Testimony of truth
A testimony of Lucyna Adamkiewicz, World War II veteran, Home Army soldier and prisoner of the German concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
In a walled-in area of 300 ha, the Germans in 1940 herded together some 400,000 residents of Warsaw and its environs and the displaced people from lands incorporated into the Reich. The appalling conditions inside the ghetto, disease and starvation killed dozens of thousands of them. On 22 July 1942, the German authorities began to empty the Warsaw Ghetto of its inhabitants. Those who stayed, decided to put up resistance in spring 1943. On 19 April 1943, an uprising broke out in the Warsaw ghetto — the largest Jewish armed struggle in the Second World War and the first act of resistance against the invader in occupied Europe. In spite of the disproportion of forces, the fighting would continue for almost a month.
POLIN Museum created the Daffodils Campaign – Remembering Together to commemorate the Warsaw ghetto uprising. Every year on April 19th, hundreds of volunteers hand out paper daffodils to raise awareness of the uprising and its significance.
"The war is not over [...]. We will never agree to a different life, except in a fully sovereign, independent and fair Polish State [...]. I give you my last order. Continue your work and activities in the spirit of regaining full independence of the state,” wrote the last commander of the Home Army, General Leopold Okulicki, nom de guerre “Niedźwiadek.” Many of his soldiers listened to their commander and did not lay down arms when World War II ended. They continued their fight for a truly free homeland.
Poland is a land that has witnessed many military conflicts. The millions of graves and cemeteries – not only Polish – are reminders of our history’s tragic episodes. Soldiers of many nationalities, British, German and Russian, including one million and three hundred thousand Soviet Army troops were laid to rest in Poland.
It's been 15 years since Ryszard Kukliński died. As a colonel of the Polish People’s Army, he began, on his own initiative, cooperation with US intelligence services. In fear of a potential military conflict in Europe, he revealed to Americans tens of thousands secret plans drafted by the Warsaw Pact, including a plan of attack against NATO allies. Shortly before the martial law was declared in Poland, the CIA evacuated Kukliński together with his wife and two sons to the United States due to the threat of unmasking.