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August 30, 2012 10:15 am

Poland Seeks to Identify Volunteer for Auschwitz Infiltration Mission

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Bunk beds in a barrack at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Photo: wiki commons.

Las Vegas Sun/AP- It could hardly have been a riskier mission: infiltrate Auschwitz to chronicle Nazi atrocities. Witold Pilecki survived nearly three years as an inmate in the death camp, managing to smuggle out word of executions before making a daring escape. But the Polish resistance hero was crushed by the post-war communist regime _ tried on trumped-up charges and executed.

Six decades on, Poland hopes Pilecki’s remains will be identified among the entangled skeletons and shattered skulls of resistance fighters being excavated from a mass grave on the edge of Warsaw’s Powazki Military Cemetery. The exhumations are part of a movement in the resurgent, democratic nation to officially recognize its war-time heroes and 20th century tragedies.

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  • Pilecki’s comprehensive report of his secret undercover mission at Auschwitz, translated into English for the first time, was published earlier this year by our company, Aquila Polonica. The book trailer for “The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery” is here:, Amazon link: