Este Blog é dedicado a Economia, sob os olhos do Distributivismo. Veremos a Economia do ponto de vista do "ser humano permanente", como disse GK Chesterton se referindo aos personagens de Charles Dickens.
Que São Maximiliano Kolbe, do Bloco 11, Cela 18 de Auschwitz, nos ilumine na continuação da doutrina de Hilaire Belloc!
WARSAW -- There are very few places that
can accurately be described as hell on Earth. One of these is the Auschwitz
concentration camp during World War II, where as many as 1.5 million people
died during the five years the camp was in operation.
The Polish resistance had been hearing
horrific first- or second-hand accounts about the conditions inside Auschwitz.
These early accounts came primarily from released prisoners, but also from
casual observers like railway employees and residents of the nearby village of
Oswiecim. The resistance decided they needed someone on the inside.
It is into this environment thatWitold Pilecki, a
39-year old veteran of the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1921 who fought against
the initial Nazi invasion and a member of the Polish resistance, volunteered
himself in 1940. Pilecki's mission was to allow himself to be arrested and,
once inside Auschwitz, to collect intelligence for the Polish resistance in the
country and the government-in-exile in London, and to organize a resistance
from inside the camp.
"I think he knew, he realized what he
was getting himself into," said Jacek Pawlowicz, a historian at Poland'sInstitute of National
Remembrance. "But even so, he was not prepared for the
things he was actually able to witness."
During the next three years, Pilecki was
involved in one of the most dangerous intelligence-gathering and resistance
operations of the war. He authored three reports about life inside the camp for
the Polish resistance. During his incarceration, Pilecki witnessed from the
inside Auschwitz's transformation from a detention facility for political
prisoners and Soviet soldiers into one of the Nazis' deadliest killing
An English translation of Pilecki's third
and most comprehensive report -- a primary source for this article -- was
recently published as a book titledThe Auschwitz
Volunteer: Beyond Bravery. It
is a fascinating first-hand account of virtually all aspects of life inside the
camp. The original document is in the custody of the Polish Underground
Movement Study Trust in London.
"He was there in all of Auschwitz's
worst periods, because he arrived at the moment when the camp was being created
and was there until ," Pawlowicz explained. "So while there he
saw the camp growing, he saw [Birkenau] being built -- where the ovens were.
But the ovens were not only in [Birkenau], there were gas chambers and
crematoria on the territory of Auschwitz I."
Pilecki's family was kept out of the loop
regarding his activities for security reasons. His son Andrzej Pilecki recalls,
"There was secrecy because of the danger, so that the children would know
as little as possible. But I felt something. My father was in Warsaw. We were
100 kilometers away. We came to visit him sometimes and my father would teach
us how to behave during the occupation."
Pilecki began preparations for his mission
in the late summer of 1940. While staying at a safehouse, he found identity
papers belonging to a man named Tomasz Serafinski, who was erroneously presumed
killed in September of 1939. Because the Nazis asked for the names and
addresses of inmates and their relatives as a method to keep the population
under control, Pilecki wisely decided not to give his real name or those of his
immediate family. Pilecki placed his photograph on Serafinski's papers and
memorized his details. His plan was to be arrested and booked under the
Serafinski alias.As he was saying goodbye to Ostrowska, he
quietly whispered to her, "Report that I have fulfilled the order."