“Each citizen has to be killed, we shall take no prisoners. Warsaw shall be erased from the face of the Earth and served as a deterrent for the whole Europe.”
These are the words of Adolf Hitler after he had been told about the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising, which began on August 1, 1944. What happened next was best described by Europe’s executioner, Himmler, one of the most notorious war criminals, who summed up the Uprising as, “…the toughest battle we had to fight since the beginning of war.”
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There are rumors that Witold and Krystyna had a fling (then again, who didn't with her?!). Even more trivial, she was acquaintances with Ian Flemming. It's been said it was she on whom Flemming (roughly) based Vesper Lynn. Eva Green, the woman who played Vesper in Casino Royale, also played Krystyna in the biopic. And it's not just his balls. Read his report as intended, and between the lines: It's first class intel work...and good prose. Then he escapes (where the first guy he meets is the one on whom he chose his nom de guerre (thinking the real guy was KIA)), sneaks in as a grunt during Warsaw (where he stalls a panzer troop for two weeks at Aleje Jerozolimskie), runs SOE-type stuff in Italy, then has kick-ass last words after his betrayal ("I tried to live my life in such fashion, so that in my last hour, I would rather be happy than fearful […] I found happiness within me, resulting from the realization, that this fight was worth it."). Christ, my life suddenly feels so worthless. On a related note, while this presumably isn't universally true, it seems like the most common sentence about any Pole in WWII is, "Captured and interrogated by the Germans/Russians....Revealed nothing.")
. ...The Polish government in exile in London was loathed by Stalin. While he made noises to Churchill and especially FDR about "free elections" once Poland was liberated... he intended for nothing of its authority to exist by the time that the Germans had been driven from Poland. . ...The Warsaw uprising gave him an excellent opportunity. He could have pushed in a few battalions and used a little artillery and air... but he wanted it to be crushed... The more thorough the better. He was refusing landing rights to the Allies re air drops of weapons and supplies... all the while claiming that his forces lacked the ability to go the slight distance required. . ...France and Britain declared war on behalf of Poland... but in the end swapped one horror show for another. But there had been an earlier armed insurrection in Warsaw couple of years before... Those involved in the later event got a preview of how the Germans would behave... ...My first exposure to the history of the occupation of Poland was reading about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. In early 1962 when I was 12. I got my hands on a once-read copy of the Leon Uris (Warning, Book Acquisition Alert...) novel "Mila 18" Except for a few titles like "Something of Value" and "The Centurions" I don't recommend many novels on this site. This is one of those exceptions. It will break your heart while making you proud of what the human race can do in extremis. . ...Price not an issue here... almost any library has a copy... is available on Kindle... and a vast number of used copies. If you go to Amazon and look up the mass paperback reissue, you will find countless reviews. The Amazon file here has none... but I selected it because of the original cover... . http://www.amazon.com/Mila-18-1st-First-Edition/dp/B009NO6RL0 . -YP-
JohnChristopher1 Great post man. I had to look up Skarbek, but I know the stories of Piliecki (ridiculously huge brass balls only to be vilified/persecuted by the Russians) and Sendler well. As you are probably aware, Sendler, an adorable, heroic, plump old woman lost the Nobel Peace Prize to a not so adorable, not heroic, yet plump old woman named Al Gore. Yeah, ok. (insert eye roll) haha
jglow69 , . ...Yup. Meant to say that Mila 18 is where I first got into the history of the Polish occupation... Second posting in two days where I left something out. I guess at 65 warranty no good any more... . -YP-
I'm sure you already know (given how impressive you are with other topics) that the ghetto uprising and the one Naval is talking about are two different things. I'm sure you already knew that but I'm just making sure.