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The Doomed Soldiers
Polish Underground Soldiers 1944-1963 - The Untold Story

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Zolnierze Wykleci
 

Liquidation of Adam Garbaty detatchment.

The Destruction of the National Military Union Detachment of Adam Kusz, nom de guerre “Garbaty" (Hunchback) - August 19, 1950.

(pol. "Rozpracowanie i likwidacja oddzialu NZW Adama Kusza ps. „Garbaty” - 19 VIII 1950")

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

 

An Epilogue. "The Partisans" in Boston, MA.

Sculpturer Andrzej Pitynski who conceived "The Partisans" monument.  

Thirty years later in Boston, United States, sculpturer Andrzej Pitynski - son of Aleksander Pitynski, nom de guerre "Kula"and nephew of Michal Krupa, nom de guerre "Wierzba" / "Pulkownik", created a moving monument. Aleksander Pitynski was a soldier in the NOW-AK unit of "Ojciec Jan" [Eng. "Father John"], NZW unit of "Wolyniak" and the unit of Stefania Krupa "Perelka".

Andrzej created a monument for them entitled "The Partisans". Andrzej says, that he dedicated this monument to all "Fighters for Freedom in the World", and used Polish Partisans as an example.

He created it for those incredible "Polish Boys from the Forests" from the units of "Wolyniak", "Ojciec Jan", "Majka", "Radwan", "Mewa", "Garbaty", "Ponury", "Kotwicz", "Hubal", "Wierzba", "Lis", "Babinicz", "Msciciel", "Klos", "Rys", "Msciwy", "Wilczur", "Cacko", "Drzymala", "Harnas", "Ogien", "Tarzan", "Bohun", "Kudlaty"... and many others like them who served in the partisan units in the entire Poland.

Above: Andrzej Pitynski who conceived "The Partisans" sculpture.

Boston, MA, USA, "The Partisans” monument authored by Andrzej Pitynski.

Above: Boston, MA, USA, "The Partisans” monument authored by Andrzej Pitynski.

"The Partisans" is a sculpture that was financed by the Sculpture Foundation. It was cast in aluminum in 1980 at the Johnson Atelier - The Technical Institute of Sculpture in Princeton, New Jersey. The sculpture is 10 meters long, 7 meters high, and 4 meters wide" - says Andrzej Pitynski. "[...] This composition depicts five armed riders in a marching formation; five desperate men who resemble forest ghosts more than they resemble human beings. [It depicts] five partisans who are tattered, mortally tired, who are bleeding from endless battles, escapes, skirmishes. [It depicts the partisans] immersed with their own thoughts about the tragedy of their nation, who are riding their horses, stumbling from exhaustion - emaciated steeds holding their heads down.

They are cast together, stirrup to stirrup, like a machine of war, a dragon with multiple legs, dragging itself in pain through tracklessness in the night. Their horses that can no longer see, with their necks stiffly outstretched, and nuzzles like wolfs, catch the wind of freedom into their wide opened nostrils.

It is their horses that lead them through the maze of betrayal, contempt, and ephemeral memory of free Poland.

They are tragic in their solitude of fight with no chance of victory, betrayed by world, and forgotten by God. Despite that, they are satiated with internal courage. A fight to the bitter end. They sit erect in their saddles, as if they were casted to their lances; ready at any moment to charge the enemy".

  Nome de guerre(s) of commanding officers and soldiers who were the epitome and inspiration to the creation of the monument entitled “The Partisans”. “Kula” – Aleksander Pitynski (the artist’s father), “Garbaty” – Adam Kusz, “Majka” – Stanislaw Pelczar, “Pulkownik” – Michal Krupa, “Wolyniak” – Jozef Zadzierski.
Nome de guerre(s) of commanding officers and soldiers who were the epitome and inspiration to the creation of the monument entitled “The Partisans”. “Kula” - Aleksander Pitynski (the artist’s father), “Garbaty” - Adam Kusz, “Majka” - Stanislaw Pelczar, “Pulkownik” - Michal Krupa, “Wolyniak” - Jozef Zadzierski.

"I was creating 'The Partisans' in the United States, when Poland was changing, when the SB [Pol. abr. Sluzba Bezpieczenstwa - Eng., Polish secret police] was murdering priests, students, and workers" - says Andrzej Pitynski.

“The Partisans” monument in Boston, US.

Above: "The Partisans” in Boston.

"I was creating this monument thinking about them all, about those thousands of the bravest Sons and Daughters of the Polish Nation, who were the first to stand up to the Soviet communism. They were betrayed by world and forgotten by God - a choice they made themselves - in the forest units of: NOW, AK, WiN, NSZ. They fought bravely with NKVD, Soviet Red Army; and with Polish traitors from the UB, KBW, MO, ORMO, [with all] "consolidators of the people's [communist] regime.

They fought because they never reconciled to give up their freedom. [They were] hunted in the forests like wild beasts, they were tortured in the UB dungeons, they were abused with the vindictive pleasure [of their oppressors], they were murdered in the MO torture houses, were buried illicitly at night in the graves that are unknown to this day. It is for THEM, that I created this symbol of the Golgotha of Polish Heroes."

“The Partisans” monument in Boston.

Above: "The Partisans” monument in Boston.

***

Andrzej Pitynski reminisces about his family and his childhood:

"My father, Aleksander Pitynski, nom de guerre "Kula", and my mom Stefania Krupa, nom de guerre "Perelka" were both wounded during the largest successful battle of the Polish partisans against the Soviet Red Army and NKVD at Kurylówka near Lezajsk on May 7, 1945. After the battle, the partisans put their wounded, among them my mom and dad, on the same horse and carriage, and took them to the hospital in Jaroslaw. And this is the way their partisans' love began - I am a result of that.

My father outed himself [revealed his affiliation with resistance] in April, 1947 - one month after I was born, and four months after the suicide of his commanding officer, "Wolyniak". Captain Józef Zadzierski "Wolyniak" was wounded in the arm during a skirmish with the UB [Pol. acr. Urzad Bezpieczenstwa - Eng., Office of Security - Polish secret police].

He was very ill with incurable gangrene of his right arm. He didn't want to be a burden to his unit by slowing it down and delaying their movement because of his failing health during perpetual skirmishes with NKVD, UB, KBW.

  Aleksander Pitynski, nom de guerre “Kula”, “Olek”, soldier in the resistance unit commanded by Józef Zadzierski, nom de guerre "Wołyniak", and Stefania Krupa-Pityńska, nom de guerre "Perełka", medic in the “Wołyniak’s” unit.
Above: Aleksander Pitynski, nom de guerre “Kula”, “Olek”, soldier in the resistance unit commanded by Józef Zadzierski, nom de guerre "Wołyniak", and Stefania Krupa-Pityńska, nom de guerre "Perełka", medic in the “Wołyniak’s” unit.

He committed suicide. On December 28, 1946 in Szegdy, a small settlement tucked away deep in the woods, after the last supper with his soldiers, through deep snow, he went alone into the forest, and shot himself through the mouth with his Polish Vis that he liked so much (because he never failed) - he took his own life. An hour later, the KBW and UB that was on their trail combed through the Szegdy in line formation.

For 50-years, the location of "Wolyniak's" grave was kept secret. Michal Krupa buried him next to the unmarked grave of his father in Tarnowiec near Kurylówka. In 1998, I funded the monument for "Wolyniak's". It stands proudly at the cemetery in Tarnowiec. The monument was solemnly unveiled by "Wolyniak's" sister, Alina Glinska from Warsaw - herself a soldier in the AK-NOW, who also fought in the Warsaw Uprising. [It was unveiled] in the presence of thousands of veterans from AK, NOW, NSZ, NZW, who arrived from entire Poland and from overseas.

My father Aleksander Pitynski, nom de guerre "Kula" outed himself in April 1947. One week after his outing he was arrested and tortured by the UB in Nisk. Roman Krawczynski, an UB Lieutenant, was requested specifically by my father's interrogator. After that, he [my father] was incarcerated numerous times at the Rzeszow castle. When I was a child - a child of 'gangsters' from NOW-AK, tossed onto the periphery of 'communist civilization', I went through their Gahanna of life - [a Gahanna] of those who fought the red plague.

There were frequent and brutal searches; they were tearing apart our floors, breaking everything. They even destroyed our furnace. But, one night, it was right after Christmas, will forever live in my memories. During the night, at 4 [a.m.] they broke the door, ran into our apartment with their PPS-41 aimed at us, and dragged us barefoot outside in our pajamas onto a snow-covered frontyard. The entire house was cordoned off by UB, MO, ORMO, armed with PPS-41 [machine guns].

I stood barefoot in the snow with grandpa in the middle of our yard; Mom was silently crying, but I couldn't cry from pain when I saw my dad wearing only overalls, half naked, barefoot, with his hands cuffed, and clenched fists. He was beaten by the UB thugs with truncheons, their PPSH-41 butts on his head, his entire body; the blood was splashing everywhere, his white overalls were real red, and the snow wasn't white anymore - it was red.

It was a full moon, and it was bright as if it was daytime. At the end, they tossed my manhandled and bloodied father into the 'suka' [translators note: literal translation of "suka" is "bitch" - a nick name of the police van], and I wouldn't see him for a long time. The following morning grandpa and I packed my dad's blood into a jar - this was the last time I ever cried. During my entire childhood we were victimized [by the communist regime], our house was searched, our phone was wiretapped, there were perpetual provocations and intimidations.

During the Martial Law, Aleksander Pitynski was interned in the detention camp in Zalez. One year before his death, he was promoted to a Lieutenant of Polish Army. He was decorated with Krzyz Partyzancki [eng. The Partisans Cross], Krzyz AK ([The AK, Home Army Cross], and Odznaka Burza [Medal given to the Home Army soldiers for participating in the Operation "Burza"]. Many years earlier he was decorated by the Polish Government in Exile in London with Krzyz AK, and three times with the Medal Wojska Polskiego [eng. The Polish Army Medal]. The commanding officer of the Rzeszow District of NOW-AK, Major "Zmuda" (Kazimierz Mirecki) promoted him to the rank of Captain and decorated him with Krzyz Walecznych [eng. The Cross of Valour] for his participation in the battle against the Soviet Red Army at Kurylówka, where he was wounded.

Michal Krupa, nom(s) de guerre "Wierzba", "Pulkownik", was the oldest brother of my mom. He was a soldier in the units of "Ojciec Jan", "Wolyniak", and Adam Kusz, "Garbaty". He fought against the communists until 1959.

Michal spent 10 years in Strzelce Opolskie jail. He died after his release form prison. Michal was betrayed - the traitor was liquidated. Michal Krupa, nom de guerre "Pulkownik" is buried at the Ulanowo cemetery, near the January Uprising Insurgents monument.

  Michał Krupa, nom de guerre(s) "Wierzba", "Pułkownik". Photo taken by Polish secret police, the UB after his arrest.
  Photo: Michał Krupa, nom de guerre(s) "Wierzba", "Pułkownik". Photo taken by Polish secret police, the UB after his arrest.

The capture of Michal Krupa “Wierzba” on February 11, 1959 by Polish secret police in Kulino.

The capture of Michal Krupa, nom de guerre "Wierzba" by Polish secret police in Kulino on February 11, 1959 .

When I was a boy, I would visit him - in his bunkers in the forest. I was only 11-years old, and I saw him as a free partisan - it was winter of 1958. Along with my dad, in the saddle on horseback, we traveled through the ice covered Tanew river; we would bring Michal provisions, and medications. He saw us off with two partisans on horses.

Michal Krupa, nom de guerre "Wierzba" capture Michal Krupa, nom de guerre "Wierzba" capture Michal Krupa, nom de guerre "Wierzba" capture
Above: The capture of Michal Krupa, nom de guerre “Wierzba” by Polish secret police on February 11, 1959 in Kulna.

While traveling, stirrup to stirrup, along a silver-white Tanew, the sun cast our long shadows on the iced over surface of the river. I would gaze for hours at that mass of moving horse legs, necks, heads, silhouettes of men in saddles with the protruding barrels of machine guns hanging of their shoulders, grenades hanging from their belts, bayonets in their cavalry boots - elongated silhouettes of shadowy horsemen - 'The Partisans'; the last Polish heroes."

I felt then, as if I was one with them. This picture became deeply embedded in my heart and inspired me to create the sculpture "The Partisans"." See "The Forest Was My Only Safety" for an epilogue of this story.

This article was translated by Stefan Komar

--

This interview was conducted by Piotr Niemiec and appeared in "Tygodnik Nadwislanski", Nr. 31 (1316).

Also see: National Military Union (NZW - Narodowe Zjednoczenie Wojskowe) - Region XXIII

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