The Polish government-in-exile, formally known as the Government of the Republic of Poland in exile, was the government in exile of Poland formed in the aftermath of the Invasion of Poland of September 1939, the subsequent occupation of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union, which brought to an end the Second Polish Republic. Despite the occupation of Poland by hostile powers, the government-in-exile exerted considerable influence in Poland during World War II through the structures of the Polish Underground State and its military arm, the Armia Krajowa resistance. Abroad, under the authority of the government-in-exile, Polish military units that had escaped the occupation fought under their own commanders as part of Allied forces in Europe and the Middle East. After the war, as the Polish territory came under the control of the People's Republic of Poland, a Soviet satellite state, the government-in-exile remained in existence, though unrecognized and without effective power. Only after the end of Communist rule in Poland did the government-in-exile formally pass on its responsibilities to the new government of the Third Polish Republic in December 1990.
The government-in-exile was based in France during 1939 and 1940, first in Paris and in Angers. From 1940, following the Fall of France, the government moved to London, remained in the United Kingdom until its dissolution in 1990. On 17 September 1939, the President of the Polish Republic, Ignacy Mościcki, in the small town of Kuty near the southern Polish border, issued a proclamation about his plan to transfer power and appointing Władysław Raczkiewicz, the Marshal of the Senate, as his successor; this was done in accordance with Article 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, adopted in April 1935. Article 24 provided as follows: In event of war, the term of the President's office shall be prolonged until three months after the conclusion of peace. Should the President's successor assume office, the term of his office shall expire at the end of three months after the conclusion of peace, it was not until 30 September 1939 that Mościcki resigned. Raczkiewicz, in Paris took his constitutional oath at the Polish Embassy and became President of the Republic of Poland.
Raczkiewicz appointed General Władysław Sikorski to be Prime Minister. After Edward Rydz-Śmigły stepped down, Raczkiewicz made Sikorski Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Armed Forces. Most of the Polish Navy escaped to Britain, tens of thousands of Polish soldiers and airmen escaped through Hungary and Romania or across the Baltic Sea to continue the fight in France. Many Poles subsequently took part in Allied operations: in Norway, in France in 1940 and in 1944, in the Battle of Britain, in the Battle of the Atlantic, in North Africa, Italy, at Arnhem and elsewhere. Under the Sikorski–Mayski agreement of July 1941 Polish soldiers taken prisoner by the Soviet Union in 1939, were released to form Anders' Army, intended to fight Nazi Germany in the USSR, but instead transferred via Iran to fight with US and British forces. Berling's Army, formed in the USSR in 1944, fought under Soviet command; the Polish government in exile, based first in Paris in Angers, where Władysław Raczkiewicz lived at the Château de Pignerolle near Angers from 2 December 1939 until June 1940.
Escaping from France the government relocated to London, it was recognized by all the Allied governments. Politically, it was a coalition of the Polish Peasant Party, the Polish Socialist Party, the Labour Party and the National Party, although these parties maintained only a vestigial existence in the circumstances of war; when Germany launched a war against the Soviets in 1941, the Polish government in exile established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union against Hitlerism, but in order to help Poles persecuted by the NKVD. On 12 August 1941 the Kremlin signed a one-time amnesty, extending to thousands of Polish soldiers, taken prisoner in 1939 by the Red Army in eastern Poland, including many Polish civilian prisoners and deportees entrapped in Siberia; the amnesty allowed the Poles to create eight military divisions known as the Anders Army. They were evacuated to Iran and the Middle East, where they were needed by the British, hard pressed by Rommel's Afrika Korps; these Polish units formed the basis for the Polish II Corps, led by General Władysław Anders, which together with other, earlier-created Polish units fought alongside the Allies.
During the war from 1942 on, the Polish government in exile provided the Allies with some of the earliest and most accurate accounts of the ongoing Holocaust of European Jews and, through its representatives, like the Foreign Minister Count Edward Raczyński and the courier of the Polish Underground movement, Jan Karski, called for action, without success, to stop it. The note the Foreign Minister, Count Edward Raczynski, sent on 10 December 1942 to the Governments of the United Nations was the first official denunciation by any Government of the mass extermination and of the Nazi aim of total extermination of the Jewish population, it was the first official document singling out the sufferings of European Jews as Jews and not only as citizens of their respective countries of origin. The note of 10 December 1942 and the Polish Government efforts triggered the Declaration of the Allied Nations of 17 December 1942. In April 1943, the Germans announced that
The Pomeranian Griffin secret military organization was a Polish anti-Nazi resistance group active in Pomerania and East Prussia during World War II. A major Polish resistance organization in the Pomerania region, at its height in 1943 it might have had as many as 20,000 members, although only about 500 were active partisans in the forests; the name of the organization referred to the traditional coat of arms of Pomerania, which consists of either the black or the red griffin. After the German invasion of Poland, Polish Pomeranian territories were annexed into the German; as elsewhere in Poland, resistance organizations soon appeared. The Pomeranian Griffin organization was created on July 7, 1941 in Czarna Dąbrowa near Bytów, out of three smaller predecessor organizations: the Kashubian Griffin secret military organization, the Military Organization for Independence, a partisan unit codenamed "Zawisza". According to Polish historian Tomasz Strzembosz, the groundwork for the organization might have been laid down before the war by Colonel Ludwik Muzyczki.
The organization's charter stressed its Catholic nature and declared its purpose as self-defense, aid to the Polish population of Pomerania in the face of German terror, preparation for an eventual uprising against Nazi Germany. In addition to sabotage operations carried out by its forest partisan units, the organization was active in spreading anti-Nazi propaganda and in intelligence activities; the organization declared itself subordinate to the Polish Government in Exile in London, cooperated with the military structures of the Polish Underground State but stressed its regional autonomy. In 1943 internal ideological conflicts escalated during negotiations over the subordination of the organization to the main Polish anti-Nazi resistance movement, the Home Army. Polish resistance structures in Pomerania had suffered more than their fair share of arrests, Griffin leaders were wary of opening themselves up to a larger structure. Furthermore, whereas the Home Army and the government in exile were run by a coalition of several parties, while apolitical, was influenced by the National Democrats.
A portion of the Griffin split to join the Miecz i Plug nationalist movement. However, Miecz i Plug had been infiltrated by the Gestapo or, according to other sources, by NKVD agents who first framed existing leaders for collaboration and proceeded to establish real contacts with the Gestapo. Either way, as a result, many of the conspirators of the Griffin were compromised, arrested by the Nazis, sent to Nazi concentration camps; the remnants of the group survived until 1945, when the final order of its last commander instructed the soldiers to participate in the disarming of local German police forces and to provide logistic aid to the approaching Red Army. However, once Pomerania came under Soviet control, members of the group were persecuted and arrested by the Soviet authorities because of the organization's pro-Catholic and nationalistic character. Many of the group's members who were arrested during this time ended up being sent to the gulag by the Soviets, alongside the same German soldiers and Gestapo agents against whom they fought during the war.
Some historians argue that Griffin soldiers were treated much more harshly than the Armia Krajowa and the cursed soldiers members. In arresting the group's members the Soviet authorities relied on information provided by former Gestapo agents who had infiltrated the group during the war and who had switched sides once Soviet victory was imminent. Two of the Pomeranian Griffin's most notable members were Lieutenant Józef Dambek, Griffin's leader, Colonel-Chaplain Józef Wrycza, a respected Roman Catholic priest. After Lieutenant Dambek was killed by the Germans in 1944, he was succeeded by Lieutenant Augustyn Westphal. Krzysztof Komorowski, Konspiracja pomorska 1939-1947, Gdańsk 1993 Stanisław Salmonowicz and Jan Sziling, Pomorskie organizacje konspiracyjne 1939-1945, Toruń 1994 Mirosław Golon, Tajna Organizacja Wojskowa Gryf Pomorski wobec Armii Czerwonej a powojenne losy gryfowców, Gdańsk 2000 Józef Borzyszkowski, Losy Tajnej Organizacji Wojskowej Gryf Pomorski, Gdańsk 2000 Franciszek Szczęsny, Gryfowy szaniec, Gdańsk 2003 Stefan Dargacz, Zbrodnie polskojęzycznej grupy Gestapo przemianowanej po 1945 r. na UB w okresie okupacji niemieckiej i sowieckiej w Polsce, Gdańsk-Gdynia 2010, Stanisław Uciński, Żołnierze wyklęci Tajnej Organizacji Wojskowej „Gryf Pomorski” ujawniają kolejne zbrodnie polskojęzycznej grupy Gestapo przemianowanej po 1945 r. na UB w okresie okupacji niemieckiej i sowieckiej w Polsce, Gdańsk-Gdynia 2014, Gerald Stone, Slav outposts in Central European history: the Wends and Kashubs, London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2016 Wanda Błeńska Jan Rompsczi Exhibition about the Pomeranian Griffin by the Institute of National Remembrance, pdf panels of the exhibition Zespół ds.
Upamiętniania Etosu TOW "Gryf Pomorski", website dedicated to the Pomeranian Griffin
Radom is a city in east-central Poland, located 100 kilometres south of Poland's capital, Warsaw, on the Mleczna River, in the Masovian Voivodeship, having been the capital of Radom Voivodeship. Despite being part of the Masovian Voivodeship, the city belongs to Lesser Poland. For centuries, Radom was part of the Sandomierz Voivodeship of the Kingdom of Poland and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, it was an important center of administration. The Pact of Vilnius and Radom was signed there in 1401, the Nihil novi and Łaski's Statute were adopted by the Sejm at Radom's Royal Castle in 1505. In 1976, it was a center of anti Communist street protests. Radom is the fourteenth-largest city in Poland and the second-largest in the voivodeship with a population of 214,566 as of 2017, down from 221,287 in 2011; the city is home to the biennial Radom Air Show, the largest and best-attended air show in Poland, held during the last weekend of August. "Radom" is the popular unofficial name for a semiautomatic 9 mm Para pistol of Polish design, produced from 1935 to 1944 at the national arsenal located in the city, under the directorship of Kazimierz Ołdakowski, after whom a square in Radom is named.
The Łucznik Arms Factory continues to produce modern military firearms. The international Radom Jazz Festival and the International Gombrowicz Theater Festival are held in the city. Radom's original settlement dates back to the 8th–9th century, it was an early medieval town in the valley of the Mleczna River. In the second half of the 10th century, it became a gord, called Piotrówka, protected by a rampart and a moat. Due to convenient location on the edge of a large wilderness, its proximity to the border of Lesser Poland and Mazovia, Radom emerged as an important administrative center of the early Kingdom of Poland. Piotrówka was named after St. Peter church, which in 1222 was placed under the authority of a Benedictine Abbey in nearby Sieciechów; the church no longer exists. The first documented mention of Radom comes from the year 1155, in a bull of Pope Adrian IV. By 1233, Radom was the seat of a castellan; the name of the city comes from the ancient Slavic given name Radomir, Radom means a gord, which belongs to Radomir.
In the second half of the 13th century, Radom was granted a Środa Śląska town charter by Prince Bolesław V the Chaste, although no documents exist to confirm the exact date of this event. The town prospered in the 14th century, when in 1350 King Kazimierz Wielki established the so-called New Town, with a royal castle, a defensive wall, a town hall. There was a market square and a grid plan of the streets, patterned after Gothic German towns; the area of New Town was 9 hectares, the length of the defensive wall was 1,100 meters. Radom had three gates, named after main merchant roads: Iłża Gate, Piotrków Trybunalski Gate, Lublin Gate; the defensive wall was further protected by 25 fortified towers. New Town had the Church of John the Baptist, the Royal Castle was built between the church and the moat. In 1364, Radom’s obsolete Środa Śląska rights were replaced with more modern Magdeburg rights, residents gained several privileges as a result. At that time, Radom was located from Ruthenian lands to Silesia.
In 1376, the city became the seat of a starosta, entered the period of its greatest prosperity. King Władysław Jagiełło granted several privileges to the city. Jagiełło himself travelled from Kraków to Vilnius, liked to stay at Radom Castle en route. On March 18, 1401, the Pact of Vilnius and Radom was signed, which strengthened the Polish–Lithuanian union. After the Pact, preparations for the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War began. King Casimir IV Jagiellon visited Radom, along with his wife, Elizabeth of Austria. Here, the King would host foreign envoys, from such countries as the Crimean Khanate, the Kingdom of Bohemia, the Duchy of Bavaria. On November 18, 1489, Johann von Tiefen, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, paid homage to King Jagiellon at Radom Castle. Mikołaj Radomski, one of the earliest Polish composers, comes from Radom. In 1468, the complex of a Bernardine church and monastery was founded here by King Jagiellon, with support of the local starosta, Dominik z Kazanowa; the complex was made of wood.
In 1481, Radom became the residence of Prince Kazimierz, the son of King Jagiellon, who ruled the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The young prince died of tuberculosis, became patron saint of both the city of Radom, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Radom. During the reign of Alexander Jagiellon, the Nihil novi act was adopted by the Polish Sejm in a meeting at Radom Castle. Furthermore, at the same meeting, the first codification of law published in the Kingdom of Poland was accepted. Radom remained one of the most important urban centers of Sandomierz Voivodeship, the seat of a county, of the Treasure Tribunal, which controlled taxation. Several kings visited the city, including Stephen Bathory and his wife Anna Jagiellon, Sigismund III Vasa, August III Sas. In 1623 many residents died in an epidemic, in 1628, half of Radom burned in a fire; the period of prosperity ended during the Swedish invasion of Poland. The Swedish army captured the city without a fight in November 1655. At first
Military Organization Lizard Union
Organizacja Wojskowa Związek Jaszczurczy was an organization of Polish resistance in World War II. Created in 1939 and transformed into National Armed Forces in 1942, it represented the far-right of the Polish political spectrum and thus refused to recognize the Polish Underground State; the organisation was created in October 1939 by Group Szaniec, itself originating from the far right ONR-ABC, a faction of the National Radical Camp. On a structural level it was subordinated to Organizacja Polska, a military department of ONR. ONR-ABC was not supportive of the mainstream Polish Underground State related to the Polish government in exile, thus OW ZJ became an alternate Polish military, a counterweight to the ZWZ-AK of the Underground State; the OW ZJ and its nemesis, the communist NKVD-controlled Gwardia Ludowa/Armia Ludowa, were the two major factions of Polish resistance that did not recognize the mainstream ZWZ-AK. The Związek Jaszczurczy conducted intelligence and sabotage operations within territory of Nazi occupied Poland as well as in and around Berlin, Brandenburg area, München, Bavaria, Ruhr Basin, Bremen and eastern Pomerania area including Krolewiec, Gdańsk.
The eradication of the Związek Jaszczurczy became of such importance to the Nazis, that at the end of 1940, the Gestapo created dedicated unit, known as the SS-Sonderkommando ZJ, in order to stop its sabotage and intelligence activities. In December 1941 the first wave of arrests of the NSZ / Zwiazek Jaszczurczy's agents began. At the end of 1943 alone, 80 individuals were arrested; the Military Tribunal of III Reich, German military laws, more rigorously expanded during war, dealt with those arrested mercilessly. From among dozens of arrested, only 3 individuals were found not guilty; the others were sentenced to lengthy imprisonment, half of them were sentenced to death. The names of the ZJ agents of the Intelligence Unit “West” sentenced to death and executed by the Nazis by beheading at the Moabit prison in Berlin, are immortalized on a commemorative plaque at the St. Brigida's Basilica in Gdańsk, Poland. In September 1942 OW ZJ merged with part of National Military Organization and formed the National Armed Forces.
The OW ZJ faction would be opposed when the NZS decided to cooperate with AK in 1944, the so-called NZS-ZJ faction would break off the main NSZ and refuse most cooperation with AK. Members of the OW ZJ, NZS, considered Soviet Union to be enemy of the Polish people just as Nazi Germany was and thus were opposed to the Soviet communist regime which became established in Poland after World War II. For political expediency reasons, the communist regime branded them enemies of the state and the communist propaganda apparatus referred to them as Fascists and Nazis. OW ZJ did not carry out many combat operations, but instead had a well-developed intelligence network, it engaged in psychological warfare, carried out various propaganda operations. Among many accomplishments of the ZJ Intelligence Unit “West” which played a significant role in the outcome of the II World War were obtaining information about Nazi aggression on Greece, obtaining a date of an attack by the Afrika Korps directed towards Alexandria, establishing the location of the Nazi battleship “Tirpitz”, establishing the locations of the ultra-secret Nazi V-2 rocket manufacturing facility in Peenemünde, establishing the location of the test-site of German V rockets along with their precise drawings and dimensions.
The ZJ managed to infiltrate its agents into the Deutsche Werke Kiel repair shipyard in Gdynia in order to ascertain the number and types of vessels being repaired there, the extent of their battle damage – this allowed them, in turn, to locate the German battleship Gneisenau which escaped the British Navy seeking to destroy it in the Norwegian fjords. ZJ is credited with the destruction of a Nazi experimental submarine in Gdańsk. OW ZJ commander for most of its period was Władysław Marcinkowski "Jaxa". In 1942 OW ZJ had most about 10,000 members, some Polish historians give a higher estimates up to the rank of 70,000. OW ZJ had most influence in Warsaw, Radom and Łódź. Lizard Union for origins of the name Organizacja Wojskowa Związek Jaszczurczy in PWN Encyklopedia Związek Jaszczurczy Związek Jaszczurczy i „Grupa Szańca” Z kart Historii Wywiadu "Zachod" ZJ i NSZ National Armed Forces - Historical Brief Zbigniew S. Siemaszko, Narodowe Siły Zbrojne, Londyn 1982 Stanisław Żochowski, O Narodowych Siłach Zbrojnych – NSZ, Lublin 1994 Władysław Marcinkowski "Jaxa", Wspomnienia 1934-1945, Warszawa 1998 Krzysztof Komorowski, Polityka i walka.
Konspiracja zbrojna ruchu narodowego 1939-1945, Warszawa 2000 Kazimierz Litwiejko, Narodowa Organizacja Wojskowa. Okręg Białystok 1941-1945, Białystok 2001 Krzysztof Kaczmarski, Podziemie narodowe na Rzeszowszczyźnie 1939-1944, Rzeszów 2003
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
National Armed Forces
Narodowe Siły Zbrojne was a Polish anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet military organization, part of Poland's World War II resistance movement. The NSZ fought occupying German and Soviet forces as well as Soviet-allied Polish communist partisan forces such as Gwardia Ludowa and Armia Ludowa; the NSZ was the third-largest Polish resistance movement of World War II, after the Home Army and Bataliony Chłopskie. The number of its soldiers ranged from 70,000 to 75,000; the NSZ was created on September 20, 1942, as a result of the merger of the Military Organization Lizard Union and part of the National Military Organization. At its maximum strength in 1943-44 the NSZ reached between 70,000 and 75,000 members, making it the third largest organization of the Polish resistance. NSZ units participated in the Warsaw Uprising. In March 1944 the NSZ split, with the more moderate faction coming under the command of the AK; the other part of the organization became known as the NSZ-ZJ. This branch of the NSZ conducted operations against Polish communist activists and secret police, the Soviet partisans, NKVD and SMERSH, their own former leaders.
The NSZ's program included the fight for Polish independence against Nazi Germany as well as against the Soviet Union, with its focus on keeping the Second Polish Republic's prewar eastern territories and borders while regaining additional former German territories to the west which they deemed "ancient Slavic lands". The General Directive Nr. 3 of the National Armed Forces General Command, L. 18/44 from January 15, 1944, reads: "In the face of crossing of Polish borders by Soviet forces, the Polish Government in London and its Polish citizens living on the territory of Poland express their unwavering desire for the return of the sovereignty to the entire area of Poland within the Polish borders established prior to 1939 through the mutually-binding Treaty of Riga and reaffirmed by the general principles of the Atlantic Charter, as well as by the declarations of the Allied governments which did not concede to any territorial changes that took place in Poland after August 1939." During the war, the NSZ fought the Polish communists including their military organizations such as the Gwardia Ludowa and the Armia Ludowa.
After the war former NSZ members were persecuted by the newly installed communist government of the Polish People's Republic. Communist partisans engaged in planting false evidence like documents and forged receipts at the sites of their own robberies in order to blame the NSZ, it was a method of political warfare practiced against the NSZ by the Ministry of Public Security of Poland and Milicja Obywatelska right after the war, as revealed by communist Poland's court documents. Such methodically devised propaganda and tactical operations carried out against the armed underground, including the NSZ, were spelled out in the Top Secret Directive VIII/1233/172 issued by the Ministry of Public Security on December 4, 1945; this Top Secret Directive signed by the ministry's head Stanisław Radkiewicz was issued to all the voivodeship and field UB offices. It reads: “ the heads of the UB offices are directed to prepare in great secrecy an action having as its goal liquidation of members of democratic organizations.
It is advised that special-purpose units created during the summer of last year be used for this purpose. This action is to be accompanied by a press campaign directed against the reactionary gangs who will be blamed for these actions. Radkiewicz”. Due to the policy of non-cooperation with the Soviets, the NSZ remained an independent and secret military and political organization after Poland was taken over by the Soviets and the Polish communists; the NSZ described and evaluated the communist activities in the following way: One can die by the method proven in Katyn, by a single shot in the back of the head, or in the Soviet forced labour camps, or in German Nazi concentration camps there is no real difference in the way one dies therefore it is our duty to stamp out the Soviet agents in Poland. This is demanded by the Polish national interest. Notable military operations by NSZ include the liberation of the Nazi subcamp of the Flossenbürg concentration camp located in Holýšov by the Holy Cross Mountains Brigade, the assaults on German transport trains departing from Majdanek concentration camp.
In most instances, as noted by Dariusz Libionka of Poland's Institute of National Remembrance, the underground special forces were unaware of the ongoing Holocaust in occupied Poland. Polish-American historian Marek Jan Chodakiewicz notes that Jews accused of robberies were executed by all sides of the internal partisan conflict. Polish historian Alina Cała of the Jewish Historical Institute, in a Trybuna.eu interview, claimed that part of NSZ doctrine was the elimination of what they considered to be communist bands, that they systematically pursued that goal. From November 1944 to mid-1947, during the period of armed anti-communist insurgency against the Soviet takeover of Poland, between 500 and 1,500 Jews were murdered in Poland, many of them members of communist security forces and the Stalinist political apparatus. According to Marek Edelman, the lawlessness had little to do with antisemitism; some people argue that the bulk of the NSZ attacks were directed against the Soviet partisans and the GL-AL, in whose ranks a n
Jewish Military Union
Żydowski Związek Wojskowy was an underground resistance organization operating during World War II in the area of the Warsaw Ghetto, which fought during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and 1944 Warsaw Uprising. It was formed of former officers of the Polish Army in late 1939, soon after the start of the German occupation of Poland. Due to the ŻZW's close ties with the Armia Krajowa, linked to the Polish Government in Exile, after the war the Soviet-dependent People's Republic of Poland suppressed publication of books and articles on ŻZW, its role in the uprising in the ghetto was downplayed, in favour of the more socialist Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa. The ŻZW was formed some time in November 1939 after the German and Soviet conquest of Poland. Among its founding members may have been Dawid Mordechaj Apfelbaum, a pre-war Lieutenant of the Polish Army, who proposed to his former superior, Captain Henryk Iwański, the formation of a Jewish en cadre resistance as an integral part of the general Polish resistance being formed at that time.
At the end of December such an organization was indeed formed and received the name of Żydowski Związek Walki. On January 30, 1940, its existence was approved by General Władysław Sikorski, the Polish commander in chief and the prime minister of the Polish Government in Exile. Consisting of only 39 men, each armed only with a Polish Vis 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, with time it had grown to become one of the most numerous and most notable Jewish resistance organizations in Poland. Between 1940 and 1942 additional cells were formed in most major towns of Poland, including the most notable groups in Lublin, Lwów and Stanisławów. Although formed by professional soldiers, with time it included members of pre-war right wing Jewish-Polish parties such as Betar and the Revisionist faction of the Polish Zionist Party; the ŻZW was formed in close ties with Iwański's organization and focused on acquisition of arms and preparation of a large-scale operation in which all of its members could escape to Hungary, from where they wanted to flee to join the Polish Armed Forces in the West.
With time however it was decided that the members stay in occupied Poland to help organize the struggle against the occupiers. In the period the ŻZW focused on acquisition of arms for the future struggle as well as on helping the Jews to escape the ghettos, created in every town in German-held Poland. Thanks to the close ties with the Związek Walki Zbrojnej and the AK, the ŻZW received a large number of guns and armaments, as well as training of their members by professional officers; those resistance organizations provided help with weapons and ammunition acquisition, as well as with organizing the escapes. Although the ŻZW was active in a number of towns in Poland, its major headquarters remained in Warsaw; when most of the Jewish inhabitants were forced into the Warsaw Ghetto, the ŻZW remained in contact with the outside world through Iwański and a number of other officers on the Aryan side. By the summer of 1942, the League had 320 well-armed members in Warsaw alone. During the first large deportation from the Warsaw Ghetto, the ŻZW received the news of the German plans and managed to hide most of its members in bunkers, which resulted in fewer than 20 of them being arrested by the Germans.
Although Dawid Mordechaj Apfelbaum could not convince Adam Czerniaków to start an armed uprising against the Germans during the deportation, the organization managed to preserve most of its members - and assets. It started to train more members and by January 1943 it had 500 men at arms in Warsaw alone. In addition, the technological department of the ŻZW, together with Captain Cezary Ketling's group of the PLAN resistance organization managed to dig two secret tunnels under the walls of the ghetto, providing contact with the outside and allowing smuggling of arms into the ghetto; the military leader of the ŻZW at the time of the uprising was Dr. Paweł Frenkiel, its political leader, Dr. David Wdowiński; the organization was divided onto groups of five soldiers. Three groups formed a unit, four units formed a platoon and four platoons - a company, composed of 240 men. In early January 1943 the ŻZW had two manned and armed companies and two additional en cadre companies, to be manned by newly arrived volunteers when need arises.
This indeed happened in April 1943, though the actual number of ŻZW soldiers to take part in the Uprising is a matter of debate. Apart from the fighting groups, the ŻZW was organized into several departments. Political Chair, Dawid Wdowiński Information Department, directed by Leon Rodal. During the Warsaw