National Armed Forces - Narodowe Sily Zbrojne - NSZ - The Doomed Soldiers

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

Freedom And Independence - Wolnosc i Niezawislosc - WiN - The Doomed Soldiers


Zolnierze Wykleci

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

"A fight without hope, a fight for a cause already lost, is, not in the least, an endeavor without sense [...] The value of a fight lies not in the certainty of victory for the cause for which the fight was undertaken, but in the values of the cause itself". Professor Henryk Elzenberg

At the beginning of 1950 there were hardly any partisan units of the Polish Independence underground still defying Soviet imposed Communist rule. Due to an amnesty announced by the Communist authorities in 1947 most conspirators came out of hiding. Only small groups of partisans who did not trust the authorities, or who took advantage of the amnesty but still found themselves to be the target of repressions, remained in the field.

This was the case even in Lublin County - an area in which the Independence Underground had been particularly active - where only a few detachments led by unbending commanders continued operations. There were several detachments belonging to the Freedom and Independence (pol. Zrzeszenie "Wolność i Niezawisłość") movement. Among them was a detachment under Edward "Zelazny (Ironclad)" Taraszkiewicz, composed of four people and active in Wlodawa, Chelm, Radzyn and Lubartow districts; a detachment named "Skalki (Little Rocks)" made up of three people in Wlodawa; four people under Mieczyslaw "Kedziorek (Curly)" Ruszkiewicz in districts of Lublin, Pulawa, Krasnik; a group of four to five people in Lublin, Pulawa and Lubartow under Edward Bukowski, known under the nicknames "Cichy (Silent One)", "Gruby (Fatso)", "Budzik (Alarm Clock)", and "Piorun (Lightning)". There were also detachments that did not belong to the Freedom and Independence organisation, such as: Adam "Garbaty (Hunchback)" Kusz's seven people, who operated in Bilgoraj district but also entered Rzeszow county as well as Krasnik district; five people under Jan "Burta (Ship Deck)" Leonowicz in Tomaszow, Lublin and Bilgoraj districts; a detachment under Tadeusz "Barykada (Barricade)" Lagoda with five people in Zamosc district; a patrol of six people led by Henry Kazimierz "Wrona (Crow)" Korzeniowski which moved into the Lukow, Radzyn, Podlaski districts from Warsaw county and was part of a larger group commanded by Roman "Lont (Fuse)" Dawicki; and a detachment of three to six people operating in Lublin, Lubartow, Chelm and Wlodawa districts under Stanislaw "Wiktor (Victor)" Kuchcewicz, past leader of a patrol belonging to a detachment led by Captain Zdzislaw "Uskok (Side Jump)" Bronski.

These groups functioned in villages and towns where they were assisted by the local people who provided intelligence and quarters. It was due to the help of the locals that these groups were able to elude the Communist security forces. The members of these detachments could not return to life in the open. Some had already tried to do so, some more than once, but due to repressions they were forced to continue hiding from the authorities. The only hope for a normal life for these anti-communist partisans rested on another war between East and West that could change the status quo in Europe and which they strongly believed was inevitable. Considering that their only other alternative was death, the underground partisans entrusted their life to God, becoming in the eyes of the civilian population, the last defenders of Poland's true independence, traditions and faith.

Narodowe Zjednoczenie Wojskawe Unit under command of Adam Kusz "Garbaty"  

One of these groups was the detachment led by Adam "Garbaty (Hunchback)" Kusz, otherwise known as "Klos (Ear of Corn)", which was what remained from the biggest National Military Organization partisan unit active in the Rzeszow area, which had been commanded by Jozef "Wolyniak (Person from Wolyn)" Zadzierski.

Adam Kusz was born in a peasant family on July 25, 1922 in Sierakow (Bilgoraj district) to Joseph and Anna. He finished the seventh grade of Public School and, up until 1939, he worked on his parents' farm. During the German occupation Adam belonged to the National Military Organization Unit created by Francis "Jan" or "Father Jan" Przysiezniak. Initially, this was the Operations detail of the National Military Organization's district subdivision, which conducted sabotage, armed attacks and distributed underground newsletters.

Above: Adam Kusza's unit. Top row (from left): Adam Kusz, nom de guerre "Garbaty", Kazimierz Zabieglinski, nom de guerre "Kuna", Tadeusz Haliniak, nom de guerre "Opium". In the back: Jozef Klys, nom de guerre "Rejonowy", Wladyslaw Ozga, nom de guerre "Bor", Stanislaw Bielecki, nom de guerre "Orzel". Middle row: Stanislaw Lukasz, nom de guerre "Marciniak", Tadeusz Parylak, nom de guerre "Czarny", Michal Krupa, nom de guerre "Wierzba". Below: Andrzej Dziura, nom de guerre "Stryj", Andrzej Kiszka, nom de guerre "Dab".  

In 1943, as part of the "Unification Process" (the consolidation of most Polish armed resistance groups under one nationwide command), the unit swore allegiance to the Armia Krajowa (Home Army)" after some hesitation by part of the National Military Organization leadership. By the end of 1943 the unit was part of OP9 of the Home Army and took part in operation "Storm" as OP44, part of the Rzeszow zone of the Home Army. In July of 1944 the unit was dissolved and "Father Jan" Przysiezniak went into hiding from the Soviets. After Communist Security agents murdered Przysiezniak's pregnant wife, Janina Oleszkiewicz-Prysiezniak, during the night of March 30 to the 31st of 1945, Przysiezniak returned to the "conspiracy" and became the commander of the San (Rzeszow) zone Woodlands detachment of the National Military Union (different from the National Military Organization) He stayed with this detachment along with his staff until the National Military Union dissolved it in September of 1945. Przysiezniak then left the Lublin area.

Franciszek Przysiezniak, nom de guerre "Ojciec Jan"  

After Father Jan's detachment was dissolved, along with other detachments of the National Military Organisation in July of 1944, partisans, on orders from their superiors, volunteered to work within PKWN (Communist) institutions. Thus, Jozef "Wolyniak" Zadzierski, a soldier and leader of "Father Jan's" discretionary detail, became the commander of the Communist Citizen's Militia in Lezajsk. When in December 1943 Father Jan's detachment broke up while fighting German forces, "Wolyniak" created his own partisan detachment, which in the beginning of 1944 answered directly to the National Military Organization Rzeszow Zone commander. After July 1944 "Wolyniak", along with members of his detachment, created the local Communist People's Militia.

Above: Franciszek Przysiezniak, nom de guerre "Ojciec Jan" among partisans from his unit.

In August 1944 he left this position, and led his soldiers towards Warsaw to try to assist the Warsaw Uprising. Along the way he was arrested by the Soviets and taken to a prison in Rzeszow castle from where he was sent to a concentration camp in the Soviet Union. En route he escaped and by December 1944 had already assembled a new detachment in Tamawiec. He was joined by previous subordinates, soldiers persecuted by the Soviets from other dissolved or dispersed units, as well as deserters from the Soviet controlled Polish regular army. Zadzierski again established contact with the National Military Organisation and in March 1945 put his unit under the command of Tadeusz "Ostoja (Mainstay)" Gryblewski, commander of the National Military Organisation Lancut Zone Sabotage Operations Subdivision. Later his unit was subordinate to the commander of the National Military Union (as opposed to National Military Organization) Woodlands Unit of Rzeszow Zone who was eventually replaced by Francis Przysiezniak who took on the new nickname "Marek (Mark)". In June of 1945 "Marek" ordered the demobilization of the Woodland Units and in August the Headquarters was dissolved. "Wolyniak did not follow these orders, stayed in the woods and accepted new members into his unit. In December 1946 his unit numbered twenty people.

"Wolyniak's unit, through the ranks of which 327 soldiers had passed at one time or another, fought the Communist authorities, defended Polish villages in the Zasan region from attacks by the Ukrainain Liberation Army and organized retaliatory attacks on Ukrainian villages. On May 7, 1945, near Kurylowka, it took part in one of the biggest battles that the independent Polish underground fought against the Red Army and the Soviet Security forces.

After "Wolyniak" committed suicide the night of December 28th, 1946, the unit split into two independent groups. Zadzierski's second-in-command, Adam "Garbaty (Hunchback)" Kusz, became the leader of one of the groups while Michal "Jaskolka (Swallow)" Oleksak, one of Wolyniak's co-conspirators, led the other. In February 1947, after establishing contact with "superiors" in the National Military Union, "Hunchback" went to Lezajsk, where his leadership position was approved. "Swallow" was the leader of his unit until he was killed in a skirmish with the Communist militia in Lazek in August of 1947.

Michal Oleksak, nom de guerre "Jaskolka", Lt. "Dabrowa", Stanislaw Kotwica, nom de guerre "Wasik" - Narodowe Zjednoczenie Wojskowe Soldiers  

The number of men in "Hunchback's" unit fell to seven after the Communist authorities in Poland announced a campaign, known as "The Amnesty" in which they promised to allow members of the anti-communist underground to re-enter society as long as they gave up their weapons and revealed their membership in the underground movement. After a short while, the numbers in Kusz's unit began to increase as partisans who had revealed themselves returned to hiding after the security apparatus began persecuting them, in violation of the conditions of "The Amnesty". Amongst them was Andrzej "Dab (Oak Tree)" Kiszka. The small size of the unit compelled it to limit its activities to property evictions, harassing the more active Communist party members, and killing the more dangerous of those collaborating with the Security forces.

Above: Michal Oleksak, nom de guerre "Jaskolka" (left), Lt. "Dabrowa" center, Stanislaw Kotwica, nom de guerre "Wasik" (right)  

Andrzej Kiszka remembers those times:

"We had bunkers in the woods, several hideouts, because we were continuously trailed. There was no way to fight anymore. Only occasionally did we teach [communist] party members a lesson by giving them a spanking, and did the same with informers. This was because informing was becoming more common, and the communists were putting people in jail for any little thing. The local people were sympathetic to us, but they were afraid, the security forces were acting as if they owned the place and were filling the jails with innocent people, oftentimes torturing them. You could end up in jail for a joke or a prank."

In October 1947 the Communist Security Office in Lancut, commenced an operation code named "Dust Storm" [pol. "Kurzawa"] against "Hunchback's" group. At the beginning of November the Security Office had six informers actively seeking information about the unit. A past member of "Hunchback's" group, nicknamed "Kawka (Small Cup of Coffee)", was used to gather intelligence from within the group itself.

On May 27, 1948 in Nisek there was a meeting of the County Security and Militia Headquarters of Nisek, Bilgoraj, and Lancut during which plans to eliminate Kusz's unit were discussed. An operational entity was created that was composed of two employees from each county security office for a total of six employees. The purpose of this entity was to work in the field from June 5 to June 15 and find out where "Hunchback's" unit was sheltering itself. An established network of agents was to provide basic information. In the event relevant information was obtained, the nearest Militia station would be notified first, and notifications to the other stations would follow. Reinforcements were sent to the Militia stations in Kurzyn of Nisko district, and Krzeszow and Kurylowka of Bilgoraj district. As a result of this operation Antoni "Gawrona (Rook)" Sokal, a member of Kusz's unit, was taken into custody.

Although Kusz's unit was small and relatively inactive, functionaries of three district offices of the Security Bureau were involved in combating this unit. Their operations, including attempts to insert an agent into the unit, brought little progress. Expanding the network of informers, mostly through threats, did not help. Under these circumstances, in the summer of 1949, upon order of Colonel Jozef Czaplicki [real name Izydor Kurz - see more here], Director of the 3rd Department of the Ministry of Public Security, an operational group was created in Nisko to coordinate efforts to eliminate "Hunchback's" unit.

Assigned to this group were functionaries of the County Offices of the Security Office from Lublin and Rzeszow, as well as from the County Offices of Nisko, Bilgoraj, Krasnik and Lancut. The following were selected to supervise this group: Captain Wlodzimierz Kaliszczuk, head of the 3rd division of the Lublin County Office; Lieutenant Teofil Paluch, Supervisor at the 1st Section of the 3rd Division of the Rzeszow County Office; and Sergeant Michal Fila, Supervisor of Department III of the Lancut Distict Office. Despite the vast scale of the oeration, it brought no results by the end of 1949.

In December of 1949, the Security apparatus decided to make use of agent "Jelen (Stag)", assigned to the 3rd Division of the Lublin County Office, who was handled by Captain Jan Gorlinski, second in charge at the Lublin County Security Office whose real name was Cezary Monderer-Lamensdorf.

  Wolyniak's partisans
  Above: Partisans from the "Wolyniak's" unit. Standing left to right: Adam Kusz, nom de guerre "Adam", Jozef Krzysztanowicz, nom de guerre "Hanys", Mikolaj Pasnik, nom de guerre "Jastrzab".
Wlodzimierz Kaliszczuk - Polish Secret Police.  

Agent "Jelen (Stag)" was Tadeusz Miksza, who was a platoon leader known as "Wampir (Vampire)" in the non-communist underground, first as a soldier in Tadeusz "Podkowa (Horseshoe)" Kuncewicz's underground unit, then in a unit led by Lieutenant Michal "Mis (Bear)" Szeremicki, that was part of a larger group commanded by Major Hieronim "Zapora (Dam)" Dekutowski. Agent "Jelen (Stag)" knew Wladyslaw and Czeslawa Orzel, through whom one could get to Adam Kusz. During a meeting with the Orzel's the agent led them to unequivocally believe that he was still working for the anti-communist underground. This was done according to a plan Captain Gorlinski had formulated to "prepare the terrain" for the introduction of a Communist agent pretending to be an Intelligence Officer of prewar independent Poland.

During these, and subsequent meetings "Jelen (Stag)" would assign intelligence tasks to his collaborators, for example, to gather information about members of communist PZPR [Pol. Abr., Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza - Eng., Polish United Workers Party] or ORMO [Pol. Abr., Ochotnicza Rezerwa Milicji Obywatelskiej - Eng., Voluntary Reserves of People's Militia], and paid them after their completion. Miksza's activities bore fruit only after several months, when "Hunchback" finally took interest in him. After that "Jelen (Stag)" received contact with Jozef Klys, nom de guerre "Rejonowy", with whose help he contacted Adam Kusz.

During the meeting with "Hunchback", Miksza mentioned that he has a contact with a pre-war officer, a captain, who is interested in Kusza's unit. He added that according to the captain, Tomasz Betka, an underground member from the Rzeszow area who for some time cooperated with "Hunchback" was arrested, and that he is spilling beans. This information was to make it necessary that the "Hunchback's" unit would not leave the Lublin Voivodeship, nor would it move into the area of Rzeszow. Additionally, "Jelen" convinced the conspirators that both he, and the captain with whom he collaborated, were both involved in intelligence activities. This story appeared to have worked, and Adam Kusz contacted Miksza requesting that he wanted to urgently meet with the captain. At this point, another agent code-named "Jablonski" entered the picture.   Tadeusz Miksza, Polish secret police agent code-name "Jelen"
Above: Tadeusz Miksza "Wampir", Polish secret police agent code-name "Jelen".

His real name was Waclaw Topolski. Before the war he was, among other things, a bureaucrat in the Samodzielny Referat Informacyjny. During Nazi occupation, he was active in the KOP (Pol., Korpus Obroncow Polski - Eng., Defenders of Poland Corps), SN (Pol., Stronnictwo Narodowe - Eng., National Party), and with the Delegatura Rzadu (Eng. The Government Delegation To Poland). He was arrested by the NKVD in April, 1945, was tried, and sentenced to 6 years in prison. After the amnesty in Winter of 1945 he was released from prison and began working at the Olsztyn's Municipal Government, and after that, at the Komunalna Kasa Oszczednosci [Eng., Community Banking Cooperative] in Olesnica.

In April 1949, Topolski was arrested and was recruited as an agent of the secret police, a service at which he remained until 1975. Still in 1951 he was instrumental in the liquidation of the last Democratic Underground WiN patrol unit in the Wlodawa county lead by Edward "Iron Clad-Zelazny" Taraszkiewicz, who in January, 1947 after the death of his brother Leon "Jastrzab (Hawk)" Taraszkiewicz took over command of the unit and fought the communists at the junction of Wolodawa, Chelm, and Radzyn counties until 1951. "Zelazny- Iron Clad" died in the exchange of fire during an attempt to pierce through two rings of combined UB-KBW forces on October 6, 1951 in Zberez near Bug River in the Wlodawa county.

The first meeting between Kusz and "Jablonski" took place on February 16, 1950 in Janow Lubelski. "Jablonski" played a role of the emissary from the "top" and suggested ceasing military activities and moving the unit to the western Poland. Kusz agreed, and also accepted 25,000 zloty for organizational expenses to sustain the unit. Kusz also mentioned that he had contact with another underground organization around Bydgoszcz and asked for civilian clothes and false documents for himself and for his soldiers. Because taking care of this request required some time, "Jablonski" assigned "Jelen-Stag" to be his currier.

Another meeting was on March 1, 1950. It took place in Biala near Janow, and was attended by "Hunchback", "Rejonowy", and "Stag". During the conversation Miksza furnished rolls of film to take photos for the preparation of documents which were to aid the "Bezpieka" in discerning the number of men in the Kusz's unit. Kusz asked "Stag" if he could trust the captain - he answered "yes", because he was introduced to him by another resistance member, named Stanislaw Wnuk, nom the guerre "Opal". But, "Opal" was collaborating with secret police already when he was in the "Zapora's" unit.

Above: Wlodzimierz Kaliszczuk, head of the Polish secret police Voivodeship Office (abr. WUBP) Unit III in Lublin. Born in 1914 in Mosciski, Wlodawa County. In UB/SB from 1944 to 1963. From 1944 to 1945 head of the PUBP in Woldawa, in 1944 head of the Section "P" of WUBP in Lublin, In 1946 head of the Section V of WUBP in Lublin, in 1947 head of the PUBP in Pulawy, between 1947-1948 head of the PUBP in Siedlce, between 1948-1949 head of the PUBP in Krasnik, between 1949-1959 head of the Section III of the WUBP in Lublin, between 1950-1953 head of the Section III WUBP in Opole, between 1953-1955 Supervisor in the leadership of the WUBP in Opole, between 1955-1957 Senior Supervisor in the leadership of the SB/UB units attached to the Voivodeship Command of MO in Opole, from 1957-1962, 2nd Deputy Commandant of the Voivodeship office of MO for Public Security (SB) in Opole. In 1962 recalled and transferred to the Cadres Department of Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Wlodzimierz Kaliszczuk - Polish Secret Police.
Above: Polish secret police functionary Jan Gorlinski, real name Cezary Monderer - Lamensdorf. Born May 12, 1912 in Trzcinica, Jaslo County. Functionary in the Urzad Bezpieczenstwa (UB) between 1944-1952 p.o. [pol. abr. pelniacy obowiazki - Acting As] Director of PUBP in Mielec. In 1945 Deputy Director of WUBP in Krakow. Between 1945-1947 Deputy Director of WUBP in Koszalin/Szczecin. Between 1947-1951 Deputy Director of WUBP in Lublin. P.O. Director of WUBP (1950), Between 1951-1952 Deputy Director of WUBP in Lodz.
Tadeusz Miksza - Polish secret police agent "Jelen"
Above: Tadeusz Miksza, UB agent code-name "Jelen".

Waclaw Topolski, vel. "Jablonski", Polish secret Police, the UB agent.

Above: A written request furnished by the partisans to "Jelen" and "Jablonski". Translation on the right.



We kindly request of you gentlemen to furnish uniforms and civilian clothes for twelve (12) people. We are in a critical situation, it is impossible, we would like to receive:

1) Undergarments
2) Rain Coats
3) Civilian suits
4) Shoes -

3 pairs, No. 42, foot length 28 cm
3 pairs, No. 43, foot length 29 cm
4 pairs, No. 43, foot length 30 cm
2 pairs, No. 45, foot length 31 cm

[We have] five men who are 185 cm tall, and the rest is between 165 and 170 cm.

We hope that our request will be approved. We request most speedy approval of this matter.



February 23, 1950

According to the previous agreement with "Jablonski", "Hunchback" gave him a list of individuals who were known by the underground to be collaborating with the communist security apparatus, ORMO, PZPR, and MO members. He also provided a list of urgently needed articles such as clothes, shoes, and medications. He didn't bring with him, as previously agreed however, the list of men under his command. Furthermore, he was surprised that such an experienced conspirator would request such a thing. He stated that if the war [against the Soviet Russia] didn't start until April, they will organize moving the unit across Poland by themselves.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3



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