How the Security Office persecuted the heroes of the Warsaw Mar 4, 2019 1:35:50 GMT 1
Post by pjotr on Mar 4, 2019 1:35:50 GMT 1
How the Security Office persecuted the heroes of the Warsaw Uprising
They were imprisoned in the basements of the former Ministry of Public Security at Koszykowa Street. They were humiliated, starved and tortured. Soldiers of the Home Army, Warsaw insurgents. Heroes.
In the National Day of Remembrance of the Cursed Soldiers, on March 1, President Andrzej Duda opened the new exhibition "Security objectives. Arrest of the Ministry of Public Security 1945-1954" by Koszykowa prepared by the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising. It was established in the basements of the former Ministry of Public Security (today it houses the Ministry of Justice), in a building that survived the war and in the basement of which the detention facility began operating in autumn 1945. Three years later, the entire building was expanded. The existing target infrastructure left behind by the predecessors - the Kripo German criminal police - was used. Prisoners detained there were classified as "political", "economic" and "saboteurs". Germans and Ukrainians were also detained there. But the overwhelming majority were political prisoners.
- The guards were French communists, brought in order to completely cut off the prisoners from the outside world and minimize the risk of escape - Jan Ołdakowski, director of the Warsaw Uprising Museum tells in an interview with "Poland."
The then security department, organized according to Soviet models and under the supervision of Soviet "advisers", used methods used by the NKVD or counterintelligence "Smersh", such as humiliation, starvation, beating and torture. The head of the Ministry of Public Security (Polish: Ministerstwo Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego or MBP), General Stanisław Radkiewicz, admitted explicitly that the goal of the institution he is aiming at is to "beat the class enemy". The scale of repression was enormous.
Stanisław Radkiewicz (Polish pronunciation: [staˈɲiswaf ratˈkʲevit͡ʂ]; 19 January 1903 – 13 December 1987) was a Polish communist activist with Soviet citizenship, a member of the pre-war Communist Party of Poland and of the post-war Polish United Workers' Party (PZPR). As head of the Polish communist secret police (Urząd Bezpieczeństwa or UB) between 1944 and 1954, he was one of the chief organisers of Stalinist terror in Poland in those years. He also served as a political commissar and was made a Divisional General in Communist Poland.
In the years 1944-1956 over 1 million people passed through communist prisons in Poland, and over 5 million citizens were subjected to harassment and repression. In the years 1944-1956, 5,000 were sentenced to death. people, of which the judgment was made for approx. 3 thousand. Over 8.5 thousand security people killed in the fight between communist security forces and anti-communist resistance fighters, the "cursed soldiers" (also known as "doomed soldiers", "accursed soldiers" or "damned soldiers"; Polish: Żołnierze wyklęci). During this period, 20,439 people died in prison (data from the Central Board of Criminal Institutions of the 1990s). In 1945, the Central Committee of the Polish Workers' Party defined the "desirable" proportions of surveillance - one officer of the Security Office for 200 citizens. And although it was not possible to achieve this number, in 1953 Poles were guarded by about 33 thousand UB officers and watched by 85,000 secret security agents. The new exhibition of the Warsaw Uprising Museum shows the methods of the security apparatus and presents the heroes of the anti-communist underground. It shows two opposite systems of values and tells the story of the Warsaw insurgents persecuted after the war. In the educational part - the reconstructed cells and targets present the history of resistance and struggle and the totalitarian apparatus of repression in 1944-1956, as well as the history of the struggle for freedom in the years 1956-1989. The thematic section presents executioners, victims and subsequent phases of repression (surveillance, arrest, interrogation, trial, sentence). The information part finally presents the process of restoring memory after 1989.
The reconstructed cells in which the Home Army (Armia Krajowa) soldiers were imprisoned and Warsaw insurgents can be seen from March 2. According to Jan Ołdakowski, this place is a kind of an exclave - although geographically separated from the Warsaw Uprising Museum, it tells about one of those cruelly unjust moments in the history of the Warsaw Uprising - about what happened to young heroes after the war. And yet they imagined this time in a completely different way: that they would walk along Aleje Ujazdowskie, parading, crowds would welcome them. That's how they sang: "Aliens, with a parade, they will go parade, free Poland, which has risen from our blood."
October 1951. The PUBP (pol. abr. Powiatowy Urzad Bezpieczenstwa Publicznego – County Office for Public Security) courtyard in Włodawa. Photo taken by Polish secret police, the UB. Laying down are the dead Kazimierz Torbicz, nom de guerre „Kazik” and Edward Taraszkiewicz, nom de guerre „Żelazny”. In the center, wearing clothes torn by police dogs, is Stanisław Marciniak, nom de guerre „Niewinny”. Prior to the communist amnesty in 1947, he was a soldier in the Józef Strug, nom de guerre „Ordon” unit. He was sentenced to death and was murdered at the Lublin Castle on January 29, 1953.
- The paradox of history consisted in the fact that they did not have to face a parade, but a security parish, says Jan Ołdakowski.
They got to Koszykowa and were detained here sometimes for several hours, and sometimes several months, depending on the ongoing investigation. - There were also wet targets - tells the historian Andrzej Komuda, guide of the Warsaw Uprising Museum. And he adds: "It was a punishment to sit in the water. The cells were deprived of daylight, so the prisoners did not know whether it was day or night."
It was a long-standing thought that the former security goals could be made available to visitors. It all began in 2005, when the Warsaw Uprising Museum organized an open-air exhibition entitled "Parades were to walk", referring to the song "Parasol". The exhibition was under the patronage of President Lech Kaczyński. At Ujazdowskie Avenue, several dozen highlighted portraits of young people were placed, who were persecuted by the communist authorities for belonging to the Home Army, for the struggle for the independence of Poland. - We wanted to pay homage to them. Give them to Aleje Ujazdowskie - recalls the director of the Warsaw Uprising Museum.
It was then that the idea of an exhibition in the basements of the former Ministry of Public Security (Polish: Ministerstwo Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego or MBP) was born, where real cathedrals were located. An initiative group was formed, in which there were: Władysław Bartoszewski, Wiesław Chrzanowski, Anna Jakubowska "Paulinka" - prisoners of the security service and Krystyna Zachwatowicz. It was also here that General August Emil Fieldorf "Nil" was detained.
Anna Jakubowska "Paulinka"
- At that time, we visited the cellars of the former detention center at Koszykowa Street - says the director of Ołdakowski. - At one point Wiesław Chrzanowski cried: "Oh! It's my cell! I sat there. " The Cellars then were a repository for the Civil Defense warehouses. Simply put: junk. Crammed with old gas masks, boxes with documents, damp, badly fragrant fungus.
"Visiting those places with people who were held there, I heard a lot of stories. Of course, the detention center in Koszykowa was not the target of death. Here people were interrogated, scorned, tried to break, tortured." However, apart from Jan Rodowicz, "Anoda," a soldier of the "Zoska" Battalion, which at the turn of 1948 and 1949 was tortured by UB investigators and who died here, the prisoners were shot elsewhere, sentences were elsewhere, they were serving their sentences elsewhere. But the cellars at Koszykowa Street were the first place where young insurgents came after the war, where they met with injustice, where they were beaten and tortured. It did not differ from the way they were treated by the Gestapo on Aleja Szucha during the war. Therefore, we wanted to prepare this exhibition and tell the paradox about it. About the fact that the young heroes were not awaited by honors, applause, adoration of crowds, only that they were secretly transported, and if they died, they were secretly tossed, like "Anodę, into foreign graves. Incidentally, if it were not for the fact that people working in the cemetery recognized "Anode" and silently informed the family, it probably would not have found his body - says Jan Ołdakowski. The guide Andrzej Komuda complements that the stay of Jan Rodowicz "Anoda" in the prison in Koszykowa was short and ended tragically - he died during the interrogation, cruelly tortured. - But the official version, which the then authorities gave the family sounded, that he committed suicide by jumping out of the window - adds Komuda.
Jan Rodowicz (7 March 1923 – 7 January 1949), alias "Anoda", was a scout, soldier of the Grey Ranks, the Home Army and of the Armed Forces' Delegation, lieutenant. Rodowicz died on 7 January 1949 during a brutal investigation at the Urząd Bezpieczeństwa headquarters at Koszykowa Street.
Kazamaty przy Koszykowa available for exploration cover 600 square meters. But to create a place that will be visited by people in the future, it was necessary to carry out repairs, ensure air exchange, and build installations. The work was complicated and long-lasting, the goals had to be secured against constant moisture, which caused that a mushroom appeared on the walls. - It was not only about the walls, "director Ołdakowski emphasizes. - The most important for us were human stories, which immediately began to collect as the idea arose.
Stories about this place and people who were imprisoned here can also be found on the walls in the form of notes, calendars of prisoners, or portraits painted by them. Some behind the glass, separated, often blurred, so the visitors have prepared flashlights. An important element of the exhibition are also souvenirs that were collected. - Great thanks to the holy memory of professor Barbara Otwinowska, who gave us their most. These are small things, because the people who were imprisoned for these purposes knew that they would not stay here longer, that they would not anchor here. Souvenirs testify to the elusiveness of this time. They are all the more valuable that made of bread, everyday objects - adds Jan Ołdakowski.
Among the souvenirs are also those that belonged to people held, inter alia, in prison at ul. Rakowiecka St. in Warsaw, in a prison on ul. November 11 in Warsaw, as well as in prisons in Wronki, Fordon or Krakow. These include, for example, chess from bread, a medallion, a cross, an embroidered gorget with an eagle in the crown, a mouthpiece, a pencil case, a ring of horsehair and toothbrush fragments, fish bone necklaces, heart-shaped boxes or a fragment of a comb.
Items come from a collection of memorabilia that has been run since 2015. Józef Słowińska, a Home Army soldier who fought in the Warsaw Uprising, donated two bread cloths to the museum in Koszykowa, with a sculptured Mother of God and Saint Joseph. "The growaphs offered my friends from detention, on my name day," he says. She was arrested on March 8, 1946, brought to the underworld and closed in one of the cells at Koszykowa Street. She sat there for a few days before being transported to Rakowicka. She was sentenced to 6 years in prison and served her sentence for the day. Today I do not want to go back to those terrible times.
- I did not watch the exhibition on Koszykowa Street and I do not think I will see it anymore. I have my years and related ailments; difficulty in walking. I do not want to think about those times, I do not want to mention them. I want to forget - says Józefa Słowińska in an interview with "Poland."
The former detention center of the Ministry of Public Security (Polish: Ministerstwo Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego or MBP) was visited by Wacław Gluth-Nowowiejski, a 92-year-old insurgent from Warsaw. But for him it was not an easy moment when, after 70 years, he was entering his former cell. In an interview with the "Warsaw Visitor", he mentioned that they took him off the street. They arrested him for illegal possession of weapons and because he participated in a group seeking to overthrow the socialist system. - At the turn of the 1940s and 1950s, just at Koszykowa Street and in the 10th pavilion of the Mokotów prison, the investigative machine worked without haste, but successfully, in accordance with the practically tested system: psychic and physical terror, a higher school of resistance breaking. Everyone was guilty according to the saying: "Give me a man, and I will find an article for him," recalled Wacław Gluth-Nowowiejski.
Wacław Gluth-Nowowiejski (Wacek) (born 10 June 1926 in Warsaw) is a former soldier of the Polish Home Army (AK), a participant in the Warsaw Uprising, and after the war, a publicist and author. He was beaten and tortured during interrogation by the Urząd Bezpieczeństwa. After a show trial, he was imprisoned until 1953.
As noted by director Ołdakowski, people who from the beginning of March come to view former security chambers, visit them in a special way.
"Old prisoners come, but also people whose relatives were imprisoned here. They visit longer, trying to contemplate this space. There are also many teachers among visitors who are interested in whether they can come here with classes. This shows how important it was to build the next piece of the story about the museum outside its borders, the next stage in the story in which people instead of finding peace and happiness, got into another nightmare."