Thursday, April 20, 2006

:A History Lesson for our Anonymous Freepers::

The Polish Underground

by: Terese Pencak Schwartz

Wearing either stolen German uniforms or just plain street clothes, these homemade soldiers were the Polish Underground -- the resistance fighters of Nazi-occupied Poland. Fathers, grandfathers and young boys fought side by side with only red and white armbands for identification. They came together to defend, as best as they could, their beloved homeland. They fought with Polish pistols and German "shmyzers", automatic sub-machine guns, which they either stole or bought from the Nazis. They concealed their precious cache in cemeteries and hospital grounds.

The city sewers became their staging area, their Headquarters and their passage ways. The younger ones -- teenagers worked as liaisons, running through the sewers smuggling supplies and passing cryptic messages and orders.

"One night," says Borowski, "we got the order that our armbands must be switched before dawn from our left arms to our right arms." The Germans had infiltrated their ranks. "In the morning we were instructed to shoot anyone wearing an armband on their left arm."

Through the wet stinking sewers they moved like rats in sewage that was sometimes chest high. "We would have to dismantle our weapons," says Borowski, "and carry them along with our ammunition over our heads so they would not get wet."

In one almost comic military operation, Borowski, who speaks perfect German, dressed himself in a stolen Tirolean mountaineer's outfit -- complete with a feathered hat. With the help of three of his men, who followed discreetly in a "borrowed" German automobile, Borowski befriended three Nazi police officers. The charlatan then coyly maneuvered the German officers into a quiet cull-de-sac where his three partners were waiting.

By day Borowski worked within the walls of the Warsaw Ghetto as an engineer at the Tyton Fabryka at Dzeilna 62. Taking advantage of his freedom to pass through the well-guarded gates without suspicion, Borowski smuggled weapons, ammunition and forged documents inside for the Jewish Underground. He also worked with the Jewish Underground secretly preparing selected Jewish men and boys for combat.

"Zegota" was the cryptic code-name that became the word for the Polish Council of Assistance to the Jews (Rada Pomocy Zdom) established with the approval of several Polish organizations on December 4, 1942. Headquartered in Warsaw, Zegota had branches in several cities and major villages throughout Poland. Zegota aided the Jews both inside and outside the ghettos by providing forged documents, food, lodging, medicine and financial support.

Now you freeptards, please come up with a better insult than nazi.

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