The Story of Wiktoid Pilecki

September 20, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Reid Rosen

News Article 9/17/2010

This week NPR shared any article about Wiktoid Pilecki who was a Polish army captain, who snuck into Auschwitz to describe the horrors taking place. This weekend is the 70th year anniversary of his milestone and his responsibility in reporting of the prison camp. NPR describes that Pilecki lived in the camp for two and a half years. He had difficulty having his commanders agree to the mission as the article describes. Finally, after being signed off on the mission Pilecki inserted himself Sep. 14, 1940. Pilecki and the public for that matter was never sure what exactly happened outside of the German town of Aushwitz, but, after sneaking in Pilecki was able to release the news to the underground resistance. Pilecki hopped that a surprise attack would come from the resistance, but it never came. London and even the US became aware of Pilecki’s reports but they were disregarded as exaggerations. The NPR article reports one of PIlecki’s descriptions “Here we gave everything away into bags, to which respective numbers were tied. Here our hair of head and body were cut off, and we were slightly sprinkled by cold water. I got a blow in my jaw with a heavy rod. I spat out my two teeth. Bleeding began. From that moment we became mere numbers — I wore the number 4859.”

I thought this article was very interesting because Wiktoid Pilecki is a journalist. Our classroom discussions have been over famous reporters such as David Frost. But, I think our discussions have left out a very important group of journalists, war correspondents. I am sure we have all heard the news from somewhere in the Middle East where a media journalist lost his life. The job of digging up truth can be very surprising and dangerous as I’m sure it was for Wiktoid Pilecki.

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One Response to “The Story of Wiktoid Pilecki”
  1. fuglsang says:

    Since this was posted on Monday, I’m counting it for the 24th.

    An interesting article, Reid. Yes, it is dangerous to be a journalist these
    days. It’s also hard sometimes to figure out who the journalists are.