Man Sentenced to Death Is Recognized as a Hero 40 Years Later…

12 Jul

You’ve probably heard the old adage that truth is often stranger than fiction.  This is actually only part of the actual quote that is rarely used in its full length and seldom attributed to its originator. It goes…

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”

 Who originally said that?  None other than Mark Twain.  If you like interesting and insightful quotes, Twain in a person you should look up.  He was very insightful and not afraid to speak his mind.

Now back to the story… but you may want to keep that quote in mind as you read on…

It was some time in the early 1940s.  The place was Poland.

Hitler and the Nazis had a plan to exterminate certain races of people and conquer the world.  But not everyone knew it… yet.

Many countries were ignorant to Hitler’s plans or they simply chose to turn a blind eye.  “But he is doing it over there – not here,” was a common excuse to ignore Germany’s actions.  That attitude proved costly to many…

Witold Pilecki joined the Polish resistance soon after the Nazis invaded Poland.  When mysterious camps started popping up all over the country, he suspected the they had a nefarious purpose and he set out on a mission to discover what was really going on.

So he did something completely unimaginable… He deliberately got himself arrested by the Nazis so that he could infiltrate one of the camps: Auschwitz.

He spent 2.5 long years suffering at Auschwitz in order to send information to the world that the Nazis were actually running death camps, and this intelligence was used to try to convince Germany’s enemies to send help.

How did he send this information back to compatriots?  He built a radio in the death camp using various  parts that had been smuggled in.

When help didn’t arrive, Pilecki escaped and set out to contact the London-based Polish government-in-exile in an effort to try to get help for all the suffering people in Auschwitz and the other concentration camps. But the Allies did not believe his dispatches could be true.  They thought his claims were exaggerated or false because they could not believe that so many had been killed in the death camps during the preceding years.

When Poland later fell under the control of Communists, he was sentenced to death on charges of espionage and the illegal crossing of the borders under a false name. After the fall of communism towards the end of the 20th century, Pilecki’s true contributions to the war effort were finally recognized by his countrymen, all charges against him were posthumously dropped, and he was decorated with the highest honors the Polish military could offer.

So there you have it.  A man who sacrificed his own life by willingly entering a Nazi death camp to try to save Poland (and the world) wasn’t recognized as the hero he was until over 40 years after his death.

The truth certainly can be stranger than fiction, but it is because “fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”

We love helping our patients and their friends and relatives through their tough times and getting them feeling better! We are here to help you stay feeling better and looking younger! Don’t be a stranger. You really can afford Chiropractic care! Don’t wait until you can no longer move!

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