Freedom And Independence | Wolność i Niezawisłość | WiN

Freedom And Independence - Wolność i Niezawisłość, WiN
Polish Underground Soldiers 1944-1963 - The Untold Story

Freedom And Independence | Wolność i Niezawisłość | WiN


Doomed Soldiers News & Analysis

Untitled Document

Foundation "We Remember" - "Pamietamy"

Retired Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Senior Scientific Intelligence Officer S. Eugene (Gene) Poteat Analyses the April 10, 2010 Crash of Polish Air Force One TU-154M Near Smolensk, Russia: "Russian Image Management - The KGB’s latest intelligence coup, and NATO’s latest intelligence disaster".

Read It Here ...

Zolnierze Wykleci
Foundation "We Remember" - "Pamietamy"
Smolensk Crash News Digest.
Niepoprawni - Polish Political Blog
Memorial is wide-ranging and simultaneous scrupulous historical research of topics that were until recently inaccessible to Russian scholars: the GULag, the history of the security organizations VChK (the Cheka)-OGPU-NKVD-MGB-KGB, statistics on political repression in the Soviet Union, and dissidents' resistance during the Khrushchev-Brezhnev era. Memorial is a number of international research projects, in which internationally recognized research centers in the humanities acts as partners. It is a support program for young researchers throughout Russia. It is the struggle for free access to historical information, to the past, which was hidden from us for so long.








Freedom And Independence - Zrzeszenie Wolność i Niezawisłość WiN

A Historical Brief Part 3:

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

In January 1947, the Chairman of Area “South”, Lt. Col. Łukasz Ciepliński, nom de guerre "Ostrowski", along with his co-conspirators, made a decision to maintain the organization and to establish the IV Executive Office of WiN. It was a dramatic decision. Ciepliński knew very well that there would be no new worldwide conflagration. He was also afraid that there was great probability that the NKVD or UB provocation would allow the “Bezpieka” to take control of the underground resistance units, and in turn promote them as their own. As an officer in charge, along those who didn’t take advantage of the scheme amnesty, he also decided to remain underground. One of Ciepliński’s primary goals was to limit military operations in favor of propaganda and intelligence, and to maintain contact with the West – in particular with the Polish Government in Exile in London. The IV ZG WiN, led by Ciepliński, included his closest collaborators from the period when he led the Rzeszow Inspectorate of the Home Army, between 1940-1945. They included:

Adam Lazarowicz - Wolnosc i Niezawislosc - WiN
1 - Major Adam Lazarowicz, nom de guerre(s) “Klamra”, “Zygmunt”, “Grot”. Lazarowicz was a former Commandant of the Dębica District of AK, who at that point led the Rzeszow District of WiN as its Vice-Chairman. He was responsible for re-building the WiN’s Area, or Regional Districts. Lazarowicz also became the Chairman of Area “West” that technically no longer existed.
Mieczyslaw Kowalec - Wolnosc i Niezawislosc - WiN 2 - Major Mieczysław Kawalec, nom de guerre(s) "Iza", "Psarski", "Bronek", who became the Chief of the Information Department.
Lieutenant Józef Rzepka - Wolnosc i Niezawislosc - WiN. Photo taken by Polish secret police, the UB in 1947 after his capture. 3 - Captain Ludwik Kubik, nom de guerre(s) "Alfred", "Janusz" who took charge of the Executive Department. During 1944-1945 Kubik served as an Adjutant to the Inspector of the Rzeszow District of the Home Army. Photo taken by Polish secret police, the UB, in 1947 after his capture.
Lieutenant Józef Rzepka - Wolnosc i Niezawislosc - WiN 4 - Lieutenant Józef Rzepka, nom de guerre(s) "Krzysztof", "Znicz", who served as the Chief of the Political Department.
Captain Franciszek Błażej - Wolnosc i Niezawislosc - WiN 5 - Captain Franciszek Błażej, nom de gurerre(s) "Bogusław", "Tadeusz", who was the Home Army’s Operations Officer in 1944, became the Chief of Propaganda, and at the same time was the Chairman of Area “South”.
Stefan Sienko - Polish Secret Police, UB 6 - An important role was also played by Stefan Sieńko, nom de guerre "Wiktor". Sieńko, who operated under command of Major Kowalec, would later became a Polish secret police double-agent.
Major Jozef Rzadzki - Freedom and Independence - WiN 7- Major Józef Rządzki, nom de guerre(s) "Boryna", "Cezary” became the Chairman of Area “Center”. During 1940-1944 Rządzki commanded the Mielec-Kolbuszowa District of the Home army. Rządzki was in charge of the intelligence cell of Area “South” in Warsaw.
Major Hieronim Dekutowski, nom de guerre(s) “Zapora”, “Odra”

Left: Major Hieronim Dekutowski, nom de guerre(s) “Zapora”, “Odra” was a legendary commandant of the WiN partisan units who fought the communists in the Lublin area. Dekutowski was decorated with the Cross of the Virituti Militari V Class. He parachuted to Poland as a part of the SOE / Cichociemni drop 16/17.IX.1943. Initially, he commanded the 4th Company, 9 Infantry Regiment of Armia Krajowa (eng. Home Army – AK) in the Inspectorate Zamość of AK. “Zapora’s” unit conducted many operations against Nazis, defending the civilian population against their pacification operations in the Zamojszczyzna. In January 1944, he was promoted to command the Home Army Inspectorate Lublin-Puławy, leading a 200-men partisan unit that had fought in over 50 operations against the Nazis. After the Soviet entry onto the Polish territory in January 1945, he created a self-defense unit that engaged the Urzad Bezpieczenstwa, and members of the Communist, Polish Workers Party, the PPR.

On orders from the Home Army command in August, 1945 Dekutowski disbanded his unit and outed himself during the communist amnesty. Along with several co-conspirators, he undertook an unsuccessful attempt to escape to the West, but returned to the Lublin area and created a self-defense unit operating as a part of WiN. During 1945-1947, his 200-men unit conducted numerous operations against NKVD, UB, and KBW. During yet another “amnesty” in 1947, he outed himself as one of the last resistance members. He made yet another attempt to escape to the West. His escape was however a communist special services provocation.

All Dekutowski’s men, including him, were arrested between September 15, and 17 in Nysa in the Opole Voivodeship. After horrible interrogations, Major “Zapora” and 6 of his soldiers were sentenced to death. Dekutowski made yet another attempt to escape – this time from the Mokotow prison. He was betrayed by one of the prisoners there who was a criminal, and was again horribly tortured. Major “Zapora” was murdered at the Mokotow prison on March 7, 1949.

Area “South” was the WiN’s best component, having operated without a hitch since the disbandment of the Home Army in January 1945. The period of Ciepliński’s chairmanship was also among the most heroic periods in the history of WiN. It is during this period that the Polish society began to falter under the weight of the falsified elections, and the period of wide-ranging repressions against the PSL. It was also a beginning period of the liquidation of the PPS. Nonetheless, Ciepliński still managed to rebuild the WiN, and to establish new courier routes to the West. In June 1947, Lt. Jerzy Woźniak, nom de guerre(s) "Jacek", "Żmija", a courier, arrived to Poland with new ciphers from the Delegatura in the West.

Summer 1946. Major Hieronim Dekutowski “Zapora’s” soldiers.


Photo: Summer 1946. Major Hieronim Dekutowski “Zapora’s” soldiers. Standing from left: - “Zapora’s” First Adjutant Zbigniew Sochacki, "Zbyszek". Wounded during an operation against the UB on July 3, 1946, Sochacki shot himself. - Platoon Leader Kazimierz Stefańczyk "Sokół”, -Major Hieronim Dekutowski “Zapora”, - Lieutenant Kazimierz Pawłowski "Nerw". “Nerw” outed himself in 1947 as a part of the amnesty. After “Zapora’s” arrest he conducted several operations against the communist forces to procure money to buy Dekutowski’s freedom from the UB. He was arrested on July 1, 1948, and was sentenced to death. “Nerw” was murdered in February 1949. - Lieutenant Szczepan Żelazny "Żaba", Platoon Leader in “Zapora’s” unit. After outing himself as a part of the amnesty, he was arrested during mid-1948 by the communists, and was sentenced to 15 years of prison.

The WiN used Western embassies (for example the Embassy of Belgium) to move information back and forth. Military and Political intelligence activities, particularly those against the Soviet armed forces in Poland, were intensified. From the Autumn of 1946, the intelligence was transmitted through WiN’s representative office in Munich to London. WiN also had its representation in the United States, Stockholm, Rome, and in Paris. The first signs of the “Bezpieka’s” attempts to penetrate the IV ZG WiN became visible during the mass arrests of the Home Army soldiers in the second half of 1947. There is also an indication, at the latest in 1947, that the secret police was able to track down and to capture WiN’s head of the Bureau of Studies, Major Stefan Sieńko "Wiktor”; a fact that had triggered the final penetration of the WiN leadership. The coerced Sieńko simply switched sides.

Wojciech Lis, nom de guerre "Mściciel".

Photo: Wojciech Lis, nom de guerre "Mściciel". After beating and taking prisoner a German soldier in 1942, Lis was hiding in the forests. It is also during this time that he organized and took command of a well-organized partisan unit. As a reprisal, the Nazi Gestapo executed his father and his sister on July 31, 1943, in Mielec-Borek. During one of the operations, Lis executed the commandant of a nearby concentration camp, Otto Engelbert, a Gestapo man, and his Adjutant. In the summer of 1944, after the Operation “Burza”, he didn’t dissolve his unit. He remained in the forests, in the area of Hyki-Dębiaki, where he hid heavy weapons and grenades. The NKVD attempted to recruit him to help them round up AK partisans who remained in hiding. When Lis refused, he was arrested in October 1944, but managed to escape by breaking the door to his cell and stunning the guard. After escaping, he reorganized his partisan unit once again. On August 20, 1945, a large unit of UB-KBW-MO from Kolbuszowa organized a massive chase operation to liquidate his unit, but to no avail. In 1946, Lis subordinated his unit to Major “Zapora”. Wojciech Lis fell victim to the plot organized by Wojciech Pacanowski, the head of the PUBP (pol. abr. Powiatowy Urzad Bezpieczenstwa Publicznego – County Office of Public Security) in Mielec. He was murdered near a forester’s house in Pateraki on January 30, 1948. His body was buried in secrecy in a refuse dump on the property of the County Office of the People’s Militia in Mielec.

The arrests of the leadership of WiN, triggered earlier by several successful secret police penetration operations in the Rzeszow Area, began in the end of September 1947.

The remains of Wojciech Lis, nom de guerre "Mściciel", and his last second in command Konstanty Kędziora, murdered on January 30, 1948 by a Polish secret police functionary.  

Photo: The remains of Wojciech Lis, nom de guerre "Mściciel", and his last second in command Konstanty Kędziora, murdered on January 30, 1948 by a Polish secret police functionary.

Łukasz Ciepliński, nom de guerre "Ostrowski" was captured on November 27. Following his capture on the 27th, a wave of arrests that spanned until December 10-12, 1947, resulted in the detention of nearly all of his collaborators - with one exception. In the end, all the Area and District chairmen fell into the hands of the “Bezpieka”. The Wrocław district was destroyed in December, and others before that. Major Mieczysław Kawalec, nom de guerre "Psarski" fell into communist hands after Sieńka tipped off his UB handlers.

All captured men were subjected to unspeakable tortures that were directly supervised by the Soviet NKVD. During the “trial” that took place between October 5 and October 14, 1950 Lt. Col. Łukasz Ciepliński, Major Adam Lazarowicz, Lieutenant Józef Rzepka, Captain Franciszek Błażej, Lieutenant Józef Batory, Karol Chmiel and Major Mieczysław Kawalec, were sentenced to death.

Captain Józef Batory, nom de guerre(s) "Argus", "Wojtek", "August". Captain Józef Batory, nom de guerre(s) "Argus", "Wojtek", "August". Executed on March 1, 1951.

Captain Ludwik Kubik was sentenced to life in prison, J. Czarnecka was sentenced to 15 years, and Z. Michałowska was sentenced to 12 years. The death sentences were carried out in the Polish secret police dungeons at the Mokotow Prison in Warsaw on March 1, 1951.

The condemned men were executed with a single shot to the back of the head – a method consistent with the Katyn Forest Massacre executions. Their bodies were never returned to their families. Their place of burial remains unknown to this day. [See the 1951 Mokotów Prison execution Here ...]

Karol Chmiel, nom de guerre(s) "Grom", "Zygmunt", "Katonowicz", "Leon" Karol Chmiel, nom de guerre(s) "Grom", "Zygmunt", "Katonowicz", "Leon". Executed on March 1, 1951.
July 9, 1948, Urzędów, Lublin County. Fallen unknown and unidentified soldiers form the Władysław Sobczak, nom de guerre “Czajka” unit. Among the dead, are "Jastrząb" and "Tygrys".  

Left: July 9, 1948, Urzędów, Lublin County. Fallen unknown and unidentified soldiers form the unit of Władysław Sobczak, nom de guerre “Czajka”. Among the dead, are "Jastrząb" and "Tygrys".

The terrible fate that befell the members of WiN didn’t end with the destruction of the IV Executive Office. As a result of Stefan Sieńko’s betrayal (an UB agent probably since the end of 1946), between December 1947 and February 1948, the “Bezpieka” was able to establish a fictitious “V General Command of WiN” manned exclusively by UB functionaries and their agents.

Sieńko vetted the UB agents to the courier, Captain Adam Boryczko “Adam”, from the Foreign Office of WiN who arrived from the West. After that, a large-scale operational play by the MBP (pol. abr. Ministerstwo Bezpieczenstwa Publicznego – Ministry of Public Security) was conducted as a part of the Operation “Cezary” and went into full swing. The Operation “Cezary” lasted until December 1952. The goal of this operation was to penetrate the leadership of the Democratic Resistance, by the UB. The “Bezpieka” intentionally left some of the resistance groups alone, but also with Sieńko’s help, created new groups to control and give shape to the activities of the WiN’s Foreign Office. During 1948-1952, many innocent individuals who were motivated by their patriotism and love for their country fell victim to this double play. Unbeknown to them, their patriotism fell victim to the MBP and NKVD provocation, often resulting in their imprisonment or deaths.

August 1947. From left: Maj. “Zapora” and Captain Zdzisław Broński, nom de guerre "Uskok".  

Photo: August 1947. From left: Maj. “Zapora” and Captain Zdzisław Broński, nom de guerre "Uskok". Broński participated in the 1939 defensive War, and was a soldier in the ZWZ-AK. From spring 1944 he commanded a partisan unit incorporated into the VI Platoon of 8 Infantry Regiment of the Home Army. During Operation “Burza”, “Uskok’s” unit had about 60 soldiers. After the Soviet entry, “Uskok” didn’t lay his weapons down. In October 1944, his unit conducted a number of liquidation operations. It operated in the area of Lubartów and Lublin counties. In May 1946, the unit subordinated itself under command of Major “Zapora”. When “Zapora” decided to leave for the West, on his order from September 12, 1947, he promoted Captain “Uskok” to be his second in command. “Uskok” commanded the resistance organizations throughout the entire Lublin Voivodeship area until May 21, 1949. After being surrounded by the UB and MO forces in his safe house in Kolonia Dąbrówka, Łaszczów municipality, he committed suicide by detonating a grenade.

The transformation of WiN into a civil and strictly conspiratorial organization was not entirely successful. Col. Rzepecki who championed the self-disbandment of the armed units was opposed to the “official” outing of his soldiers to the UB. An “official” outing was to be allowed only when units were in eminent danger (See directive from September 14, 1945). Mindful of the bleak prospects of achieving political goals through armed resistance, the WiN leadership was also weary of the danger steaming from the secret police penetration. It couldn't however, abandon the post-Home Army units still deeply entrenched the forests. The most successful demobilization of units took place in the Małopolska area (in particular in the Rzeszow Voivodeship) where most endangered individuals were moved to the Śląsk area. It is also there that the soldiers from the “Warta” grouping from the Lwow Home Army District were transferred. And so it was Śląsk, that became a new home for the “Lwow’s” WiN districts that were decimated by the arrests during 1946.

1946. An unknown and unidentified soldier from the Capt. “Uskok’s” unit, nom de guerre "Słowik” shot (executed?) by the UB.  

Particularly sizable units of WiN operated in the Białostok and Lublin voivodeships, and in the eastern counties of the Warsaw Voivodeship. In some counties, the WiN’s presence even forced the local communist PPR organizations to go underground. A particular intensification of the military engagements took place during spring and summer 1945, and in the spring 1946. The largest post–Home Army units that subordinated themselves to the WiN command were those commanded by:

1 - Major Marian Bernaciak, “Orlik”, died in combat on June 23, 1946.
2 - Major Hieronim Dekutowski, “Zapora”, who was arrested on September 16, 1947, along with a group of his soldiers as a result of a provocation instigated by F. Abraszewski, an AK officer. Dekutowski was executed on March 7, 1949.
3 – Captain Zdzisław Broński, "Uskok" - died on May 21, 1949.
4 – Jan Leonowicz “Burta” - died on February 9, 1951.
5 – Officer Cadet Leon Leona Suszyński, “P-8”
6 – Capt. Kazimierz Kamieński - captured on November 29, 1952, executed on October 24, 1953.
7 - Jan Tabortowski “Bruzda” - died on August 23, 1954.
8 - Jan Toth “Mewa” - captured on July 17, 1947, executed on June 24, 1949.

The WiN’s leadership was hopeless in the face of the escalating communist terror campaigns. Particularly dangerous to the resistance were both the direct penetration by communist intelligence organizations and the agent-provocateur, “kontrpartyzantka”, or the “odzialy pozorowane” – fictitious partisan units - operated by the “Bezpieka”. These tactics were analogous to those conducted by the NKVD in the Kresy Wschodnie territory that was seized by the Soviets in 1944. In order to bring an end to the fratricidal struggle with the Ukrainians, in autumn 1945 and in 1946, the WiN made a number of local ceasefire agreements with UPA; in particular in the Biala Podlaska, Zamość and Lublin areas. These tactical agreements in the face of the common enemy manifested themselves most notably in the joined WiN and UPA attack on the NKVD and UB headquarters in Hrubieszow on May 28, 1946.

June 26, 1946. Dead partisans from the Capt. “Uskok’s” unit who were killed by the tactical KBW-UB forces.
Above: June 26, 1946. Dead partisans from the Capt. “Uskok’s” unit who were killed by the tactical KBW-UB forces. From left: Józef Król, nom de guerre "Maryś", Stanisław Lis, nom de guerre "Korzeń", and Kazimierz Karpik, nom de guerre "Czarny". The partisans were betrayed by three individuals from Puchaczew, and then ambushed in the safehouse in Turnowola near Lubartow. They were killed while trying to pierce through the encirclement. Their deaths triggered a reprisal operation in Puchaczow conducted by WiN’s units of "Wiktor", "Ordon", and "Żelazny". As a result 21 inhabitants, mostly UB snitches and members of the communist Polish People’s Party were liquidated.

Above: 1946. An unknown and unidentified soldier from the Capt. “Uskok’s” unit, nom de guerre "Słowik” shot (executed?) by the UB.

1946. An unknown and unidentified soldier from the Capt. “Uskok’s” unit, nom de guerre "Słowik” shot (executed?) by the UB.  
Above: Lieutenant Zygmunt Libera “Babinicz”, deputy commandant in the “Uskok’s” unit. Arrested on May 20, 1949 in Ziółkowo, Lublin County. Murdered at the Lublin Castle on May 28, 1950.  

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4



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