‘We were betrayed and deceived but we never surrendered’

September 25, 2017

WAR HERO: Henryk Zygalski, one of the three Polish scientists, who used mathematics and not linguistics to break the early Enigma machines. One sentence was referred to his work and that of Jerzy Rozycki and Marian Rejewski in the film biography of Alan Turing about the Enigma Code. Picture courtesy of Andrzej Świdlicki.



POLISH RESISTANCE: This monument in Krasinskich Square, Warsaw, is in memory of those who fought and perished during the Warsaw Uprising. It was the largest single European resistance military effort during the Second World War. Sixteen thousand members of the Polish resistance were killed and up to 200,000 citizens died, mainly through mass executions. Picture courtesy of Marcin Białek



LIVING HISTORY: This is the monument to the 400 people shot by the Communist Authorities on this stretch of river between Slovakia and Austria where the Rivers Morava and Danube meet. Picture by Matthew Bell

TRUTH BOMB: This was posted by Sebastien in response to the Instytut Pamięci Narodowe video: “We resisted the Germans even though we didn’t have military weapons like them. We weren’t prepared but we fought and resisted. We were deceived and betrayed, but we didn’t surrender. This video shows what we are like as a nation.”





A PIECE of footage was put under my nose by a friend that goes into detail about what the families of our central European communities here in Dorset and Somerset have endured over a half a century.

The effect of war effected Poland for half a century and not just them but Slovaka, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Serbia and many other countries to numerous to mention and perhaps those of us in the UK, who are ignorant of history, need to be reminded of it.

The Unconquered has been viewed 2.6M times

This six-minute video was produced by a Warsaw-based organisation called Instytut Pamięci Narodowej and it has been viewed over 2.6 million times

In the case of Poland, it was attacked by Germany and Soviet Russia and despite these two periods of occupations, the country created an underground army, a State, schools and courts and under the Soviet occupation, millions of Poles were exiled in cattle cars to Siberia to work in the gulags.

The Soviets killed 20,000 Polish officers during the Katyn Massacre and despite many of them ending up Siberia, they made their way back to fight in Squadron 303 of the RAF in the Battle of Britain and other theatres of war.

Paratroopers were parachuted behind enemy lines during the Second World War to support the underground estate and their intelligence acquired secret plans of the Nazis and resistance movements were created within the concentration camps.

‘Polish trio of mathematicians broke Enigma Code’

There appears to be a false narrative in The Imitation Game, the film starring Benedict Cumberbatch in his role as Alan Turing in breaking the enigma code. Two British agents met Polish counterparts in Pyry.

Polish mathmeticians Jerzy Rozycki, Henryk Zygalski and Marian Rejewski used their skills to find patterns to break the early Enigma machines in 1939 when the UK was trying to use linguists. Turing was able to use his own search for a solution or “bomba” to break the more complex war-time Enigma Codes.

‘Biggest resistance effort of World War II’

The Polish Jews fought the Nazis in the Warsaw ghettos in 1944 without standing a chance. The Warsaw Uprising, that began on 1 August, was the largest single European resistance military effort during World War II. The 73rd anniversary of it was recently celebrated this year.

The Polish Resistance Army (Armia Krajowa) attempted to liberate Warsaw from German occupation whilst the Russians were approaching the eastern suburbs.

However the Russian advance stopped short, the Germans regrouped and defeated the Polish resistance and they fought for 63 days without outside support.

Thousands died in Warsaw Uprising

It is said that about 16,000 members of the Polish resistance were killed, a further 6,000 badly wounded and between 150,000 and 200,000 citizens died, mostly through mass executions.

The UK, the US and others were not allowed to give assistance without Soviet clearance, but 200 low-level drops bi-passed the Soviets anyway via the RAF and the Polish Air Force, but in retrospect, shouldn’t more have been done?

Despite the help with Enigma Code and the partition of Eastern and Western Europe at the Yalta conference, the country continued to resist behind the Iron Curtain and 50 years later, the curtain collapsed with major contributions from the former Pope John Paul II and the Solidarity Movement, led by trade union leader Lech Walesa.

‘We were overwhelmed but we resisted’

This comment was left by a gentleman called Sebastien in response to this being posted: “We resisted the Germans even though we didn’t have military weapons like them. We weren’t prepared but we fought and resisted. We were deceived and betrayed, but we didn’t surrender. This video shows what we are like as a nation.”

A member of the Dorset Polish community added this comment: “This gives a little bit of insight why we as a nation have trust issues.”

To add to this, anyone reading who knows me will recall me going Slovakia in 2014, and the above picture was taken where 400 people are remembered at the mouth of the Danube and Morava rivers meet at Bratislava, who were shot by Communist border guards, trying to reach Austria.

‘Don’t fantasize about Communism’

On a personal note there seems to be a disturbing fascination in English middle-class circles for  extreme left-wing doctrine with it being sugar-coated as progressive and relevant and that Communism wasn’t so bad. If  anyone seriously that takes view, may I respectfully suggest you seek out someone of my age (mid-40s) or late 30s from the Visegrad countries, Romania or Bulgaria and get properly informed.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rebecca September 26, 2017 at 10:20 am

Thank you for this, Matt.


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