Mokotów jail” (biaΠy kat Mokotowa) by his prisoners, handled the case of Andrzej
LeÊniewski, who was an opposition PSL journalist and a former AK officer. LeÊniewski
was framed in a scheme involving a non-existent underground group, contrived in a classical
secret police provocation in October 1947. Laszkiewicz interrogated LeÊniewski and
his father Wiktor. The son was beaten and kicked as well as forced to do hundreds of situps
and to stand naked at attention in sub-zero temperature. The father was interrogated
non-stop for 100 hours. „The torturers broke his fingers and beat him with a baton and
a steel rod.” Also, the AK-NOW officer and nationalist politician, Leon Mirecki, was beaten
with sticks and wires and forced to stand naked at attention in a freezing cell without
any windows by UB Lieutenant Colonel Józef ÂwiatΠo.104
In Warsaw, in August 1947, the UB arrested Jan Rado˝ycki of the AK and the SN,
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who had been active in Sanok. Rado˝ycki was questioned by two security men:
they began to beat me on my back, face, and hit my head against the wall,
while swearing at me horribly. Finally, I was made to sit on the leg of
an upturned stool in such a manner that it jammed against my hind bone,
which caused me great pain. After a short while, I fainted and fell on the floor.
They poured cold water over me and sat me down once again on that leg. As before,
I fell to the floor…. I decided to confess to belonging to the SN [but refused to
name names]… Therefore they started to beat me all over the place…. and to stomp
on my toes with jackboots. They also forced me to do sit-ups. Finally, they locked
me up in the so-called nest [dziupla]. That was a small chest where one could not
move for lack of space… I spent about 24 hours there which brought me
to the edge of my sanity. I prayed, I thought about various things, but I was
about to break down… The following day… they beat me again everywhere;
they stood me at attention with my hands up until I fainted. They forced me to
do sit-ups and, finally, they put me on the stool leg which, as before, caused me
to faint and fall to the ground.105
Arrested in the fall of 1947, after he had surrender during an amnesty, Major
Zbigniew Kulesza („MΠot”), a leading NZW commander from Northern Mazovia, underwent
mostly psychological torture. Marathon interrogation sessions and sleep deprivation
were the norm. He was tortured physically only three times, including once almost fatally,
which landed him in a prison hospital. However, to break down his resistance, the UB
simultaneously interrogated and tortured his wife, Barbara, in an adjacent room. Kulesza
was sentenced to life for „espionage.”106
The secret police caught insurgent Major Hieronim Dekutowski („Zapora”) in the
fall of 1947. Dekutowski had been in the field since 1939. He fought with the Free Polish
Forces in the West and was parachuted as a commando into Nazi-occupied Poland in
1943. From 1944, he began fighting the Communists. Upon his capture by the UB,
Dekutowski was tortured horribly and sentenced to death at a sham trial on November
15, 1948. The act of judicial murder was carried out half a year later. According to an
on the evening of March 7, 1949, the red executioners came to the cell in
the Mokotów prison to get Major ‘Zapora,’ Hieronim Dekutowski, who was
a commando [cichociemny] and a bearer of [Poland’s most coveted] Virtuti Militari
cross. He was thirty years, five months, and eleven days old. He looked like an
old man: grey hair, missing teeth that had been knocked out of his mouth [by the
interrogators], broken nose, hands, and ribs. His fingernails had been torn off
[during torture]. ‘We shall never surrender!’ he yelled sending his last message to
his fellow prisoners. According to documents, the sentence was carried out by
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Between January 1947 and December 1949 in Wieluƒ, UB officer Tadeusz R. tortured
at least six persons connected to the insurgent Conspiratorial Polish Army (KWP),
including Stefan Kaczmarek, Franciszek Gàsior, Józef MusiaΠ, and Antoni Teodorczyk. The
prisoners were beaten with „a fist, a stick, a steel rod and other tools all over their bodies.
Some of them were placed in a cellar, which was filled with water. Others were tied up
and had water poured down their nostrils and throat until they fainted.” 108
Father (Lieutenant Colonel) Józef Zator-Przytocki fought as a military chaplain
in 1939. Later, he joined the independentist underground under the Soviet occupation in
StanisΠawów. He fled the NKVD in 1940 to the Nazi-occupied part of Poland, where he
continued his clandestine activities in the Home Army in the Kraków area. After the return
of the Soviets to Poland in 1945, Father Zator-Przytocki escaped to Gdaƒsk. He was
arrested by the UB on September 5, 1948. Tortured horribly (including beating and isolation
in a cell where the temperature was below the freezing point), he refused to break
down. His faith guided him: „I’m a soldier of the Catholic Church. I must always and
everywhere maintain an inner balance. I cannot give in to pessimism. I must endure
everything with calm.” He survived his imprisonment albeit with greatly damaged
Home Army soldier WacΠaw Gluth-Nowowiejski joined an informal university student
group called „Keep Smiling” in Warsaw. He discontinued armed struggle out of deference
to his mother: WacΠaw was the only surviving of four siblings, three of his brothers
having been killed during the war. Further, he sustained a serious wound in his forearm
during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. Gluth-Nowowiejski nonetheless maintained a loose
contact with his comrades in the anti-Communist insurgency, caching weapons for
Wojciech Kostkiewicz of the WiN „Orlik” unit in May 1948. Soon after, the UB captured
Kostkiewicz and tortured him into revealing fifteen persons who had assisted him. Gluth-
Nowowiejski was seized in November 1948. The secret police falsely assumed that „Keep
Smiling” was a Western spy group. The UB men forced WiesΠaw to do sit-ups, kicked him,
and beat him. When Gluth-Nowowiejski was unable to stand the torture anymore, he
would shield his head with his wounded forearm. A blow to the wound invariably assured
an immediate loss of consciousness. He was sentenced to eight years in a show trial.110
In 1948 in Starachowice UB Lieutenant Marian N. tied up and suspended naked
from the ceiling more than a dozen AK and WiN soldiers whom he tortured. Aleksander
W., Henryk K., Marian P., Tadeusz M., ZdzisΠaw M., PaweΠ S., Zbigniew I., Jan T., Zygfryd
K., MieczysΠaw T., MieczysΠaw W., Aleksander K., Jan M. and others were also beaten with
a truncheon and a chair, deprived of food and sleep, forced to sit on a leg of an upturned
chair, and tied with a wire to a window. The UB officer also jammed needles under their
fingernails. As a result, some of them confessed to their crimes and were subsequently sentenced
by a Communist court. At least four of them received the death penalty and were shot.111
In April 1948, the secret police seized AK-WiN post commander Franciszek SΠowik
(„SmoΠa”) of ChwaΠowice near Tarnobrzeg. SΠowik, who was also a populist activist
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(PSL), recalled his experience as follows:
The prison cells of the Tarnobrzeg UB were simply moldy and damp basements
and dungeons without any windows or beds. One slept on the cement. There was
a barrel in the corner where one relieved oneself. It was emptied every few days.
One had trouble breathing because of the stench and odor of the wet and
unventilated prison cells as well as the smell of the decomposing feces. The screams
and moans of the individuals tortured and maltreated under interrogation caused us
to cower in the corner stressfully awaiting our own turn to be tortured. Our daily
allotment of food consisted or a piece of plain bread, half a liter of coffee, and
a helping of rye kasha that we had to eat out of an old tin can…. We had no spoons
at all. I spent five long weeks in the dungeons of the UB in Tarnobrzeg… I was
subjected to brutal and even sadistic interrogation. Beating was a daily occurrence.
Often the UB men applied an ingenious torture to me, for instance, the so-called
‘riding like Anders’ [jazda na Andersa]. It went as follows: the interrogated person
was stripped naked and placed upon the leg of an upturned stool. So this was quite
like in medieval times – one was impaled. Also, two or three secret policemen would
get on me and beat the soles of my feet with a rubber truncheon or a wooden stick.
The interrogators and their subordinates also specialized in beating the genitals…,
tearing off fingernails, and crushing fingers. After each interrogation the victim
was unable to return to the cell on his own. I still remember the names of some
of the torturers: Sikora, Âwiderski, Chudzik…., [and] Tworek…. After five
weeks of relentless interrogation and torture, I confessed to everything they
accused me of.112
Jan Wyszyƒski („J´druÊ”) fought in the insurgent „Huzar” unit. The secret police
attempted to force Wyszyƒski’s brother Józef to reveal the whereabouts of the insurgents.
In 1948 I was arrested once again on account of the AK, because I knew where
the partisans were hiding. The interrogation started. They stripped me naked,
beat me unconscious with sticks, and kicked me. One of the Polish officers, or rather
officers wearing Polish uniforms, sat on my head, and another on my legs….
On April 10, 1948, acting on the orders of [Russian] Lieutenant [Jan] Aleksiej,
the KBW dismantled and destroyed our entire farmstead in Lubowicz:
the house, shed, pigsty, granary, and barn.113
In April 1948, a secret police trooper forced a 12-year-old child to reveal the hiding
place of his insurgent brother. On May 1, 1948, the KBW discovered weapons hidden
at a farmstead in Radziszewo-Sieƒczuchy. They tortured Mr. Komorowski. Although innocent,
he was forced to denounce the owner of the secret cache. On May 22, 1948, following
a fire fight, the police troops wounded and captured Tadeusz Dom˝alski („Rekrut”).
He was tortured and denounced a number of insurgent supporters. Nonetheless, on July
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15, 1948, he was sentenced to death and later shot.114
In 1948, the UB arrested Józef and StanisΠaw Naumiuk along with their father of
Czeberaki near Parczew. All three had been AK soldiers during the war and later joined the
WiN. The Naumiuks were tortured horribly at the UB headquarters in Radzyƒ Podlaski:
I even sat on an electric chair with some sort of an apparatus. They attached
clamps to my hand and ear. Once they turned it on, blood flowed from every
crevice in my body… They also pumped water into me. They suspended me
upside down from a beam attached to the ceiling. They gagged my mouth and
dunked my face in a bucket full of water. And I would freeze. They told me only
to give them a sign that I had hidden weapons. When I did, they freed me and
told me to sign my confession. I’d tear them up. So they continued to torture me.
They poured kerosene into my brother’s bucket [before they dunked his head in].
In comparison to that the beating all over one’s body was pleasure.115
Józef Naumiuk persevered but his brother StanisΠaw broke down and confessed to having
cached weapons for the insurgents. He was promptly tried and shot as a „bandit.”
During several days in late July 1948 alone, the UB men interrogated Second
Lieutenant Henryk Wieliczko („Lufa”) of the „¸upaszko” unit 22 times. Sometimes the
torture sessions took place twice daily. After half a year of torture, the insurgent officer
broke down, revealed at least 50 hiding places (meliny) of his civilian confederates, and
confessed his own „crimes”. However, Wieliczko refused to denounce any of his living
comrades-in-arms. He was tried and sentenced to death on December 9, 1948. He was
shot on March 14, 1949.116
At the end of 1948 the UB arrested Witold Orczyk („Lipski”) of the Union of Armed
Struggle [Zwiàzek Walki Zbrojnej – ZWZ], Peasant Battalions [Bataliony ChΠopskie – BCh],
and, finally, WiN. He commanded the SΠoszów post near Cracow. On January 19, 1949,
Orczyk was brought back to his farmstead. According to his recollections,
my neighbors were forced at gunpoint to come to the farmstead. They were to tear
off the roof from all the buildings. The pretext was to search for weapons and
ammunition in the straw roofs…. The UB officer Siekiera smashed the floor
in the kitchen and the living room and broke the windows and window frames
with an ax. Another one climbed up to the attic and smashed the wooden ceiling
with a hatchet... At that point a provocation took place. The adjutant of
Colonel [Teodor] Duda came up to me and showing me a piece of paper asked:
‘Do you know this?’ ‘I do not know what this is,’ I responded. ‘This is an
identification card of a female Soviet parachutist, whom you murdered, and you
hid her ID in your roof! Where did you bury the body? Talk!,’ he commanded hitting
my face. They threw me to the floor and began beating me with an iron fire-poker
all over my body, on the soles of my feet in particular. After a while, they lifted
me up, yelling: ‘Where did you bury her?’ When I regained my senses, I asked:
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‘What kind of a parachutist carries an ID on her?...’ ‘You are so smart,’ he yelled,
while hitting my face.117
Between April 1948 and April 1949, the secret police arrested 48 members of the
underground Polish Military Organization (Polska Organizacja Wojskowa – POW). UB
functionary Wilhelm A. tortured six of them in SΠawno, DarΠowo, and the adjacent localities.
Torture included sleep deprivation, beating, and forcing the victims to sit on the
upturned leg of a stool.118
Izabella Kochanowska („Iza”) served as a medic and liaison both in the AK-WiN
„Zapora” unit and in the NSZ company under Captain WacΠaw Piotrowski („Cichy”) in
the Lublin area. She was arrested on May 1, 1949. „Iza survived horrible interrogation sessions.
She confessed nothing. She gave no one away.” Kochanowska was sentenced to six years.119
Between March and July 1949, two insurgents, Józef Olek and StanisΠaw
Rydzewski, were beaten by the UB until they confessed to a murder they did not commit.
This was done so that they and their commander, Roman Szczur („Urszula”), could be
tried as common bandits and executed in infamy.120
In the summer of 1949, the UB captured Father WΠadysΠaw Gurgacz and his
underground soldiers. They were tortured horribly; most confessed to their „crimes.”
Father Gurgacz chose to incriminate mostly himself to spare his followers. He was sentenced
to death and shot on September 14, 1949.121
From September 19 to December 19, 1949, secret police officer Janusz B. of
L´bork tortured mercilessely teenage members of the Polish Underground Scouting
organization (Polski Skauting Podziemny). „During multiple-hour night interrogation sessions
he beat his victims all over their bodies, esspecially on their heads, while cursing
them and threatening to kill them.” Likewise, secret police officer Jan L. meted out a similar
treatment to the arrested members of the secret group „Lech” of the Home Army in
KΠodzko near WrocΠaw. 122
Between October 1949 and April 1950, in Jarocin UB, Second Lieutenant Adam
G. beat on the calves and soles of their feet Henryk A., Edward P., Marian B., and
Wincenty J., who as members of the underground youth group White Rose (BiaΠa Ró˝a)
had disseminated anti-Communist leaflets. The UB man also forced them to sit on the
upturned leg of a stool.123
In 1949, Tadeusz Kopaƒski joined the underground Union of Active Struggle
(Zwiàzek Walki Czynnej) in Cracow, which was a part of the Insurgent Army (Armia
Powstaƒcza) in Wolbrom. He was arrested in 1950 and was subject to torture during
numerous interrogation sessions at the UB headquarters at Monteluppi Street in Cracow,
in Wronki prison, and in Jaworzno, a hard labor camp. According to Kopaƒski, „they were
beating me. I was forced to sit on an upturned stool. Its leg went straight into my rectum….
When they rushed into my cell, they beat me so much on my head and ears. I’m
completely deaf on one ear and I use a hearing aid for the other. Blood kept flowing from
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my ears… I urinated blood.” To force him to talk, Kopaƒski was also thrust naked into a
bunker during the Christmas holidays. Later, having received a 10-year sentence,
Kopaƒski (along with other prisoners) was beaten upon his arrival in prison and frequently
afterward „for fun” (dla zabawy) in the hard labor camp. The officers responsible
for the torture were Krupa, the „Frenchman,” and Zieliƒski.124
At the end of the 1940s and in the early 1950s, Major MieczysΠaw M. of the
Military Intelligence in Gdynia tortured at least 22 sailors suspected of being „enemies of
the people.” He beat them with his fist and a stick, crushed their fingers with a rifle rod,
forced them to sit on an upturned stool leg, doused them with water, and confined them
to a tiny solitary cell where a prisoner was unable to stand up.125
In Szczecin in 1949 and 1950, secret policeman Franciszek B. tortured at least
two men suspected of underground activities: WacΠaw B. and Marian D.126 Also in
Szczecin, between January 25 and February 4, 1951, the secret police arrested 15 members
of the Youth Resistance Movement (MΠodzie˝owy Ruch Oporu – MRO), which had
just barely begun functioning in Wolin, Rembertów, Ursus, and Warsaw. All suspects were
tortured, forced to confess, and sentenced up to 10 years in jail. The most brutal secret
police officer in the MRO case also dealt with a group of teenage scouts: The National
Front of Polish Youth (Narodowy Front MΠodzie˝y Polskiej – NFMP). Jan S. for instance
„tore the hair out of StanisΠaw K.’s head, kicked him on the head, and broke his fingers.”127
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, in Gdynia, the Communist military counterintelligence
officer MikoΠaj Kulik made sailor Franciszek Branecki stand on one leg for long
periods of time. Further, Kulik beat petty officer Tadeusz Korba with a whip and forced
sailor Kazimierz Sabadasz to sit on the stool leg and on an upturned bottle. He also beat
sailors Janusz Kumik and Tadeusz Mosiej. (Both were later sentenced to 15 years for having
listened to Radio Free Europe). Tadeusz Rogoziƒski recalled that after Kulik deprived them of
water he and his fellow prisoners were forced to drink their own urine. MieczysΠaw Albrychowicz
testified that Kulik and Lieutenant MieczysΠaw Mocek suspended him from a beam with his hands
tied behind his back.128 According to WΠodzimierz Sobaƒski, who was arrested in May1949, Kulik
immediately addressed me in a vulgar manner and then asked: ‘What band
did you belong to?’ I responded that I belonged to none. He told me that we would
see and ordered me to approach him. I came up to his desk and he hit me with
the flat of his hand on the ear. Then, he hit me again. So I kicked him. He kicked
me back on my stomach. Then the guards led me down to the cell.129
Between September 1949 and May 1950, in Bielsk Podlaski, UB Second
Lieutenant PaweΠ T. tortured Szczepan Jan C., who was suspected of supporting the
underground. The prisoner was beaten all over his body, deprived of sleep, and forced to
sit on the leg of an upturned stool.130
Home Army Major Julian Krzewicki was arrested in January 1948 in Gorlice for
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having passed on to a friend a single anti-Communist leaflet. Released quickly at first, he
was rearrested on February 2, 1950.
I was interrogated with the use of the most imaginative torture non-stop for
14 days and nights in the Gorlice prison of the UB. The interrogators changed
in shifts. I remained sleepless and almost completely without any food. I was beaten
on my face and kicked on my legs and my kidneys... I was often beaten by several
tormentors at once... They wanted me to confess that I belonged to the WiN,
collaborated with the Germans, murdered Jews and Soviet prisoners, and hid
weapons and ammunition... After 14 days of such torture I was hallucinating
and losing consciousness... Despite the torture, I refused to confess to the crimes
I did not commit. Therefore on April 29, 1951, I was released from jail for lack
of guilt.131
In March 1950 in Gdaƒsk, the secret police arrested at least a dozen boy scouts,
members of the underground Young Poland (MΠoda Polska) group. The boys were interrogated
non-stop and tortured. For example, Janusz Gielb, whose father, a Home Army
soldier, had perished in Auschwitz, was beaten and had his toes crushed with the jackboots
of the interrogating officers. Headed by Lieutenant Colonel Jan Amons, the UB men
involved in the interrogation were: Edward Solaƒski, Zygmunt Czaja, Leon Kwak,
WacΠaw Chrustowski, Roman PΠu˝yƒski, Kazimierz Jackiewicz, Hieronim Wiewióra, Józef
Âladewski, and others.132
In July 1950, dissident poet Wojciech Bàk was locked up in a psychiatric hospital,
where the secret police beat him on the head and, in particular, on the part of his skull
wounded during the Second World War. Bàk was never formally charged with any crime.
The torture was a punishment for his intended demonstration during a congress of Polish
literati, where he threatened to make an anti-Communist and anti-Jewish statement.133
For four days straight, between October 22 and 26, 1950, an officer of the Krosno
UB, WΠadysΠaw B., beat Antoni B., while forcing him to do sit-ups and jump up and down.134
Between October 24 and 27, 1950, in EΠk UB chief PaweΠ T. tortured Witold S.,
who was accused of „spreading gossip-propaganda and listening to an American radio
program”. The man broke down and incriminated his wife, who was involved with the
underground. Halina S. was arrested and also broke down under the interrogation which
continued non-stop for two days until she either committed suicide or was killed by the UB.135
On January 20, 1951, UB Colonel Józef ÂwiatΠo arrested Bishop CzesΠaw
Kaczmarek of Kielce. His interrogation sessions, which lasted up to 40 hours at a stretch,
were personally overseen by UB Colonel Jacek Ró˝aƒski. The bishop was tortured. He lost
19 of his teeth because of the beating. His tormentors also kept him in a tiny dark cell;
deprived him of food and sleep. Kaczmarek was charged with collaborating with the Nazis
and was accused of taking part in the post-war pogrom in Kielce in July 1946, even
though the ecclesiast was absent from the town at the time. The bishop broke down and
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confessed the untruth. He was sentenced to jail but, after 1956, his sentence was overturned.136
In Lublin, in April 1951, secret policemen interrogated Lieutenant Kazimierz
Poray-Wybranowski („Kret”) of the National Military Union (NZW) by breaking his teeth
with a gun butt, pouring industrial alcohol down his nostrils, and shoving a chair leg into
his rectum. At one point during a torture session, the presiding interrogator had sex with
a female officer in front of the suspect.137
Captured in the field in the early 1950s, MieczysΠaw Dudanowicz („Ponury”) of
the WiN was subjected to sleep deprivation, despite his injuries. He recalls that
I had a head wound, but I was interrogated non-stop, even at night. When I
was talking, I was falling asleep but they effectively woke me up. I was so tired
that I did not know what I was signing... They kept asking me about my connections
to Western states and the source of the inspiration for our unit.138
In PrzemyÊl, the UB-man Jan S. interrogated Leszek W., a participant in the
General Confederacy of Independent Poland (Generalna Konfederacja NiepodlegΠej Polski
– GKPN).139 The secret policeman „beat Leszek W. with a wooden cane on his back near
the kidneys. He forced him to sit for long periods of time on the leg of an upturned stool,
shaking him so that the leg would enter the rectum of the interrogated man. Next, as the
victim was screaming with pain, he [the secret policeman] forced onto his head a gas
mask to increase the pain.”140
In the Podlasie region the secret police pursued insurgent Captain WΠadysΠaw
¸ukasiuk („MΠot”), who was handicapped: he had a lame left leg. Security men often
arrested random persons with similar handicaps and tortured them.141
In ZamoÊç, UB Second Lieutenant MieczysΠaw Wybraniec tortured dozens of prisoners,
including WacΠaw JaΠowicki, Leonard Kalmus, Aleksander Panas, Zygmunt
Daniluk, and Edward Kudyk („Pr´dki”) of the AK-WiN. Aside from the the customary
beating and other similar „means of persuasion,” Wybraniec applied electroshocks to at
least four of his victims and burned out with hot irons the fingernails of at least one,
Aleksander P. Wybraniec kicked many of his prisoners with jackboots and bludgeoned others
(e.g. StanisΠaw J.) with a rifle butt. Wybraniec also beat to death a prisoner of Jewish
origin, who was suspected of assisting the underground. That death was officially ruled as
„heart failure.” At least once Wybraniec presided over the execution of his prisoners. His
underling in the secret police in ZamoÊç, Tadeusz GaΠecki, not only tortured prisoners but
also carried out several executions, including the shooting of eight AK soldiers in a single day.142
Between March and May 1951, Józef R. and other secret policemen tortured
Witold T. and his friends of the underground National Armed Forces of Young Poland
(Narodowe SiΠy Zbrojne MΠodej Polski). Aside from beating, Józef R. electrocuted, crushed
the skull, and squeezed the genitals of at least one of his prisoners who consequently
attempted to commit suicide. Between January and March 1954, in Koszalin UB, the very
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same officer Józef R. tortured several members of the underground KWP, including
Henryk B. The UB man beat his victims with a truncheon, crushed their hands with his
jackboots, and conducted marathon interrogation sessions during the night.143
Captured in May 1952, Witold BiaΠowàs („Witold”) of the WiN unit of Captain
Kazimierz Kamieƒski („Huzar”) withstood the torture and refused to incriminate his confederates.
Former pre-war minister and provincial governor, and a leader of the anti-Nazi
and anti-Communist civilian underground, Henryk Józefski, upon his arrest in 1952,
„was interrogated for twenty one months straight every day twelve hours per day.”145
In 1952, the secret police arrested about 200 persons in the so-called „Berg
affair.” At least some of them were connected with an American-backed espionage network
consisting of Polish underground members. One of the arrested couriers, Jan
Szponder of the SN-NOW-AK, implicated under torture as his assistants several Catholic
priests of the Cracow curia. The UB interrogators in charge of the case, Captains Florian
Mederer, Leon Wilczyƒski, WΠadysΠaw Zdanowicz, and Leon Midro, commenced arrests.
At least 20 persons were apprehended and seven of them were eventually tried. Most of
the prisoners broke down. For instance, Father BolesΠaw Przybyszewski confessed after he
was interrogated non-stop day and night, deprived of sleep, and subjected to psychological
torture. The interrogators delighted in yelling at the priest: „You whore!”. Three persons
were sentenced to death, including Father Józef Lelito, who confessed under duress.
Three prisoners did not give in and, subsequently, two of them were released.146
Interrogated between December 1 and 24, 1952, Archbishop Eugeniusz Baziak refused to
talk. He was not physically abused but „only” threatened despite his very serious heart
condition. According to the interrogation records, the archbishop responded repeatedly: „I
cannot answer this question because my conscience prevents me from revealing the name
of this particular person.”147 Father CzesΠaw Skowron perservered as well. He believes he
succeeded because he was coached by his fellow prisoners who psychologically prepared
him for the ordeal:
And indeed the investigative officer Kasza began yelling at me: „You prick,” „
You whore.” He told me to talk because they know everything anyway. Officer
Mederer hit me with his fist a couple of times. He also liked to spit directly
at my face. But otherwise they did not torture me.148
Arguably, lay Catholic activist Stefania Rospond experienced the most ruthless
treatment of all prisoners of the Cracow curia case for she refused to confess and held fast
until the end. Nonetheless, she received six years in jail. Rospond recalls that
I remember those three months that followed my arrest until the trial started
as a single, long interrogation session…. I fell on the floor; sometimes they
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dragged me to my cell and at other times they woke me up by kicking and
beating me. The first interrogation session took place still at the UB headquarters.
It lasted from Friday to Sunday past midnight, when I collapsed. During the first
night about 30 functionaries took turn interrogating me. They rotated. They were
male only. However, a woman performed a full body search on me. I kept telling
them that I did not know anything and anybody… Hitting me on my face,
sitting on a leg of a stool, standing at attention for 48 hours straight until one
collapsed. Then I was taken to the solitary cell [karcer]. At times, I started
hallucinating; some kind of visions appeared before my eyes. They extinguished
their cigarettes on my hands and on my face…. I do not remember the names
of the interrogators but I can still see their faces today. They probably thought that
if they took a simple peasant girl and threatened her, she would talk
and implicate others.149
In an unrelated case, Second Lieutenant Julian Czerwiakowski („Jerzy
Tarnowski”) of the NSZ and WiN was arrested by the UB and accused of „murdering
Communist activists and collaborating with the Gestapo.” After prolonged torture,
Czerwiakowski broke down and confessed „partly” to some of the „crimes” alleged
against him. He was sentenced to death and shot in January 1953 but five years later a
Communist court cleared him completely of any wrongdoing.150
In Nowy Sàcz, led by UB Lieutenants Stefkowski and PopioΠek, the secret policemen
suspended suspects on a hook and beat them with a whip. They inserted the fingers
and genitals of their victims into desk drawers and slammed them. They also jammed
pencils and needles under one’s nails, according to one of the victims, WΠadysΠaw MaΠek
of the WiN. 151
In December 1952, after the UB captured and tortured Kazimierz Radziszewski
(„Marynarz”) of the WiN unit of Captain Kazimierz Kamieƒski („Huzar”), in the course
of a single interrogation he revealed the names of 63 civilian supporters. „Marynarz” was
sentenced to death and shot. Soon, the civilian supporters saw their property confiscated
and children taken away to orphanages, while they were carted off to jail.152
In February 1953, a few teenagers founded the Underground Scouting
Organization (Harcerska Organizacja Podziemna – HOP) in Osieczna near Leszno. The
leadership included StanisΠaw Buçko, Andrzej Mateia, and BronisΠaw Gewert, who was
the eldest at 19 and had served in the AK during the war. Having coopted a few younger
boys and girls, the HOP cut the phone link to their locality and expropriated a radio at a
local „culture center” (Êwietlica) to stop propaganda broadcasts. The UB arrested everyone
within a month. The youngsters were tortured mercilessly. Teresa ˚ybura recalls that
the secret policemen Maksymilian S., Walenty B., and others called her names – „You
whore, you bitch” – and hit her on her face with their fists. They threatened me, if I did
not confess, they would put me in a stove and burn me alive.” Another teenager, Krystyn
Tomaszewski, remembers that „they beat me with their fists, blinded me with a flashlight,
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and yelled. However, the beating with fists and sticks was the worst.” Teresa Hope was
„only” tortured psychologically. Most confessed and they were tried in December 1953.
The sentences ranged from two to six years in jail. At least some of their secret police tormentors
are still around leading comfortable lives on generous state pensions.153 That
holds true for some of the other torturers described above.
The evidence presented here strongly suggests that torture was not only an
acceptable but also a desirable method that allowed the Communist masters of Poland to
project their power onto the conquered political opponents and the population at large.
Torture was intended to weaken the victim physically and psychologically. The act of confession
was an indispensable element of the process because it broke the spirit of the victim.
Notwithstanding whether the prisoner was confessing the truth or not, by yielding to
the interrogator the victim often became a mental slave who could now be made to obey
most of the bidding of his Communist master.
The cases presented here are just the tip of the iceberg. For example, in November
2002, the Katowice Office of the Institute of National Remembrance announced that it
was investigating 36 cases with multiple offenders and multiple victims of torture, as well
as murder, perpetrated by the Communist secret police between 1944 and 1956.154 These
cases continue to multiply as historians discover new documents concerning the
Communist crimes and newly emboldened victims and witnesses keep coming forth.
So far the focus has been overwhelmingly on the Stalinist period. However, in
time it will undoubtedly shift to more recent events, including the suppression of
„Solidarity”.155 For restoring the historical record is inexorably tied to a larger question of
moral and legal responsibility for the atrocities of Communist totalitarianism. 156 If the
Poles avoid addressing this and other ugly aspects of their past, they also will eschew
debunking themselves from those practices in their public life. After years of pseudonationalistic
symbolism created by the Communists through ruthless torture, false confessions,
and mendacious propaganda, the Poles need to restore the proper meaning of the
words „honor, patriotism, and independence”. Otherwise, they will cynically continue on
the noxious path of false consciousness imposed on them by the Stalinists with dire consequences
to their newly found freedom. For as Edward Peters aptly put it
Societies that do not recognize the dignity of the human person, or profess to
recognize it and fail to do so in practice, or recognize it only in highly selective
circumstances, become, not simply societies with torture, but societies in which
the presence of torture transforms human dignity itself, and therefore all individual
and social life. And a society which voluntarily or indifferently includes among its
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members both victims and torturers ultimately leaves no conceptual
or practical room for anyone who insists upon being neither.157
To build a new Poland in a new Europe entails first dealing with the nation’s totalitarian
past, including torture.
1 This paper was written for the 61st Annual Meeting of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America
(PIASA) at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, June 6-7, 2003.
2 Quoted in CzesΠaw Leopold and Krzysztof Lechicki, Wi´êniowie polityczni w Polsce, 1945-1956
(Warszawa: Wydawnictwo „MΠoda Polska,” 1981), 6.
3 MateriaΠy konferencji prokuratorów wojewódzkich z udziaΠem przedstawicieli MBP, 19 December 1950,
Archiwum Akt Nowych [afterward AAN], Prokuratura, file 1555, 5, quoted in Antoni Kura, „Represje
aparatu bezpieczeƒstwa publicznego w latach 1944-1956,” Biuletyn Instytutu Pami´ci Narodowej, no. 6
(June 2002): 29-33.
4 This is a letter smuggled out of a Communist jail and delivered to his wife in December 1950. A Polish underground
soldier of the Home Army, Ciepliƒski fought the Nazis and Communists. He was captured by the
Communist secret police, tortured, and shot on March 1, 1951. „Gryps ¸ukasza Ciepliƒskiego do ˝ony i syna z
grudnia 1950 r.,” quoted in Zbigniew Lazarowicz, „Mord na Mokotowie,” Nasz Dziennik, 3 March 2003.
5 For example, Henry VIII of England had the relatives and friends of his second wife, Anne Boleyn, tortured
to establish her marital infidelity, including incest. It is debatable whether the alleged infidelities took
place at all or the king was looking for a convenient excuse to get rid of his consort. If the latter was the
case, then the Boleyn affair falls outside the category of the mainstream application of torture.
6 All these legal authorities are quoted in Edward Peters, Torture (Philadelphia, Penn.: University of
Pennsylvania Press, 1996), 1 [afterward Torture].
7 A Polish underground fighter imprisoned by the Nazis secretly sent out a letter from jail describing the torture
one had to endure. It included pouring water into a prisoner’s nose, beating him on the soles of his feet,
and thrusting needles under his fingernails. See AAN, Delegatura Rzàdu, file 202/II-63, 151-52. For further
information on the torture by the Nazi secret police and its cooperation with the Nazi judiciary against the
Polish underground see also Leon Teresiƒski, „O dziaΠalnoÊci Sàdu Wojennego Rzeszy w okresie II wojny
Êwiatowej,” Biuletyn GΠównej Komisji Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich w Polsce, vol. 25 (1972): 189-198;
Juliusz Pollack, Wywiad, sabota˝, dywersja: Polski ruch oporu w Berlinie, 1939-1945 (Warszawa: Ludowa
SpóΠdzielnia Wydawnicza, 1991), 93-95.
8 Torture of Nazi concentration camp inmates is a separate issue, usually not connected to any police interrogation
but, rather, undertaken to satisfy the sadistic urges of the camp personnel or to punish an infraction.
9 This aspect of Communist terror is best depicted in a literary form by Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon
(New York, Macmillan, 1941). For a detailed historical analysis see Robert Conquest, The Great Terror: A
Reassessment (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990).
10 For example, whereas erstwhile secret policeman Colonel Grzegorz Kilanowicz aka Korczyƒski was severly
beaten, former military intelligence supervisor General Mendel Kossoj aka WacΠaw Komar was „merely”
deprived of sleep. Accused of „right-nationalist deviation” Korczyƒski withstood the torture. Suspected
of „cosmopolitanism,” Komar promptly broke down. See Jerzy Morawski, „Spacer dla wrogów partii,”
Rzeczpospolita, 18 July 2002; George H. Hodos, Show Trials: Stalinist Purges in Eastern Europe, 1948-
1954 (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1987), 135-154.
11 On the independentist insurgency see Zrzeszenie „WolnoÊç i NiezawisΠoÊç” w dokumentach, 6 vols.
(WrocΠaw: Zarzàd GΠówny WiN, 1997-2001); Jerzy Âlaski, ˚oΠnierze wykl´ci (Warszawa: Oficyna
Wydawnicza Rytm, 1996); Grzegorz Wàsowski and Leszek ˚ebrowski, eds., ˚oΠnierze wykl´ci:
Antykomunistyczne podziemie zbrojne po 1944 roku (Warszawa: Oficyna Wydawnicza Volumen and Liga
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Republikaƒska, 1999); Kazimierz Krajewski and Tomasz ¸abuszewski, BiaΠostocki Okr´g AK-AKO: VII
1944-VIII 1945 (Warszawa: Oficzna Wydawnicza Volumen and Dom Wydawniczy Bellona, 1997). The
standard published work on the WiN is Zygmunt Woêniczka, Zrzeszenie „WolnoÊç i NiezawisΠoÊç” 1945-
1952 (Warszawa: Instytut Prasy i Wydawnictw „Novum” – „Semex”, 1992). However, it was partly plagiarized
from Tomasz Honkisz, „Opór cywilny czy walka zbrojna? Dylematy polskiego podziemia politycznego,
1945-1952,” (Ph.D. thesis, Warszawa, Akademia Nauk SpoΠecznych przy Komitecie Centralnym
Polskiej Zjednoczonej Partii Robotniczej, 1990). On the overt independentist political opposition see Marek
Latyƒski, Nie paÊç na kolana: Szkice o opozycji lat czterdziestych (London: Polonia Book Fund Ltd.,
1985); Romuald Turkowski, Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe w obronie demokracji 1945-1949 (Warszawa:
Wydawnictwo Sejmowe, 1992); Andrzej Paczkowski, StanisΠaw MikoΠajczyk: Kl´ska realisty (Zarys
biografii politycznej) (Warszawa: Agencja Omnipress, 1991); MirosΠaw Piotrowski, Pro fide et patriae:
Stronnictwo Pracy i duchowieƒstwo KoÊcioΠa katolickiego na Lubelszczyênie po II wojnie Êwiatowej (Lublin:
OÊrodek Studiów Polonijnych i SpoΠecznych PZKS w Lublinie, 2001).
12 „O czym nie piszà szmatΠawce,” Polska i Âwiat, no. 3, vol. 7 (1 July 1945), Hoover Institution Archives,
Polish Subject Collection [afterward HIA, PSC], Box 61, Folder Polska i Âwiat.
13 See a secret communication (gryps) from „Tygrys,” quoted by Marek Dereƒ, „‘Warszyc’ i jego ˝oΠnierze,”
Nasz Dziennik, 23 April 2002.
14 The following prominent insurgent commanders chose that kind of death: AK-Wilno Land Self-Defense
(Samoobrona Ziemi Wileƒskiej – SZW) Staff Sergeant Anatol Urbanowicz „LaluÊ” (suicide, May 27, 1945), WiN
Major Marian Bernaciak „Orlik” (suicide, June 21, 1946), WiN Second Lietenant Zbigniew Sochacki „Zbyszek”
(suicide, July 3, 1946), WiN Sergeant Antoni Kopaczewski „Lew” (suicide, September 8, 1946), WiN Lieutenant
Jan WoÊ „Farys” (suicide, November 16, 1946), WiN Second Lieutenant Wiktor Zacheusz Nowowiejski „Je˝” (suicide,
December 6, 1946), NZW Staff Sergeant Józef Zadzierski „WoΠyniak” (suicide, January 1, 1947), The
„Thunder” Partisan Group Second Lieutenant Józef KuraÊ „Ogieƒ” (suicide, February 22, 1947), AK-SZW Sergeant
PaweΠ Klikiewicz „Irena” (suicide, May 17, 1947), NZW Lieutenant Henryk Jastrz´bski „Bohun” (suicide, April 13,
1948), WiN Second Lieutenant WacΠaw Kuchnio „Spokojny” (suicide along with his wife Zofia, June 8, 1948), WiN
Second Lieutenant Tadeusz Zieliƒski „IgΠa” (suicide, June 24, 1948), WiN Platoon Leader WΠadysΠaw Sobczak
„Czajka” (suicide, July 9, 1948), NZW Second Lieutenant Franciszek Majewski „SΠony” (suicide, September 26,
1948), WiN Platoon Leader Antoni Suliga „Wicher” (suicide, October 23, 1948), WiN Captain ZdzisΠaw Broƒski
„Uskok” (suicide, May 21, 1949), NZW Platoon Leader Piotr Rz´dzian „Szczupak” (suicide, January 15, 1949),
the Conspiratorial Polish Army (Konspiracyjne Wojsko Polskie – KWP) Second Lieutenant Andrzej Jaworski
„Marianek” (suicide, August 1949); NZW Lieutenant Kazimierz ˚ebrowski „Bàk” (suicide, after dispatching his
wounded son Jerzy „Konar”, December 3, 1949); WiN Lieutenant MieczysΠaw Pruszkiewicz „K´dziorek” (wounded
and dispatched by an underling, Walerian Tyra „Zuch,” who then committed suicide, May 14, 1951), WiN
Platoon Leader Lucjan Niemyjski „Krakus” (suicide, August 22, 1952), WiN Major Jan Tabortowski „Bruzda”
(wounded and dispatched by an underling, 23 August 1954). See Kazimierz Krajewski et al., ˚oΠnierze wykl´ci:
Antykomunistyczne podziemie zbrojne po 1944 r., 2nd expanded and corrected editon (Warszawa: Oficyna
Wydawnicza Volumen and Liga Republikaƒska, 2002), 79, 91, 112, 117, 120, 127, 129, 131, 138-40, 144, 147,
162-64, 195-96, 203, 228-29, 287, 292, 295, 309, 348 [afterward ˚oΠnierze wykl´ci].
15 For example, the underground paper of the NZW Przasnysz county command reported: „Ponownie
nasze szeregi obarczone zostaΠy smutkiem. ˚oΠnierz z oddziaΠu K.P. „Wiosna” chorujàc na silne osΠabienia,
dostrzeliΠ si´ z wΠasnego pistoletu. Bohaterskim wykazem swej Êmierci zszedΠ z tego Êwiata, rozumiejàc jakim
ci´˝arem byΠ dla kolegów.” See „WiadomoÊci organizacyjne,” GΠos o WolnoÊç, 12 December 1948, HIA, PSC,
Box 58, Folder GΠos o WolnoÊç, in Marek Jan Chodakiewicz and Wojciech Jerzy Muszyƒski, eds., „Polska
dla Polaków!”: Antologia podziemnej prasy narodowej, 1939-1949, 2 vols. (forthcoming)
16 Kazimierz Krajewski and Tomasz ¸abuszewski, „¸upaszka„, „MΠot”, „Huzar”: DziaΠalnoÊç 5 i 6
Brygady Wileƒskiej AK (1944-1952) (Warszawa: Oficyna Wydawnicza Volumen, 2002), 648 [afterward
„¸upaszka”, „MΠot”, „Huzar”].
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17 Raport z przesΠuchania Kowalskiej vel Boguckiej Stefanii, 11 November 1945, quoted in Sebastian
Bojemski „Pisane krwià bohaterów,” Nasz Dziennik, 22 August 2000. Next, while interrogated by the secret
policemen Jan Matejczuk and Antoni Trybus of the Warsaw UB, Stefania Broniewska provided similar
answers, despite torture. On December 11, 1946, she was sentenced to 8 years in jail. Bojemski’s research
is based, among other things, on Akta sprawy Antoniego Symonowicza i towarzyszy and Akta sprawy
MirosΠawa Ostrom´ckiego, Archiwum Historyczne Miasta StoΠecznego Warszawy, Wojskowy Sàd Rejonowy
[afterward AHMSW, WSR], files Sr. 23/46 and Sr. 78/47. See also Krajewski, ˚oΠnierze wykl´ci, 352.
18 12:40 could mean 0:40 am as well as 12:40 pm. Time keeping on various secret police documents available
to us was not standardized. See Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, ed., Ejszyszki: Kulisy zajÊç w Ejszyszkach:
Epilog stosunków polsko-˝ydowskich na Kresach, 1944-45: Wspomnienia-dokumenty-publicystyka, 2 vols.
(Warsaw: Fronda, 2002), 2: 14 [afterward Ejszyszki].
19 See Konsul Generalny ZSRS w Gdaƒsku MichaΠ Potapow do Ambasadora ZSRS w Warszawie Arkadija
Sobolewa, 19 July 1951, in Polska w dokumentach z archiwów rosyjskich 1949-1953, ed. by Aleksander
Kochaƒski et al. (Warszawa: ISP PAN, 2000), 112-13.
20 „Przemówienie ministra BP StanisΠawa Radkiewicza (?) na temat zadaƒ aparatu bezpieczeƒstwa publicznego
w Êwietle uchwaΠ VI Plenum KC PZPR (marzec 1951),” in Aparat Bezpieczeƒstwa w Polsce w latach
1950-1952: Taktyka, Strategia, Metody, ed. by Antoni Dudek and Andrzej Paczkowski (Warszawa:
Dom Wydawniczy Bellona, 2000), 75, 77.
21 Janusz Borowiec, „Metody Êledcze stosowane podczas przesΠuchaƒ przez pracowników Urz´dów
Bezpieczeƒstwa Publicznego (na podstawie akt Wojskowej Prokuratury Rejonowej w Rzeszowie 1946-
1955),” Studia Rzeszowskie, vol. 2 (1995): 45-58.
22 Bojemski’s research is based, among other things, on Akta sprawy Antoniego Symonowicza i towarzyszy
and Akta sprawy MirosΠawa Ostrom´ckiego, AHMSW, WSR, files Sr. 23/46 and Sr. 78/47. See Sebastian
Bojemski „Pisane krwià bohaterów,” Nasz Dziennik, 22 August 2000.
23 Anna Gra˝yna Kister, Komenda Okr´gu Lublin Armii Krajowej w 1944 r. (Warszawa: Oficyna
Wydawnicza Rytm, 2000), 146-54 [afterward Komenda Okr´gu Lublin].
24 See Krajewski and ¸abuszewski, „¸upaszka”, „MΠot”, „Huzar”, 225, 250, 476-78, 548 n. 8, 648, 736,
742, 745-46, 754, 756, 821, 865-67. See also Piotr Niwiƒski, Okr´g Wileƒski AK w latach 1944-1948
(Warszawa: Oficyna Wydawnicza Volumen, 1999); RafaΠ Wnuk, Lubelski Okr´g AK, DSZ i WiN, 1944-1947
(Warszawa: Oficyna Wydawnicza Volumen, 2000); SΠawomir Poleszak and Adam PuΠawski, eds., Podziemie
zbrojne na Lubelszczyênie wobec dwóch totalitaryzmów, 1939-1956 (Warszawa: Instytut Pami´ci
Narodowej and Komisja Âcigania Zbrodni przeciw Narodowi Polskiemu, 2002); Maciej Korkuç, Zostaƒcie
wierni tylko Polsce: NiepodlegΠoÊciowe oddziaΠy partyzanckie w Krakowskiem (1944-1947) (Kraków:
Instytut Pami´ci Narodowej and Komisja Âcigania Zbrodni przeciw Narodowi Polskiemu, 2002); Ryszard
Âmietanka-Kruszelnicki, Podziemie poakowskie na Kielecczyênie w latach 1945-1948 (Kraków: Instytut
Pami´ci Narodowej and Komisja Âcigania Zbrodni przeciw Narodowi Polskiemu, 2002) [afterward
Podziemie poakowskie na Kielecczyênie].
25 The study concerns the post-WiN unit of Jan Sadowski („Blady”) and Piotr Burdyn („Por´ba”). See
Krystyna Pasiuk, Ostatni „leÊni” Suwalszczyzny (Sejny: Pogranicze, 2002), 126 [afterward Ostatni „leÊni”
Suwalszczyzny]. The conduct of the secret police in SuwaΠki was consistently atrocious. The Polish authorities
have recently launched an investigation into the activities of Aleksander Omilianowicz, who worked in
the UB in SuwaΠki in 1946. He is accussed of „tormenting the soldiers of the independentist underground
by beating them with the rifle butt and grabbing them by the hair and smashing their heads against the
wall.” See Adam BiaΠous, „Literat z UB,” Nasz Dziennik, 28 May 2002; and Mateusz Wyrwich, „Od kata
do literata,” Tygodnik SolidarnoÊç, 31 October 2003. In July 1945 the NKVD and the UB conducted a massive
sweep, arresting several thousands of suspects. At least 600 AK soldiers are still missing. See Tomasz
Kaminski, prokurator OddziaΠowej KSZpNP w BiaΠymstoku, Referat omawiajàcy ustalenia Êledztwa w
sprawie tzw. „obΠawy augustowskiej” wygΠoszony w dniu 14 maja 2003r., na spotkaniu Klubu
resort represji
Chudzicka 30/5/05 11:05 Page 135
Historycznego im. gen. Stefana Roweckiego „Grota” w Instytucie Pami´ci Narodowej w Warszawie, posted
at Dziennik Polski, 24 July 2001; Krzysztof SkΠodowski, Dzisiaj ziemia wasza jest wolna: O niepodlegloÊç
Suwalszczyzny (SuwaΠki: Muzeum Okr´gowe w SuwaΠkach, 2000).
26 Âmietanka-Kruszelnicki, Podziemie poakowskie na Kielecczyênie, 321-22.
27 The „Wierzchowiny trial” ostensibly concerned the slaughter, allegedly perpetrated by the NSZ, of the
population of the Ukrainian village of Wierzchowiny. However, the UB hardly broached the subject during
the interrogation. Further, no exhumation took place and practically no effort was made to interview any
witnesses. See Marcin Zaborski, „Proces dowódców Narodowych SiΠ Zbrojnych Okr´gu Lubelskiego z 1946
roku,” (MA thesis, Lublin, Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski, 1993); Krzysztof Komorowski, Polityka i walka:
Konspiracja zbrojna ruchu narodowego, 1939-1945 (Warszawa: Oficyna Wydawnicza Rytm, 2000), 512-
13 [afterward Polityka i walka]; Anna Gra˝yna Kister, „Wierzchowiny”, Nasza Polska, 5 February 2003;
RafaΠ Drabik to Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, 15 Janaury 2003.
28 Krzysztof Szwagrzyk, Zbrodnie w majestacie prawa, 1944-1955 (Warszawa: ABC, 2000), 45.
29 John S. Micgiel, „‘Frenzy and Ferocity’: The Stalinist Judicial System in Poland, 1944-1947, and the
Search for Redress,” The Carl Beck Papers in Russian & East European Studies [Pittsburgh], no. 1101
(February 1994): 1-48. For concurring opinions see: Krzysztof Lesiakowski and Grzegorz Majchrzak interviewed
by Barbara Polak, „O Aparacie Bezpieczeƒstwa,” Biuletyn Instytutu Pami´ci Narodowej, no. 6 (June
2002): 4-24; Barbara Polak, „O karach Êmierci w latach 1944-1956,” Biuletyn Instytutu Pami´ci
Narodowej, no. 11 (November 2002): 4-29.
30 Jerzy KuΠak, „Zbrodnia zinstytucjonalizowana,” Biuletyn Instytutu Pami´ci Narodowej, no. 6 (June
2002): 40-44, quote at p. 40.
31 Jerzy KuΠak, „In˝ynierowie dusz,” Biuletyn Instytutu Pami´ci Narodowej, no. 10 (October 2002): 24-28, quote at p. 25.
32 See Mateusz Wyrwich, „Zbrodnie nie tylko w celi Êmierci,” Tygodnik SolidarnoÊç, 17 May 2002;
Mateusz Wyrwich, ¸agier Jaworzno: Z dziejów czerwonego terroru (Warszawa: Editions Spotkania, 1995).
See also BogusΠaw Kopka, Obozy pracy w Polsce 1944-1950: Przewodnik encyklopedyczny (Warszawa:
Niezale˝na Oficyna Wydawnicza NOWA i OÊrodek Karta, 2002).
33 See Wojciech Wybranowski, „Potrzebni Êwiadkowie,” Nasz Dziennik, 13 May 2002. It was similar in
Nowogard and other Communist jails. See Piotr Szubarczyk, „Sprawa Józka Obacza: MΠodzie˝owa konspiracja
antykomunistyczna 1945-56,” Nasz Dziennik, 19-21 April 2003.
34 Witold Kulesza and Andrzej Rzepliƒski, eds., Przest´pstwa s´dziów i prokuratorów w Polsce lat 1944-
1956 (Warszawa: Instytut Pami´ci Narodowej – Komisja Âcigania Zbrodni Przeciwko Narodowi Polskiemu,
Uniwersytet Warszawaski – Instytut Profilaktyki SpoΠecznej i Resocjalizacji, 2000).
35 A few „normative acts” (akty normatywne) of the Polish Communist secret police formally banned torture
(e.g., the orders of June 11, 1949, February 24, 1951, March 3, 1954, and November 19, 1954). For
a list of rules and regulations pertaining to the investigative process of the Communist secret police see
Antoni Kura, „Represje aparatu bezpieczeƒstwa publicznego w latach 1944-1956,” Biuletyn Instytutu
Pami´ci Narodowej, no. 6 (June 2002): 29-33.
36 See, e.g., cases 3710 and 3710/822, Special Archive of Lithuania, the Committee for State Security
(KGB), The Council of Ministers of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Lithuania, in Chodakiewicz, Ejszyszki,
2: 49, 59, 62, 82, 94, 98, 114-22.
37 See Dekret PKWN „o wymiarze kary dla faszystowsko-hitlerowskich zbrodniarzy winnych zabójstw i
zn´cania si´ nad ludnoÊcià cywilnà i jeƒcami oraz dla zdrajców Narodu Polskiego,” 31 August 1944,
Dziennik Ustaw, no. 4, poz. (item) 16 (1944); and its modified version in Dziennik Ustaw, no. 69, poz. 377
(1946). For the general background of the Stalinist legal system in Poland see ZdzisΠaw Albin Zi´ba, Prawo
przeciw spoΠeczeƒstwu (Warszawa: Katedra Socjologii MoralnoÊci i Oksjologii Ogólnej, Instytut Stosowanych
Nauk SpoΠecznych, Uniwersytet Warszawski, 1997).
38 The accused in the trial were charged specifically pursuant to article 1 paragraph 2 of the decree of
August 31, 1944. See Sentencja wyroku, Sprawa BolesΠawa Ramotowskiego i 21 innych, 16 and 17 May
Glaukopis nr 2/3-2005
The Dialectics of Pain
Chudzicka 30/5/05 11:05 Page 136
1949, Sàd Okr´gowy w ¸om˝y [afterward SO¸], file Ksu 33/49, 225. Because the pre-war penal code still
applied in Poland at the time, and it contained all of the appropriate provisions to deal with a riot that
resulted in murder (in particular articles 23, 163, and 225 of the penal code, which included death penalty),
non-political laws could have been used to prosecute the suspects in the Jedwabne case. See Juliusz
Makarewicz, Kodeks Karny z komentarzem (Lwów: Wydawnictwo ZakΠadu Narodowego im. Ossoliƒskich, 1932);
Kodeks Karny: Prawo o wykroczeniach (Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Ministerstwa SprawiedliwoÊci, 1939).
39 This frame of mind is reflected fully in the most important internal circulation Communist secret police
periodical. See Andrzej Krzysztof Kunert and RafaΠ E. Stolarski, eds., „Bijàce serce partii”: „Dzienniki personalne
Ministerstwa Bezpieczeƒstwa Publicznego”, vol. 1: 1945-1947 (Warszawa: Rada Ochrony Pami´ci
Walk i M´czeƒstwa and Oficyna Wydawnicza „Adiutor,” 2001), 352-55, 361-69, 393, 458-60, 484-86,
492-500, 524, 527-28, 536, 551-52, 577, 585, 589, 593, 633 [afterward „Bijàce serce partii”]. In relation
to the Poles in general, this sentiment was expressed best by Jakub Berman who supervised the secret police
in Stalinist Poland. See Teresa Toraƒska, Oni (London: Aneks, 1985), 274, 290–91, 341, 354–58. Toraƒska’s book
is published in English translation as „Them”: Stalin’s Polish Puppets (New York: Harper & Row, 1987).
40 See Wytyczne d/s propagandy, GΠówny Zarzàd Pol.-Wych. LWP pt. „W sprawie mobilizacji nienawiÊci do
zbirów reakcyjnych,” 10 May 1945, Kunert and Stolarski, „Bijàce serce partii”, 388. („Pi´tnowaç z caΠà siΠà
zbrodniczà robot´ wyrodków z NSZ i AK – naÊladowców Hitlera, rozwinàç w ˝oΠnierzu uczucie nienawiÊci
i rozkoΠysaç aktywnoÊç ˝oΠnierzy przeciwko reakcji.”)
41 The speech of Colonel MieczysΠaw Dàbrowski during „a gala academy on the second anniversary of the
uprising in the Warsaw ghetto” on April 19, 1945, in Kunert and Stolarski, „Bijàce serce partii”, 382.
(„Podczas uroczystej akademii w drugà rocznic´ powstania w getcie warszawskim przedstawiciel LWP pΠk
MieczysΠaw Dàbrowski oÊwiadcza: ‘Przeciwko powstaƒcom walczyli: lotnictwo, SS i czoΠgi niemieckie,
chuliganeria polska, reakcjoniÊci polscy i faktycznie AK.’”)
42 See GΠos Ludu, 21 April 1945, in Kunert and Stolarski, „Bijàce serce partii”, 382. („Zbrodniarze z AK i
NSZ dziaΠajà r´ka w r´k´ z hitlerowcami. I tak te˝, jak hitlerowscy mordercy, powinni byç potraktowani.”)
43 See GΠos Ludu, 19 October 1945, quoted in Kunert and Stolarski, „Bijàce serce partii”, 457. („NSZ w
czasie okupacji stanowiΠy posiΠkowà formacj´ SS i Gestapo.”)
44 „Pod sàd morderców z AK i NSZ!” Reproduced in Komorowski, Polityka i walka, n.p.
45 See Okólnik Ministerstwa Informacji i Propagandy nr 1, 21 April 1945, in Pierwsza próba indoktrynacji:
DziaΠalnoÊç Ministerstwa Informacji i Propagandy w latach 1944-1947, ed. by Andrzej Krawczyk
(Warszawa: ISP PAN, 1994), 74-75; „PRESS CONFERENCE held by M. Bierut at the Polish Embassy in
Moscow on April 23, 1945,” in Soviet-Polish Relations: A Collection of Official Documents and Press
Extracts, 1944-1946 (London: „Soviet News,” 1946), 30; Krystyna Kersten, „Polityczny i propagandowy
obraz zbrojnego podziemia w latach 1945-1947 w Êwietle prasy komunistycznej,” Wojna domowa czy nowa
okupacja? Polska po roku 1944, ed. by Andrzej Ajnenkiel (WrocΠaw, Warszawa, and Kraków: Wydawnictwo
ZakΠadu Narodowego imienia Ossoliƒskich, 1998), 140-50 [afterward „Polityczny” in Wojna domowa];
Marek Michalik, „Wizerunek Zrzeszenia ‘WolnoÊç i NiezawisΠoÊç’ w wybranych tytuΠach prasy centralnej z
lat 1945-1947: Cz´Êç I,” Zeszyty Historyczne WiN-u 12 (March 1999): 5-42.
46 This propaganda ploy therefore required that the Communists effusively play the role of the sole protectors
of the Jewish people. On April 17, 1949, the head of the proxy regime in Warsaw, BolesΠaw Bierut,
cy-nically informed a visiting Jewish-American delegation that „killing a Jew is ten times more of a crime
than ordinary killing” and vowed to punish severely anyone responsible for crimes against the Jews. See
Joseph Tenenbaum, In Search of A Lost People: The Old and the New Poland (New York: The Beechhurst
Press, 1948), 227. Numerous other so-called „pro-Jewish” statements were routinely made to that effect
by the Communist officials and the regime-controlled media. See also Simon Segal, „Eastern Europe,” The
American Jewish Yearbook, 5705, vol. 46: September 18, 1944 to September 7, 1945, ed. by Harry
Schneiderman (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1944), 240-44; Raphael Mahler,
„Eastern Europe,” The American Jewish Yearbook, 5706, vol. 47: 1945-46, ed. by Harry Schneiderman
resort represji
Chudzicka 30/5/05 11:05 Page 137
and Julius B. Maller (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1945), 391-408; Harry
Schneiderman, „Eastern Europe,” The American Jewish Yearbook, 5707, vol. 48: 1946-47, ed. by Harry
Scheiderman and Julius B. Maller (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1946), 334-
49; Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, ˚ydzi i Polacy, 1918-1955: WspóΠistnienie, ZagΠada, Komunizm (Warszawa:
Fronda, 2000), 535-38 [afterward ˚ydzi i Polacy].
47 Chodakiewicz, Ejszyszki, 2: 15, 26, 123-34, 139-40, 144.
48 For example, in the sentencing statement we read not only about „the mass crime against the defenseless
people who numbered 1,500” at p. 229 of court records, but on p. 225 that the sentenced men were
„accused that on June 25 [sic July 10], 1941, in Jedwabne aiding the authorities of the German state, they
participated in capturing about 1200 persons of Jewish nationality, who… were burned en masse by the
Germans in the barn.” See Sentencja wyroku and Uzasadnienie, Sprawa BolesΠawa Ramotowskiego i 21
innych, 16 and 17 May 1949, SO¸, file Ksu 33/49, 225, 229.
49 For a detailed analysis see Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, The Massacre in Jedwabne, July 10, 1941: Before,
During, After (New York and Boulder, CO.: Columbia University Press and East European Monographs,
2005) (forthcoming).
50 This was a universal phenomenon evident also in other cases. See Chodakiewicz, Ejszyszki, 2: 15.
51 Sendler is credited with saving about 2,500 Jewish children during the Nazi occupation. See Irena
Sendlerowa („Jolanta”), „Ci, którzy pomagali ˚ydom: Wspomnienia z czasów okupacji hitlerowskiej,”
Biuletyn ˚ydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego [afterward B˚IH] (Warszawa), no. 45-46 (January-June
1963): 234-47; Magdalena Grochowska, „Lista Sendlerowej,” Gazeta Wyborcza, 8 June 2001.
52 Tadeusz M. PΠu˝aƒski, „Najnowsza historia humerowców,” posted at
53 Hence, the knowledge of the NKVD and the UB about the independentist underground was quite extensive.
See Tatiana Cariewskaja et al., eds., Teczka specjalna J.W. Stalina: Raporty NKWD z Polski, 1944-
1946 (Warszawa: ISP PAN, IH UW, Rytm and APFR, 1998); Informator o nielegalnych antypaƒstwowych
organizacjach i bandach zbrojnych dziaΠajàcych w Polsce Ludowej w latach 1944-1956 (Warszawa:
Ministerstwo Spraw Wewn´trznych, Biuro „C”, 1964, Reprint Lublin: Wydawnictwo Retro, 1993) [afterward
Informator]; Piotr Mirski and Jakub Twardowski, eds., Zrzeszenie WolnoÊç i NiezawisΠoÊç na
Lubelszczyênie w latach 1944-1947 w opracowaniu funkcjonariuszy MSW (Lublin: Klub Inteligencji
Katolickiej, 2002).
54 For a story of a Home Army, Government Delegate’s Office (Delegatura Rzàdu), and Wilno Mobilization
Center (Wileƒski OÊrodek Mobilizacyjny) liaison who withstood torture by the Gestapo (November 1943-
April 1944), NKVD (May-August 1945), and UB (1947), although at a great cost to her health see Skhema
podpolnoi polskoi natsionalisticheskoi antisovetskoi organizatsii imenem „Delegatura Rzhondu,” State
Archive Vilnius, ugol. Delo arkh. Nr. 7251/3 Dobrazhanskogo Iuria Antonovicha i drugikh; Spravka, sekretno,
Khodakevich Irina Vitol’dovna, delo 5082, October 1954; Vopros, 7 July 1945; Postanovlenie (pred’iavlenii
obvineniia), 7 July 1945 Postanovlenie (o prekrashenii sledstvia i osvobozhdenii iz-pod otrazhi), 18
August 1945 (copies in my collection); Irena i Jan Chodakiewicz, Biuro Ewidencji i Archiwizacji Urz´du
Ochrony Paƒstwa [BeiA UOP], file 10962/II; MieczysΠaw Potocki, Wspomniena ˝oΠnierza Armii Krajowej
Ziemi Wileƒskiej (Warszawa: No publisher, 1981), 14, 17, 19; Marek Chodakiewicz, „Chodakiewiczowa
Irena (1912-1979), pseud. ‘Irena’,” Wileƒskie RozmaitoÊci: Towarzystwo MiΠoÊników Wilna i Ziemi
Wileƒskiej – OddziaΠ w Bydgoszczy, no. 6 (32) (November-December 1995): 50-51.
55 Torture by the NKVD started already during the first Soviet occupation of Poland’s Eastern Borderlands.
See Jan T. Gross, Revolution from Abroad: The Soviet Conquest of Poland’s Western Ukraine and Western
Belorussia, Expanded Edition (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2002), 164-74.
56 This seems to have been the case especially in the countryside but to a lesser extent on the central command
level. See Chapter Six, „The Local Elite under Soviet Rule, 1944-1947,” and Chapter Eight, „Ethnic
Minorities under Soviet Occupation, 1944-1947,” in Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, Between Nazis and Soviets:
Glaukopis nr 2/3-2005
The Dialectics of Pain
Chudzicka 30/5/05 11:05 Page 138
A Case Study of Occupation Politics in Poland, 1939-1947 (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2004); SΠu˝ba
Bezpieczeƒstwa Polskiej Rzeczypospolitej Ludowej w latach 1944-1978 ([Warszawa:] Ministerstwo Spraw
Wewn´trznych, Biuro „C” [1978?]); MirosΠaw Piotrowski, ed., Ludzie Bezpieki w walce z narodem i
KoÊcioΠem: SΠu˝ba bezpieczeƒstwa w Polskiej Rzeczypospolitej Ludowej w latach 1944-1978 – Centrala
(Lublin : Klub Inteligencji Katolickiej, 2000); Grzegorz Majchrzak, „Szefowie i podstawowe piony operacyjne
Ministerstwa Bezpieczeƒstwa Publicznego, Komitetu ds. Bezpieczeƒstwa Publicznego, Ministerstwa
Spraw Wewn´trznych,” Biuletyn Instytutu Pami´ci Narodowej, no. 6 (June 2002): 23-24; Andrzej
Paczkowski, „˚ydzi w UB: Próba weryfikacji stereotypu,” in Komunizm: Ideologia, System, Ludzie, ed. by
Tomasz Szarota (Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Neriton and Instytut Historii PAN, 2001), 192-204 [afterward
„˚ydzi w UB” in Komunizm]; John Sack, An Eye for an Eye (New York: Basic Books, 1995).
57 See Mateusz Wyrwich, „Mord w koÊciele: Skrytobójcze mordy czasów stalinowskich,” Przeglàd
Tygodniowy [Toronto], 4 October 2002, 5-6.
58 See Krajewski and ¸abuszewski, „¸upaszka„, „MΠot”, „Huzar”, 859.
59 Although there is still no access to the NKVD files in Russia, it has been established that the Polish
Communists alone passed 43 death sentences. Further, in a random exhumation in a forest nearby a mass
grave was uncovered containing 12 bodies, apparently victims of a single execution. See Antoni Stolcman,
“Kàkolewica 1944 r.,„ in Narodowe SiΠy Zbrojne na Podlasiu, vol. 1: MateriaΠy posesyjne, ed. by Mariusz
Bechta and Leszek ˚ebrowski (Siedlce: Zwiàzek ˚oΠnierzy Narodowych SiΠ Zbrojnych, 1997), 196-223;
Anna Wasak, “Tajemnica kàkolewickich lasów,„ Nasz Dziennik, 13 June 2003.
60 Kister, Komenda Okr´gu Lublin, 150-51.
61 Adam Kruczek, “Bohaterki Lubelszczyzny,„ Nasz Dziennik, 21 August 2002.
62 Zbigniew Lazarowicz, „Ksiàdz MichaΠ Pilipiec ps. „Ski" – M´czennik za Wiar´ i Ojczyzn´," Nasz
Dziennik, 5-6 April 2003.
63 See Danuta Suchorowska, Rozbiç wi´zienie UB! Akcje zbrojne AK i WiN, 1945-1946 (Warszawa: Agencja
Omnipress, 1991), 80, 82, 164-65.
64 Por. Konstanty Kopf ps. „Zawisza,” „GΠowacki,” „Pewny”, „Wi´zienne echa”, Szaniec Chrobrego
[Warszawa] vol. 19, no. 61-62 (227-28) (2002): 17-21, quote at p. 20. Lt. Kopf was sentenced to several
years in jail in October 1945 but he was amnestied in 1947.
65 See Wojciech Wybranowski, „Pan UB-ek chory,” Nasz Dziennik, 28 March 2001.
66 In 1999 Suporniuk was decorated with the coveted Polonia Restituta Cross by the post-Communist
President of Poland Aleksander KwaÊniewski. After a public outcry, the Cross was taken away from the UB
man. Finally, in 2004 Suporniuk was charged with about 80 counts of torture of political prisoners in Nisko,
Krosno, and Gdynia. See Krajewski, ˚oΠnierze wykl´ci, 225-26; Wojciech Wybranowski, „IPN skar˝y kata
ziemi rzeszowskiej,” Nasz Dziennik, 9-10 March 2002; Wojciech Wybranowski, „Czy tarnobrzeska prokuratura
chroniΠa puΠkownika UB?” Nasz Dziennik, 19 March 2002; Wojciech Wybranowski, „Nazywali go
–‘Czerwona Âmierç,’” Nasz Dziennik, 23 October 2001; Maciej Walaszczyk, „Kat bez sàdu,” Nasz
Dziennik, 8 November 2001; Józef Matusz, „Podejrzany o torturowanie ˝oΠnierzy,” Rzeczpospolita, 27 April
2002; P.W.R., „Oficer UB bez orderu,” Rzeczpospolita, 25 October 2001; Mariusz Kamieniecki,
„Odznaczony pod sàd,” Nasz Dziennik, 16 February 2004.
67 Moczarski’s chief tormentors were: Colonel Anatol Fejgin, Lieutenant Colonel Józef Dusza, Major Jerzy
Kaskiewicz, Captain Eugeniusz Chimczak, Captain Adam Adamuszek, Second Lieutenant Tadeusz
Szymaƒski, Staff Sergeant Mazurkiewicz, and Sergeant StanisΠaw Wardyƒski. Sentenced to death in
November 1952, Moczarski was held on death row for over a year. Only in January 1955 did he learn that
his sentence had been commuted to life in October 1953. He was amnestied in April 1956 and exonerated
in December 1956. Moczarski recalled his ordeal in a letter to his lawyer written at the time of his „rehabilitation”
trial. See Kazimierz Moczarski, Zapiski (Warszawa: Paƒstwowy Insytut Wydawniczy, 1990), 302-308.
68 See Ewa Kurek, Zaporczycy, 1943-1949 (Lublin: Wydawnictwo Klio, 1995), 314 [afterward
Zaporczycy]. This account is based upon Kurek’s interview with the victim.
resort represji
Chudzicka 30/5/05 11:05 Page 139
69 Kurek, Zaporczycy, 243. This account is based upon Kurek’s interview with the victim’s son.
70 See Kurek, Zaporczycy, 245-46. This account is based upon Kurek’s interview with the eye-witnesses.
71 Krajewski and ¸abuszewski, „¸upaszka”, „MΠot”, „Huzar”, 225.
72 Jan Ordyƒski, „FinaΠ procesu stalinowskiego oficera,” Rzeczpospolita, 4 April 2002; MikoΠaj Wójcik, „ByΠ
Êwiadom swojej brutalnoÊci,” Nasz Dziennik, 4 April 2002; Jan Ordyƒski, „Dobra opinia od Ró˝aƒskiego,”
Rzeczpospolita, 5 March 2002; Jan Ordyƒski, „ByΠ jeden Szymaƒski,” Rzeczpospolita, 22 January 2002;
Jan Ordyƒski, „Sàd Najwy˝szy nie zmieniΠ wyroku,” Rzeczpospolita, 5 December 2001; AKA, „ZmarΠ Adam
Humer,” Rzeczpospolita, 13 November 2001; Tadeusz M. PΠu˝aƒski, „Najnowsza historia humerowców,”
posted at http://www.upr.org.pl/mazowsze/serwis/arch/publ1.html; „Ju˝ nie wyjaÊni,” Nasz Dziennik, 14
November 2001; J.O., „Awans za zabijanie,” Rzeczpospolita, 13 October 2001; Agata ¸ukaszewicz, „ZΠa
sΠawa oprawcy,” Rzeczpospolita, 21 August 2001; Jan Ordyƒski, „Dr´czyΠ wi´êniów X pawilonu,”
Rzeczpospolita, 24 April 2001; Krajewski, ˚oΠnierze wykl´ci, 221; Barbara Otwinowska and Teresa Drzal,
eds., ZawoΠaç po imieniu: Ksi´ga kobiet – wi´êniów politycznych, 1944-1958, vol. 1 (Nadarzyn: Vipart,
1999), 1: 111-113.
73 Krajewski and ¸abuszewski, „¸upaszka”, „MΠot”, „Huzar”, 250.
74 See Krajewski and ¸abuszewski, „¸upaszka”, „MΠot”, „Huzar”, 253.
75 See „Meldunek sytuacyjny,” [no date, February 1946], in Zbrodnie NKWD-UB, ed. by Henryk Pajàk
(Lublin: n.p. [Retro], 1991), 242-44.
76 MichaΠ Stankiewicz, „Poszukiwani oprawcy i ofiary”, Rzeczpospolita, 25 March 2004.
77 A play on words: „Daç mu popaliç,” i.e. „kick the crap out of him.”
78 Piotr Kosobudzki, Przez druty, kraty i kajdany: Wspomnienia partyzanta NSZ (WrocΠaw: Wydawnictwo
„Nortom,” 1997), 249-50. Kosobudzki was sentenced to two years in jail but escaped after 13 months.
While being transported to another jail, he broke the window with his head and jumped out from a moving
train. He hid until 1950. Ibid., 251, 259, 296.
79 Sawicka was released shortly after but she was re-arrested on June 7, 1949. Again, she refused to confess
and was let go. Meanwhile, the UB arrested her husband, who edited and disseminated an underground
newsheet. He was subjected to torture and later sentenced to five years of forced labor in a coal mine. He
served three years but upon his release he was denied employment as an „enemy of the people.” A dispatch
by the Communist civilian authorities concerning her arrest misidentified Halina Sawicka-Komorowska as
„Jadwiga Komorowska.” See UWB, WSP, do MAP, DP, 5 June 1945, APB, UWB, file 496, 103;
Postanowienie, 2 September 1993, Sàd Wojewódzki w ¸om˝y, file II Ko 250/93 (a copy in my collection);
Halina Sawicka, interview by Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, ¸om˝a, 19 July 2001.
80 In December 1945, Morawski led a successful rescue operation, freeing 14 insurgents from a militia outpost
in Chorzele, and he participated in most operations of Lt. Nowowiejski’s unit. Captured by the UB and
tortured, he withstood torture initially but when his tormentors threathened to kill him, Morawski feigned
willingness to collaborate. He was therefore transferred to a prison ward of the local hospital to recuperate.
However, Morawski secretly sent a message out for help to his confederates and was freed by them in a daring
action. See Krajewski et al., ˚oΠnierze wykl´ci, 129.
81 Ryszard Juszkiewicz, Ziemia MΠawska w latach 1945-1953 (Walka o wolnoÊç i suwerennoÊç) (MΠawa:
Stacja Naukowa w MΠawie im. Prof. Dr. StanisΠawa Herbsta, 2002), 79.
82 See Wojciech Wybranowski, „Mordercy w wojskowych mundurach,” Nasz Dziennik, 23 August 2002.83
See Appendix 3, „Wspomnienia Henryka Jarzàbka ‘Tolka’,” in Roman Peska, Pójd´ do nieba bo w piekle ju˝
byΠem: Konspiracyjne Wojsko Polskie „Buki” Obwód ¸ask 1946 rok (Szczerców: By the author, 1996), 183-
184 [afterward „Wspomnienia Henryka” in Pójd´ do nieba].
84 Danuta Siedzikówna was shot together with one of her superiors, Lieutenant Feliks Selmanowicz
(„Zagoƒczyk”). See Jerzy Morawski, „Lepiej, ˝e ja jedna zgin´,” Rzeczpospolita, 3 November 2000; Marek
Domagalski, „Kara Êmierci dla sanitariuszki byΠa krzyczàco niesprawiedliwa,” Rzeczpospolita, 19 October
2001; Piotr Szubarczyk, „A˝ do ofiary ˝ycia mego,” Nasz Dziennik, 24-26 December 2001; WiesΠawa
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Siedzik-Korzeniowa interviewed by Marzena Michalczyk, „‘Zemst´ zostawcie Bogu,’” Nasz Dziennik, 8
February 2002; Maciej Walaszczyk, „Gdzie pochowano ‘Ink´’,” Nasz Dziennik, 18 February 2003;
Krajewski, ˚oΠnierze wykl´ci, 391, 407, 410. Krajewski and ¸abuszewski, „¸upaszka”, „MΠot”, „Huzar”, 415-417.
85 See Appendix 2, „Wspomnienia ˝oΠnierza Armii Krajowej Antoniego J´draszka („˚uk”),” in Peska, Pójd´
do nieba, 179-81.
86 See Peska, Pójd´ do nieba, 79.
87 See Piotr Szubarczyk, „O bandytach trzeba meldowaç,” Nasz Dziennik, 21 May 2002; Krajewski and
¸abuszewski, „¸upaszka”, „MΠot”, „Huzar”, 505-506.
88 Piotr Woêniak, Zapluty karzeΠ reakcji: Wspomnienia AK-owca z wi´zienia PRL (Paris: Spotkania, 1984), 14-15.
89 Bohdan Urbankowski, Czerwona msza czyli uÊmiech Stalina, 2 vols., Second editon (Warszawa:
Wydawnictwo Alfa, 1998), 2: 484.
90 RachwaΠ was one of the most intrepid underground fighters. The wife of a military and later police commissioned
officer and a PiΠsudskite, she was first arrested by the NKVD in StanisΠawów in October 1939.
After escaping from the Soviet zone, she joined the Union for Armed Struggle (ZWZ) in Cracow in January
1940. RachwaΠ was then caught by the Gestapo in May 1941. She withstood the torture and was bought
out of jail by the underground. She was re-arrested on October 13, 1942, and shipped off to Auschwitz on
December 1, 1942. She continued her underground work in the camps, including Ravensbrück and
Neustadt-Gleve. Liberated by the British in May 1945, RachwaΠ returned to Poland where she re-joined
the underground (DSZ-WiN Intelligence Brigades). She was recognized in Warsaw by UB Colonel Leon
Ajzen-Andrzejewski whose wife, Krystyna ˚ywulska, was her campmate in Auschwitz. On September 29,
1947, RachwaΠ was senteced to life but during her next trial, on December 30, 1947, she received a death
sentence, which was however changed to life by an act of clemency on February 14, 1948. On May 10,
1955, her sentence was reduced to 15 years but, finally, RachwaΠ was released during the amnesty on
October 30, 1956. See Filip MusiaΠ, „StanisΠawa RachwaΠ,” Zeszyty do historii WiN-u, vol. 11, no. 17 (June
2002): 301-305.
91 Krajewski and ¸abuszewski, „¸upaszka”, „MΠot”, „Huzar”, 476-78.
92 See mat, „BiΠ kablem do utraty tchu,” Rzeczpospolita, 31 October 2001; Józef Matusz, „Podsàdny mówi
o barbarzyƒstwie”, Rzeczpospolita, 25 April 2002; „Ubek przed sàdem”, Nasz Dziennik, 25 April 2002; Akt
oskar˝enia przeciwko BronisΠawowi P., posted at www.ipn.gov.pl.
93 See Maciej Podgórski, „SprawiedliwoÊç stalinowskiego kancelisty”, Rzeczpospolita, 3 April 2002.
94 See the account of Henryk ¸oÊ in Danuta Wraga-Ruszkiewicz, Czas l´ku i nadziei (Kraków: Fundacja
Centrum Dokumentacji Czynu NiepodlegΠoÊciowego, Ksi´garnia Akademicka, 2000), 114.
95 See Akta sprawy MirosΠawa Ostrom´ckiego i towarzyszy, AHMSW, WSR, file Sr 78/47; “Pami´ci
MirosΠawa Ostrom´ckiego”, Szczerbiec [Lublin], no. 10 (January 2000): 74-90.
96 See Marian Barcikowski, „Katowani przez UB”, Nasz Dziennik, 4-5 August 2001.
97 Dorota Angerman, „Ubek przed sàdem”, Nasz Dziennik, 1-2 February 2003.
98 The interrogators of Pilecki were: Colonel Józef Ró˝aƒski, Colonel Roman Romkowski, Lieutenant T.
SΠowianek, Lieutenant S. Alaborski, and Lieutenant E. Chimczak. See Krzysztof Pilecki, ByΠ sens walki i
sens Êmierci (Bydgoszcz: Towarzystwo MiΠoÊników Wilna i Ziemi Wileƒskiej, 1998), 100; Krajewski,
˚oΠnierze wykl´ci, 114; Jan Ordyƒski, „Prokurator oskar˝ony o zbrodni´ sàdowà: Âledztwo IPN w
sprawie Êmierci rotmistrza Pileckiego,” Rzeczpospolita, 24 September 2002; J.O., „Prokurator na Πawie
oskar˝onych: Tragiczna historia rotmistrza Pileckiego,” Rzeczpospolita, 1 April 2003; Maciej Walaszczyk,
„ZakwestionowaΠ skΠad sàdu,” Nasz Dziennik, 13 May 2003.
99 See Jerzy KuΠak, „In˝ynierowie dusz,” Biuletyn Instytutu Pami´ci Narodowej, no. 10 (October 2002): 26-28.
100 Adam Doboszyƒski quoted in Wojciech Jerzy Muszyƒski, „Doboszyƒski Adam WΠadysΠaw,”
Encyklopedia „BiaΠych Plam”, vol. 5: Demokracji „kult” – Eutanazja (Radom: Polskie Wydawnictwo
Encyklopedyczne, 2001), 5: 87.
101 MichaΠ Biebrzyƒski „S´p”, „Sfingowany wyrok”, Biuletyn Instytutu Pami´ci Narodowej, no. 11
resort represji
Chudzicka 30/5/05 11:05 Page 141
(November 2002): 65-66.
102 PaweΠ Wroƒski, „Prawda o WiN-ie”, Gazeta Wyborcza, 15 June 2001.
103 Father Rudolf Adamczyk quoted in Jan ˚aryn, „Postawy duchowieƒstwa katolickiego wobec wΠadzy
paƒstwowej w latach 1944-1956,” in Szarota, Komunizm, 294.
104 See Jan Ordyƒski, „Sto godzin przesΠuchania bez przerwy”, Rzeczpospolita, 5 February 2002.
105 See Jan Rado˝ycki, „Prze˝yΠem by daç Êwiadectwo prawdzie”, Nasz Dziennik, 14-16 April 2001. The
victim confessed after a while.
106 See Zbigniew MΠot-Kulesza, Âledztwo wykl´tych (Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Alfa, 1995), 18-26, 31-37,
43, 51-60, 67, 74-75, 99-106, 113-114, 124, 128, 134, 140-144, 152-154, 182, 226, 400.
107 Kurek, Zaporczycy, 375.
108 See Akt oskar˝enia przeciwko Tadeuszowi R., posted at and Anna Surowiec, „Oprawca z UB skazany,”
Nasz Dziennik, 25 July 2002.
109 Quoted in Anna KoΠakowska, „˚oΠnierz KoÊcioΠa,” Nasz Dziennik, 26 September 2002.
110 WacΠaw Gluth-Nowowiejski, „Na celowniku,” Rzeczpospolita-Karta, 1 March 2003, 12-14.
111 See MirosΠaw Wàsik, „Stan zdrowia byΠego ubeka oceni komisja,” Rzeczpospolita, 16 February 2002;
Akt oskar˝enia przeciwko Marianowi N., posted at www.ipn.gov.pl.
112 See Franciszek SΠowik quoted in Mariusz Krzysztofiƒski, „Historia Franciszka SΠowika,” Biuletyn
Instytutu Pami´ci Narodowej, no. 5 (May 2002): 77.
113 Krajewski and ¸abuszewski, „¸upaszka”, „MΠot”, „Huzar”, 736.
114 Krajewski and ¸abuszewski, „¸upaszka”, „MΠot”, „Huzar”, 742, 745-46, 754, 756.
115 See Jerzy Morawski, „Teczki goryczy,” Rzeczpospolita, 8 June 2002.
116 Krajewski and ¸abuszewski, „¸upaszka”, „MΠot”, „Huzar”, 865-67.
117 See Witold Orczyk, „Rewizja-pacyfikacja,” Zeszyty historyczne WiN-u, vol. V, no. 8 (February 1996):
127-29. Orczyk’s farmstead was completely dismantled. The WiN soldier was sentenced to several years in jail.
118 See Akt oskar˝enia przeciwko Wilhelm A., posted at www.ipn.gov.pl.
119 See Kurek, Zaporczycy, 372.
120 See Tomasz Balbus, „‘Polski bandyta’ z Zamojszczyzny,” Biuletyn Instytutu Pami´ci Narodowej, no. 11
(December 2001).
121 See Krajewski, ˚oΠnierze wykl´ci, 478; Danuta Suchorowska-Âliwiƒska, Postawcie mi krzy˝ brzozowy:
Prawda o ks. WΠadysΠawie Gurgaczu SJ (Kraków: Wydawnictwo WAM Ksi´˝a Jezuici, 1999), 96-102.
122 See Wojciech Wybranowski, „IPN oskar˝a,” Nasz Dziennik, 18 September 2002.
123 See Akt oskar˝enia przeciwko Adam G., posted at www.ipn.gov.pl.
124 See Tadeusz Kopaƒski interviewed by Andrzej Kumor, „Co mi ich teraz nienawidziç,” May 1998, posted at .
125 See Piotr Adamowicz, „Kara po póΠ wieku,” Rzeczpospolita, 15 November 2000.
126 „IPN: Zbrodnia sàdowa,” Nasz Dziennik, 16 January 2003.
127 Wojciech Wybranowski, „Dzieci ‘wrogami PRL’,” Nasz Dziennik, 7 January 2003. For the recollection
of an MRO member see Edmund Radziszewski interviewed by Maciej Walaszczyk, „O dziaΠalnoÊci
MΠodzie˝owego Ruchu Oporu,” Nasz Dziennik, 7 January 2003. According to Radziszewski, the Mazovia
branch of the MOR had about 30 members, mostly high-schoolers. They were active between 1948 and
1950, when the secret police destroyed their organizations. At least 4 managed to flee to Wolin, where they
continued their activities, recruiting new members.
128 See J.O. „Kulik: Dziennikarze to psy,” Rzeczpospolita, 2 February 2002; Agata ¸ukaszewicz, „Relacje
prasowe w interesie spoΠecznym,” Rzeczpospolita, 11 December 2001; J.O., „W informacji elegancji nie
byΠo,” Rzeczpospolita, 17 November 2001; J.O., „Âwiadek byΠ wieszany pod sufitem za r´ce,”
Rzeczpospolita, 12 October 2001; Jan Ordyƒski, „KieΠbasa dla ‘dobrze’ zeznajàcych,” Rzeczpospolita, 29
September 2001; J.O., „Enkawudzista numer jeden,” Rzeczpospolita, 13 June 2001; J.O., „Chamstwo i
choroba Kulika,” Rzeczpospolita, 2 February 2001; Maciej Walaszczyk, „Stalinowiec w areszcie,” Nasz
Dziennik, 23-24 March 2002.
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129 See Jan Ordyƒski, „PrzeczytaΠ Rzeczpospolità i zostaΠ Êwiadkiem,” Rzeczpospolita, 23 October 2001.
130 See Akt oskar˝enia przeciwko PawΠowi T., posted at www.ipn.gov.pl; E.P., „2,5 roku wi´zienia dla
byΠego funkcjonariusza UB,” Rzeczpospolita, 12 February 2003; Adam BiaΠous, „Skazany komunistyczny
oprawca,” Nasz Dziennik, 12 February 2003.
131 See Julian Krzewicki, „Wspomnienia,” Zeszyt Historyczny: Fundacja Studium Okr´gu AK Kraków, no.
3 (September 1998): 43-86, and, especially, pp. 84-85.
132 See Piotr Szubarczyk, „Zginà ludzie sΠabej wiary,” Nasz Dziennik, 8-9 June 2002.
133 See Krzysztof MasΠoƒ, „Nic prócz r´kopisów nie wezm´,” Rzeczpospolita, 20 April 2002.
134 See mat, „BiΠ kablem do utraty tchu,” Rzeczpospolita, 31 October 2001; Józef Matusz, „Podsàdny
mówi o barbarzyƒstwie,” Rzeczpospolita, 25 April 2002; „Ubek przed sàdem,” Nasz Dziennik, 25 April
2002; Akt oskar˝enia przeciwko BronisΠawowi P.; and Akt oskar˝enia przeciwko WΠadysΠawowi G., posted
at www.ipn.gov.pl.
135 See Akt oskar˝enia przeciwko PawΠowi T., posted at www.ipn.gov.pl; E.P., „2,5 roku wi´zienia dla
byΠego funkcjonariusza UB,” Rzeczpospolita, 12 February 2003; Adam BiaΠous, „Skazany komunistyczny
oprawca,” Nasz Dziennik, 12 February 2003.
136 Jan Âledzianowski, Ksiàdz CzesΠaw Kaczmarek biskup kielecki 1895-1963 (Kielce: No publisher, 1991),
64-66; Jan Józef Kasprzyk, „Kaczmarek CzesΠaw,” Encyklopedia „BiaΠych Plam„, vol. 9 (Radom: Polskie
Wydawnictwo Encyklopedyczne, 2002), 99-105.
137 The victim fought in September 1939 and later joined the ZWZ, NSZ, AK, and, finally, NZW. See
Leonard Zub-Zdanowicz rozmawia z Kazimierzem Poray-Wybranowskim, TMs, no date [1979?], the Zub-
Zdanowicz Family Collection, Oakville, CT; Kazimierz Poray-Wybranowski „Kret,” „Wspomnienia z UB,”
Szczerbiec [Lublin], no. 11 (June 2002): 71-120 posted at; Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, „’Kret’ a sprawa
polska,” ¸ad, 5 December 1993, Dodatek historyczny 12 (December 1993): IV.
138 Pasiuk, Ostatni „leÊni” Suwalszczyzny, 127.
139 Mariusz Kamieniecki, „Skazali ubeka”, Nasz Dziennik, 25-26 January 2003. In 2003 the UB man was
found guilty and sentenced to one and a half years (suspended for 2 years) and a $220.00 fine.
140 See Dorota Angerman, „Podejrzany funkcjonariusz UB”, Nasz Dziennik, 29 November 2001.
141 Krajewski and ¸abuszewski, „¸upaszka”, „MΠot”, „Huzar”, 548 n. 8.
142 See Jerzy Morawski, „Kat Zamojszczyzny,” Rzeczpospolita, 20 February 2002; Robert Horbaczewski,
„Kat Zamojszczyzny nie stawiΠ si´ w sàdzie,” Rzeczpospolita, 22 February 2002; Robert Horbaczewski,
„Zbyt chory, by stanàç przed sàdem,” Rzeczpospolita, 9 May 2002; Adam Kruczek, „Kpiny z sàdu,” Nasz
Dziennik, 9 May 2002; Akt oskar˝enia przeciwko MieczysΠaw W., posted at www.ipn.gov.pl.
143 See Akt oskar˝enia przeciwko Józef R., posted at www.ipn.gov.pl.
144 See Krajewski and ¸abuszewski, „¸upaszka”, „MΠot”, „Huzar”, 844-45.
145 See Stefan Kisielewski, Dzienniki (Warszawa: Iskry, 1996), 551.
146 Wojciech Czuchnowski, Blizna: Proces Kurii Krakowskiej (Kraków: Wydawnictwo Znak, 2003), 17-
21, 26, 38-42, 52-53 [afterward Blizna]; Wojciech Czuchnowski, „Krakowscy ksi´˝a przed sàdem,” Gazeta
Wyborcza, (2 parts), 9-10 and 16-17 November 2002; Krzysztof MasΠoƒ, „Sàd nad KoÊcioΠem,”
Rzeczpospolita, 1 February 2003.
147 Czuchnowski, Blizna, 45.
148 Czuchnowski, Blizna, 44.
149 Czuchnowski, Blizna, 43-45.
150 Sebastian Bojemski, Poszli w skier powodzi: Narodowe SiΠy Zbrojne w Powstaniu Warszawskim
(Warszawa: Glaukopis, 2002), 276-77.
151 See Marek Dereƒ, „Niemy krzyk murów,” (3 parts) Nasz Dziennik, 17-18 November 2001, 26-27
January, and 2-3 February 2002.
152 Krajewski and ¸abuszewski, „¸upaszka”, „MΠot”, „Huzar”, 821.
resort represji
Chudzicka 30/5/05 11:05 Page 143
153 Wojciech Wybranowski, „Czeka ich sàd,” Nasz Dziennik, 25 February 2003.
154 Ewa Koj, „Informacja o Êledztwach w sprawach zbrodni komunistycznych,” Biuletyn Instytutu Pami´ci
Narodowej, no. 6 (June 2002): 26-28.
155 The trial of secret policemen who tortured „Solidarity” activists in Konin during martial law in 1982 may be an early
indication of such a trend. See Wojciech Wybranowski, „Tortury za ‘SolidarnoÊç’,” Nasz Dziennik, 13 March 2003; Wojciech
Wybranowski, „Gra na zwΠok´: Kolejne odroczenie w procesie funkcjonariuszy SB z Konina,” Nasz Dziennik, 16 May 2003.
For unsuccessful attempts to hold Communist secret police accountable for various crimes committed during martial law
see, Kazimierz Groblewski, „Winni sà niewinni,” Rzeczpospolita, 13 December 2001; Grzegorz Majchrzak, „Jeden z filarów
stanu wojennego,” Rzeczpospolita, 13 December 2001; and on the lackluster prosecution of the policemen guilty of beating
the protesters during the 1976 riots in Radom see „Proces ruszy od nowa,” Nasz Dziennik, 21 May 2003.
156 In the case of torture of General Franciszek Skibiƒski of the Free Polish Armed Forces in the West, the authorities were
„unable” to find a suspect, Colonel WΠadysΠaw Kochan, for several months, even though he resides in a building literarily
next door to the court house and his address is listed. Kochan refuses to testify against the main accused in the case, Colonel
Henryk O., and, instead, blames the practice of torture on his own Soviet advisor, Colonel Anton Skulbashevskii, who left
Poland for the USSR in 1956. See Jan Ordyƒski, „WiedziaΠ, ˝e bito wi´êniów,” Rzeczpospolita, 12 February 2004. In a
more complicated case, Poland’s authorities have been unable to prosecute several persons implicated in the judicial murder
on trump-up charges of killing Jews, Communists, and Soviet POWs of General August Emil Fieldorf („Nil”) of the
Home Army. The persons involved in the sordid affair include Kazimierz Górski, Alicja Graff, and Witold Gatner, who reside
in Poland, and Stefan Michnik and Fajga Mindla Danielak aka Helena Woliƒska, who live abroad. A few participants in the
murder lived unmolested until their recent deaths in independent Poland after 1989 (Igor Andrejew and Maria Zand-
Górowska) or abroad (Beniamin Wajsblech, Emil Mertz, and Gustaw Auscaler). See „Investigation against Ms. Helena
Woliƒska-Brus,” posted at ; Anne Applebaum, „The Three Lives of Helena
Brus,” The Sunday Telegraph, 6 December 1998; Maria Fieldorf and Leszek Zachuta, GeneraΠ „Nil”: August Fieldorf
(Warsaw: PAX, 1993); Andrzej Kaczyƒski, „Mord sàdowy na szefie Kedywu,” Rzeczpospolita, 24 February 2003; Maria
Fieldorf-Czarska interviewed by MaΠgorzata Rutkowska, „LiczyΠa si´ dla niego postawa moralna,” Nasz Dziennik, 22-23
February 2003; Anna Surowiec, „Nikt nie przeprosiΠ,” Nasz Dziennik, 1-2 March 2003; Andrzej Kaczyƒski, „W szponach
bezpieki,” Rzeczpospolita-Karta, 1 March 2003, 12-13; AKA, „Marcowe tematy,” Rzeczpospolita, 23 May 2003; Zenon
Baranowski, „Zbrodniarze wyemigrowali,” Nasz Dziennik, 23 May 2003; Tadeusz M. PΠu˝aƒski, „Polski Pinochet: Czy
dojdzie do ekstradycji Heleny Woliƒskiej?” Tygodnik SolidarnoÊç, 15 June 2001; Tadeusz Kowalik, „WΠodzimierz Brus: W
czyÊçcu historii,” Gazeta Wyborcza, 24 August 2001; Tadeusz A. PΠu˝aƒski, „PrzeÊladowczyni ‘Nila’ ˝yje w Anglii,” ˚ycie
Warszawy, 8 October 1998; Leszek ˚ebrowski, „Ludzie UB – Trzy pokolenia,” Dekomunizacja i rzeczywistoÊç
(Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Amarant, 1993), 51-60.
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