Retired Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Senior Scientific Intelligence Officer S. Eugene (Gene) Poteat Analyses the April 10, 2010 Crash of Polish Air Force One TU-154M Near Smolensk, Russia: "Russian Image Management - The KGB’s latest intelligence coup, and NATO’s latest intelligence disaster".
The emergence of an armed anti-communist resistance during 1944-1956, with particular emphasis on 1947, underscores the psychological condition of the Polish society at large. It was an act of desperate protest against the Soviet military might, brought upon Poland and its citizens under the banner of the conjured Communist Polish Workers’ Party (PPR). The public disclosure of the provisions agreed to by the “Allies” in Tehran and Yalta, which conceded to the Soviet political and territorial demands for Poland, dramatically altered the political landscape, leaving it under the Soviet sphere of control.
It became clear, that the possibility of a new world conflagration, between the Soviet Union - an ally of the Nazi Germany until 1941 - and the West, became very remote after 1944, and neither was there any hope for a sovereign and democratic Poland. Beginning in 1943, a tragic realization and moral dilemma accompanied the Polish political and military leadership both in Poland and in exile alike. (See the Katyn Forest Massacre here) The dilemma that accompanied them was both a moral responsibility to fight for the freedom of their country, and a sober realization that Poland was on its own and doomed to be defeated in the end. A decision was made to ready a new conspiratorial organization prepared for the event of the new Soviet occupation - that is, when the advancing Soviet Red Army ejects the Nazi forces from Poland. It was presumed as a certainty that the Polish Home Army (pol. Armia Krajowa – AK), fighting up to this point against the Nazi occupying forces, is both too large and at the same time penetrated by the Soviet intelligence services. Thus, a new conspiratorial organization called “Nie”, meaning “no” in English – Delegatura Sił Zbrojnych [DSZ] - was being organized in the spring of 1944 by the Colonel, later Brigadier General, August Emil Fieldorf, nom de guerre “Nil”. Fieldorf was a founder and the first Deputy Commandant of the Kedyw KG AK (Kierownictwo Dywersji, "Directorate for Diversion" of the General Staff of Home Army). The newly founded organization received a code-name “Nie”, short for “Niepodleglość”, or “Sovereignty”.
Left: General August Emil Fieldorf, nom de guerre “Nil”. From October 1944, he was a Deputy Commandant of the Home Army under General Leopold Okulicki, “Niedzwiadek” (“Little Bear”). “Nil” was an organizer of the first emerging structures of “Nie” assigned to command the District “South”. He was arrested by the Soviets on March 7, 1945 in Milanówek under a false name, and was sent to the Soviet Gulag. He returned to Poland in November 1947. On November 10, 1950 he was arrested again, but this time by the Polish secret police, the UB (pol. abr. Urzad Bezpieczenstwa – Office of Security). After a rigged trial, he was condemned to death in April 1952 and murdered by the communist regime on February 24, 1953 at the Mokotow Prison in Warsaw.
After receiving transferred to it cadres, from the disbanded on January 19, 1945 Home Army, the “Nie” began its activities. On orders issued by the Commandant of the Polish Armed Forces in Poland (pol. Komendant Sił Zbrojnych w Kraju), Leopold Okulicki, nom de guerre “Niedzwiadek”, the previously select and more nimble regional commands remaining in the underground, continued to operate under the same principles as their predecessor, the AK, or Armia Krajowa (eng. Home Army). The primary goal of this organization was to prepare itself for a “long haul” resistance, carried out by the means of:
The latter were to be conducted within the Soviet Red Army, and within the Soviet-led Polish communist units of the Polish First and Second People’s Armies commanded by Gen. Michał Rola-Żymierski.
While in principle, armed military operations were not to be carried out, yet the diversionary activities, among them liquidation of the most dangerous to the underground individuals and communist operatives, were. After the penetration of “Nie” by the Soviet and Polish communist intelligence services, the General Okulicki, “Niedzwiadek”, along with 15 other key leaders of the Polish Underground State were arrested by the NKVD (rus. Народный комиссариат внутренних дел Narodnyy komissariat vnutrennikh del) on March 27 and 28, 1945. Thus, following orders from the Commander and Chief of the Polish Armed Forces in the West, Gen. Władysław Anders, the “Nie” was disbanded on May 7, 1945. On the same day, the Delegatura Sił Zbrojnych (abr. DSZ - The Armed Forces Delegation for Poland) was established. It was to be led by the Col. Jan Rzepecki, nom de guerre "Ożog”.
Left: Colonel Jan Rzepecki, nom de guerre(s) Ożóg", "Prezes", "Rejent", "Sędzia", "Ślusarczyk". During the Soviet - Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 he was in charge of the Section III of the General Staff of the Polish Army Section "Kraków". Active in the resistance from October 1939, he was a Chief of the General Staff of the Warsaw’s SZP-ZWZ (pol. abr. Służba Zwycięstwu Polski – Związek Walki Zbrojnej - Polish Victory Service, Association of Armed Struggle). From October 1940, he was a Chief of the Section VI of the Bureau of Propaganda and Information (BIP – Biuro Informacji i Propagandy). After the fall of Warsaw Uprising, he was taken prisoner by the Nazis, and returned to Poland in February 1945. In March 1945 he became Gen. Okulicki “Niedzwiadek’s” 1st Deputy Commandant of “Nie”. After Okulicki’s arrest, Rzepecki commanded the “Armed Forces Delegation for Poland” - DSZ that was created in April, and dissolved in August 1945. In September 1945, he became the Chairman of WiN - Zrzeszenie Wolność i Niezawisłość (full name “Ruch Oporu bez Wojny i Dywersji – Resistance without War and Diversion”). He was arrested on November 5, 1945 and tried along with other “WiN” leaders. Rzepecki was sentenced to death, but it was commuted on February 5, 1947 by Bierut. He was ultimately sentenced to 8 years in prison. On February 22, 1945 he gave a speech entitled "Wyjdź z podziemia - buduj Polskę" (eng. “Leave the Underground – Build Poland) that was subsequently republished in several communist newspapers. Rzepecki died on April 28, 1983 in Warsaw.
The establishment of the DSZ indicated the abandonment, by the Commander and Chief of the Polish Government in Exile, of long-range goals and initiatives of “Nie” in favor of the more immediate needs. In addition to transferring functions of the conspiratorial “Nie”, and the so called, “AK w Likwidacji” (engl. “AK [Armia Krajowa – Home Army] in Demobilization”), one of the primary goals of the DSZ was to bring under its unified control all partisan units spontaneously emerging in response to the prevalent Soviet terror.
The DSZ was strictly a military organization that heavily borrowed from the operational doctrines of the AK and “Nie”. Thus, in a fashion similar to that of the AK, it operated in precise geographical areas divided into “Obszary” (Areas) and “Okręgi” (Districts). In an attempt to counteract the desire of the post-Home Army units to remain in the forests, the Commandant and Chief of the Armed Forces In Poland (Delegat Sił Zbrojnych w Kraju), Col. Rzepecki, appealed to the partisans to return to a peaceful life, but not at the cost of revealing their resistance affiliation to the communist authorities. Because of the on-going grand-scale pacification operations conducted by the NKVD and the Polish communist People’s Army, in the Lublin and Bialystok area, his appeal fell on deaf ears. The establishment by the communists of the Tymczasowy Rząd Jedności Narodowej (Provisional Government of National Unity) in June 1945, led by the PSL’s Stanisław Mikołajczyk at the helm, further underscored the bleak political prospects for the armed units in the forests to peacefully disband and to return to normal lives. Following the reversal of the formal recognition of the Polish Government in Exile on July 2, 1945 by the Western Allies, the civilian conspiratorial structures affiliated with the Rada Jedności Narodowej and Delegatura Rządu na Kraj found themselves similarly abandoned and with no prospect for further support from the West. In this way, on August 6, 1945 the Delegatura Sił Zbrojnych was officially disbanded.
Left: (Cavalry) Captain Witold Pilecki, nom de guerre “Witold”. Polish Boy Scout, member of the POW (Polska Organizacja Wojskowa – Polish Military Organization). Participant in the Polish defense war in 1939, later in the Anti-Nazi resistance with TOW, ZWZ, AK). On September 19, 1940 he volunteered to be captured by the Nazis in order to be sent to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. While there, Pilecki reported to the Western Allies about atrocities committed at the camp, and established the ZOW (Zwiazek Organizacji Wojskowej – Union of Military Organizations). Fearing that his intelligence mission was about to be compromised, he escaped from Auschwitz on April 26, 1943, and later served in the ranks of the General Headquarters of KEDYW. He was one of the co-founders of the first “Nie” units.
Pilecki participated in the Warsaw Uprising. After its fall, he was imprisonment by the Nazis, but still managed to reach the II Polish Corp in Italy. After returning to Poland on orders from Gen. Anders, he was arrested by the Polish secret police, the UB on May 8, 1947, and was sentenced to death. After brutal tortures Captain Witold Pilecki was murdered at the Mokotow Prison in Warsaw on May 25, 1948.
The prospect of outing themselves, or revealing their resistance affiliation to the communist authorities as a part of the UB-inspired scheme amnesty from July 22, (announced on August 2, 1945), brought about mixed feelings within the ranks of the DSZ. Around the same time, an appeal was also issued by the Commandant of the General Staff of the Home Army, and later, the Commandant of the Central District of the DSZ, Col. Jan Mazurkiewicz “Radoslaw”. Notably, the Mazurkiewicz was held in the communist prison at this time. The conclusions reached by all commanding officers of the DSZ were disturbing. While on one hand, the continuation of the military operations and mass conspiracy had no chance of success, conversely, the amnesty didn’t guarantee safety for those who chose to come out of hiding. Their outing could, and would, endanger those who chose to remain in the underground. [See “Communist torture methods” here] The Polish secret police -inspired “amnesty” was after all, only to allow the secret police to gain more intelligence about the resistance, and to aid them in creating detailed evidentiary records of all resistance members and their organizations.
Ultimately, the resistance was the very foundation from which the terrorized Polish society drew its strength to demand an end to all repressive measures undertaken by the communist regime. The confusion and uncertainty, promoted through skillfully orchestrated public appeals of the UB officers dressed up in Polish military uniforms, found some audience. For, they did “give their word“ as “Polish officers” while appealing for the unity in the name of “future”, and “better” Poland. They even allowed few carefully chosen representatives of the former Home Army to be part of the official "Komisja Likwidacyjna b. Armii Krajowej" (An Official Disbandment Commission of the Former Home Army). After all, they were also supported by a small number of well-known officers from the AK-DSZ who personally attested that the only way for the resistance members to became “legal”, was to come out of hiding. The commandant of the Delegation of Armed Forces for Poland, Col. Rzepecki, was internally torn himself. While he supported the secret demobilization of units under his command on one hand, he also resisted an open outing of his men, and remained himself underground. Many resistance units, particularly those in the central Poland and Silesia took advantage of this seemingly transparent “amnesty”. All in all, the number of men who came out of hiding is estimated to be nearly 45 thousand.
Zrzeszenie Wolność i Niezawisłość – WiN – Freedom and Independence.
The concept of transforming the DSZ military formation into a purely political organization having “Nie” as its foundation, surfaced at first among the underground units during May and June 1945 - that is, when the “Big Three” convened to prepare and implement the Yalta agreements. It was the Yalta concessions after all, that led to the establishment of the communist-controlled Tymczasowy Rząd Jedności Narodowej – The Provisional Government of National Unity. The creation of WiN, was a result of the refusal of the underground to capitulate with Polish and Soviet communists. It was also a result of moral responsibility felt by the commanding officers of countless resistance units who steadfastly remained in the forests. In an atmosphere of prevailing communist terror, and ongoing military engagements against their forces, a need for a purely political organization with independent press emerged. Further more, the urgent need for false documents providing new “legal” identities to the underground soldiers who wanted to leave the “forests” was becoming critically urgent.
Left: Colonel Franciszek Niepokólczycki, nom de guerre(s) “Szubert”, Teodor", "Żejmian", "Halny", was a professional Officer in the Polish Army Sappers’ units, and member in the intelligence section of the Polska Organizacja Wojskowa in Ukraine in 1919. Niepokólczycki participated in the Polish-Soviet war in 1920. He was a recipient of Poland’s highest military decoration for valor, the Krzyż Virtuti Militari V class, and five times Krzyż Walecznych. From October 1939, he was an officer attached to the General Command of the Służba Zwycięstwu Polski (Service for Poland's Victory), and later the General Staff of ZWZ-AK. Beginning in 1940, he was in charge of the Związek Odwetu (Union of Retaliation). In fall of 1942, he co-founded the KEDYW KG AK, later serving with Section III of the General Staff of Home Army. He participated in the Warsaw Uprising leading sappers’ unit during the Rising. After return from the Nazi captivity, from April 1945, he was active in the Delegatura Sił Zbrojnych (DSZ) as Deputy Commandant of Area “South”. He was also active in WiN from September 1945. In November 1945 he became the Chairman of the Executive Office of WiN. He was arrested by Polish secret police, UB on October 22, 1946 and was sentenced to death - later changed to life in prison. He was released from prison in December 1956.
The idea of establishing WiN appeared already in the Col. Rzepecki’s appeal to the DSZ soldiers in the forests on July 24, 1945. It was further refined during several meetings in Warsaw and Krakow between the 2nd, 6th, 12th and 15th of August 1945. It is during this period that the first draft of the WiN’s political and ideological manifesto, authored by the Bolesław Srocki, further refined by Col. Jan Rzepecki, was formulated. After the disbandment of the DSZ, and further consultations with underground cells, on September 2, 1945, in Warsaw, the Association "Wolność i Niezawisłość" [“Freedom and Indepenence”] was formally established. The leadership of WiN consisted of Colonels Jan Rzepecki "Ożóg", "Ślusarczyk" (its Chairman), Tadeusz Jachimek "Ninka" (Secretary General), Antoni Sanojca "Skaleń" and Franciszek Niepokólczycki "Halny" (a subsequent Chairman of the Area “South”), Jan Szczurek-Cergowski, "Sławbor", "Mestwin" (Chairman of the Area “West”), Józef Rybicki, "Maciej" (Chairman of the Area “Center”), Janusz Bokszczanin, "Sęk" (a Deputy-Chairman, who shortly thereafter was sent to the West as an emissary).
Left: Lt. Colonel Wincenty Kwieciński, nom de guerre(s) "Lotny", "I-1", "Głóg", "V-T", was a professional soldier in the Polish Army who participated in the defense war in 1939 during which he was severely wounded. From November 1939 he was in the ranks of the SZP-ZWZ-AK as a Deputy Chief of the Counter-Intelligence for the Warsaw’s District of Home Army. Kwieciński participated in the Warsaw Uprising. He was decorated with the Order of Virituti Militari V class. From September 1945 he was a Deputy Chairman of the Area “Center” of WiN, and from December 1945, was Chairman of the Area “Center”. In September 1946 he joined the Komitet Porozumiewawczy Organizacji Demokratycznych Polski Podziemnej (Consultative Committee of the Democratic Organizations of the Polish Underground) representing WiN. In October 1946 he became Chairman of the III-rd ZG (pol. ZG -Zarzad Glowny - Executive Office) of WiN. He was arrested by the Polish secret police, the UB on January 5, 1947, and sentenced to life in prison. He was released from prison on April 27, 1957.
During the 1945-1947 period, WiN was the largest Democratic Resistance organization still operating underground in Poland. It is estimated that during this period it had between 20 to 30 thousand members in its ranks. The WiN was established on the initiative of the leadership from the disbanded Home Army. While it did not have a status of an official government organization, it did however, provided reports and exchanged correspondence with the Polish Government in Exile via couriers. It wasn’t a military organization however, but rather a civilian association having abandoned through its official Charter the use of military ranks and titles. Furthermore, the WiN Charter called for an open democratic electoral process within its ranks – i.e. WiN officially abandoned the use of the word “Commandant” in favor of the title “Chairman” throughout its various organizational levels. The organizational areas such as “Obszar(y)” and “Okreg(i)” were however retained, and WiN focused heavily on forging forward with the secret demobilization of partisan units in the field. It was also shifting its activities into direction of propaganda, and infiltration of communist governmental bodies and their intelligence organization on behalf of the Sovereign Polish Government in Exile.
Left: Lt. Colonel Walerian Tumanowicz, nom de guerre "Jagodziński". Tumanowicz was an ethnic Armenian, and a soldier and officer in the Polish army. During 1914-1920 he was a member of the Polish Legions. During 1940-1944 he was an organizer and Commandant of the Inspectorate ZWZ-AK for Mielec, and during 1945-1945 was Commandant of the Action "Ż" in the District “South” of the DSZ and WiN. Walerian Tumanowicz was arrested on September 22, 1947 in Krakow. He was sentenced to death and was murdered by communists on October 13, 1947 at the Montelupich prison in Krakow. During his trial Tumanowicz said to the communist “court”: “I am an Armenian by blood, and a Pole in my soul and by my beliefs […] With her milk, my mother had breastfed me the hatred towards the [communist Bolshevik] Soviet Russia”.
The political goals of WiN were to play the role of a depositor and organizer of the democratic underground, leading its men to take part in free elections – elections that at least theoretically, were guaranteed to Poland at Yalta. The WiN was also at an opportune time, to transfer its ranks, to the discretion of the democratically elected and sovereign government of Poland. As a result of the post-Yalta agreements, that allowed Poland to find itself under the Soviet sphere of influence, the possibility of implementing these goals was non-existent at best. In particular, since the Soviet secret police, the NKVD and its Polish clique installed at the Ministerstwo Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego [eng. Ministry of Public Security – MBP) had rapidly developed and ran a sophisticated network of agents throughout the entire country. Via its structure, leadership, hierarchy, and an internal organization, the DSZ and WiN represented new evolutionary stages in the process of de-mobilization of the War-period structures of the Home Army on a nation-wide scale. We should note here, that other underground organization such as ROAK, KWP, Wileński Ośrodek Mobilizacyjny (eng. Wilno Mobilization Centre) were local in scope, and as such, had only local representation. The WiN leadership and its ranks were of course, conscious of the fact that they continued the objectives of the Home Army, a feeling widely shared and accepted by the entire Polish society during 1945-1947. It is this very perception that was shared by the entire Polish society that guaranteed favorable conditions for WiN to continue its conspiratorial activities and to flourish.
Left: Lt. Colonel Łukasz Ciepliński, nom de guerre "Apk", "Pług", "Ludwik", "Grzmot", a professional soldier in the Polish Army, and participant in the September 1939 defensive war. He was a commanding officer of the anti-tank unit, decorated with Virituti Military V Class for personally destroying 6 Nazi tanks during the battle at Bzura. During 1941-1945 he commanded the Regional Inspectorate “Rzeszow” of ZWZ-AK. He was the Chief of Staff of “Nie” – DSZ for Krakow District of “Nie” – DSZ in 1945, and a Director of the Krakow District of WiN between September 1945 and January 1946. Cieplinski was a Chairman of the WiN’s Area “South” in 1946, and a Chairman of the VI-th Executive Office of WiN from 1947 until his arrest by the Polish secret police in Zabrze on November 28, 1947. After his capture, he was brutally interrogated for 3-years and then sentenced to death on October 14, 1950. Lt. Col. Łukasz Ciepliński was murdered on March 1, 1951 at the Mokotow prison in Warsaw. Read More About Col. Cieplinski Here ...
The subsequent Executive Offices of WiN were similarly penetrated and destroyed by the UB. The members of the I Executive Office, along with its Chairman Jan Rzepecki, were arrested already in October 1945 in Ludz. Having believed that negotiations with the UB are possible, Rzepecki made a fatal decision in jail to out the organization in return for guarantees that its members will not be persecuted by the secret police. As a result, the entire communications network with the West was compromised and destroyed. Further more, on October 9, 1945, the head of the clandestine information network code-name “Port”, Captain Żuk, nom de guerre "Barański" was arrested as well. While Żuk’s true identity was not immediately known to the UB, they discerned that he was also working for the General Staff of the II Polish Corp in Italy that was also linked to the leadership of WiN. Not surprisingly the Bezpieka didn’t intend to keep their promises. For these reasons, the other members of WiN’s leadership, who remained underground, opposed Col. Rzepecki’s position and decided to continue their conspiratorial work.
Left: Major Adam Lazarowicz, nom de guerre(s) "Klamra", "Pomorski", "Kleszcz", "Zygmunt". Lazarowicz was a volunteer in the Polish Army who took part in the Polish-Soviet war of 1920. Lazarowicz was a teacher and Reserves Officer in the Polish Army. He participated in the September 1939 campaign and began to work for the Anti-Nazi resistance in the ranks of SZP (Sluzba Zwyciestwu Polsce - Service for Poland’s Victory) throughout the autumn of that year. During 1940-1944 he commanded the ZWZ-AK Dębica District of ZWZ-AK. He was decorated with the Soviet Order of the Red Banner, (Орден Крaсного Знамени Orden Krasnogo Znameni) which he refused), for joined AK-Soviet operations during the Operation “Burza”. In 1945, he was in charge of the Rzeszow Inspectorate of Home Army, and “Nie”-DSZ. From fall 1945, directed the Rzeszow District of WiN. He was a Deputy-Chairman of the District “South” of WiN, and from January 1947 was a Chairman of the District “West” and Deputy-Chairman of the IV Executive Office of WiN. He was arrested on December 5, 1947. Lazarowicz refused to collaborate with the communists in the fictitious “V Command of WiN”, thus choosing death rather than betrayal of his colleagues. After brutal interrogations that lasted several years, he was murdered at the Mokotow prison in Warsaw on March 1, 1951.
The II Executive Office of WiN was led by its then present Chairman of the Area “South”, Colonel Franciszek Niepokólczycki, nom de guerre "Halny". Niepokólczycki also managed to maintain the WiN organization in the Małopolska area, even though he, himself, was physically, primarily in the Upper Silesia area. The initiative and operations of WiN” under colonel “Halny” are not very well known. His immediate General Staff had most likely utilized an autonomous intelligence net, the so-called Intelligence Brigades (pol. Brygady Wywiadowcze). The Brygady Wywiadowcze conducted counter-intelligence activities against the communist underground units in the Małopolska region already in 1941, that is, during the period when the Soviets and Nazis were still formal allies. During the Nazi occupation of this area, the counter-intelligence units were part of both the so-called Administracja Zmilitaryzowana (eng. Militarized Administration) codename "Teczka", and the Delegatura Rządu (Government Delegation for Poland) that were co-creating the emerging structures of “Nie” in 1945, and in 1946. These units were directed by Edward Bzymka-Strzałkowski, nom de guerre "Wolski". Paweł Wieczorek-Lewandowski, nom de guerre “Dar”, on the other hand, headed the expansion of the Brigades’ activities beyond the Małopolska area in 1946. The arriving intelligence reports were analyzed and studied by the Biuro Studiów Brygad (eng. Brigades’ Studies Bureau). The important leadership positions overlooking analytical tasks were headed by Jan Kot "Janusz", Dr. Eugeniusz Ralski, PhD, and “Biały”, along with Wiktor Langner, “Szydłowski” who was responsible for the propaganda operations and publishing of the “Informator” (eng “An Informer”), the Brigade’s publication.
Left: Captain Adam Boryczko, nom de guarre(s) "Adam", "Albin", "Tońko", "Brona", "Pług" was dropped via parachute to Poland as a part of the SOE operation 8/9.IV.42. Boryczka was an officer in the V Section “Wachlarz”. In 1943, he was in charge of AK KEDYW for Wilno. From 1944 he was a Deputy Commandant of VI Wilno Brigade of AK, and later became its commanding officer. During the Soviet occupation, he was in charge of the Section III of the General Staff of the Wilno District of the Home Army. He was decorated with the Cross of Virituti Militari V class, and three times with the Cross of Valor. In 1945, he made a number of secret trips to the West acting as a courier for the Delegatura Zagraniczna WiN do Kraju (Foreign Delegation of WiN to Poland). It is during this period that he was received by the communist-controlled, and fictitious “V Command of WiN”. Boryczko was in charge of land communications of the Delegation during 1947-1953. After the Polish secret Police publicly revealed the existence of their fictitious operation on December 27, 1953, on his own initiative, Boryczko began to verify this information inside of Poland on behalf of the WiN’s Foreign Representation Office.
Boryczko was arrested while trying to cross the boarder between 13-16 July 1954, and was sentenced to death on May 21, 1955. His death sentence was changed to life imprisonment. He was released from prison on November 29, 1967.