On September 25, 1943, the Reich had appointed Franz Kutschera SS-Brigadefuhrer and Generalmajor of Polizei (SS and Police Chief) to a posting in Warsaw. He had previously proven himself as a ruthless officer in the Mogilev District in the Soviet Union, where he demonstrated his unscrupulous measures and earned a reputation for brutality. He was called the "Executioner of Warsaw".
As soon as Kutschera arrived in Warsaw to assume his command, he wasted no time in inflicting his barbarous measures against the Polish civilians. The rate of public executions and lapanka (round-ups) increased dramatically. So too did the daily German announcements which published lists of names of the Polish hostages who would be shot in the event that any German soldier was attacked. These tactics, decreed by Hans Frank were applied with ruthless frequency in the hope that it would quash the Polish resistance, but it had, in reality, quite the opposite effect. It hardened their resolve to oppose and fight against their German occupiers.
Kutschera was a cunning officer, knowing full well of the dangers of venturing outside one's familiar territory. He was all too well aware of the methods used by Polish intelligence and took steps to conceal not only his whereabouts but his name and identity as well. That the Polish Resistance was still able to locate him was due to sheer coincidence and luck.
|Aleksander Kunicki "Rayski"|
"Rayski"' dispatched a report to Kedyw Commander Emil August Fieldorf code-named "Nil". Several days later a reply was sent back by the Special Polish Courts. Nil had issued an order to "liquidate" Kutschera. The plan immediately went into preparation. Commander Adam Borys,"Plug" of Parasol Battalion, chose 1st Platoon to carry out the action. Bronislaw Pietraszewicz "Lot", the Platoon Commander took charge and together with "Plug" studied the intelligence that had been gathered by "Rayski".
|Emil August Fieldorf "Nil"|
The first attempt occured on January 28, 1944 when "Lot" and his team took their positions and waited for Kutschera. They had waited in vain as Kutschera never showed up. Tragically, in the interim Jan Kordulski "Zbik" was mortally wounded by German patrol units, and had to be replaced by Zbigniew Gesicki "Juno" and Stanislaw Huskowski "Ali"
The next opportunity arose on February 1st, 1944 at 8:50 am. All the members of the execution team were at their places and ready to take action.
"Plug" (Adam Borys)
Plug was the mastermind behind the Parasol Battalion.
He organized attacks on SS and Gestapo officers
and planned the Kutschera assassination
| "Lot" (Bronisław Pietraszewicz)|
Lot was the commander and 1st executioner.
His weapons: MP 40 submachine gun, Vis gun, Filipinka hand grenades.
"Ali" (Stanisław Huskowski)
Second-in-command and security screen (STEN, grenades)
At precisely 9:09 am Kama gave the signal to indicate that Kutschera was leaving his house at Aleja Róż 2. Even though SS headquarters was a mere 150 meters from his home, he habitually rode by car. Just as he neared the gate of SS headquarters, a car swerved to block his path. "Miś" was driving.
At that moment, "Lot" and "Kruszynka" ran to the limousine and opened fire on Kutschera at point blank range. Meanwhile the other members of the team ran to take their places and move in with their vehicles. The scene turned into a wild gunfight as German guards from the neighbouring Offices of the Gestapo, Schutzpolizei, and garrison club, all converged in the area, and an intensive firefight ensued. Amid a hail of bullets Miś jumped out of his car, and joined by Kruszynka finished off the wounded Kutschera. They then searched him for documents.
Ali was in charge of the hand grenades but at the crucial moment was unable to open the briefcase in which they were contained. As fate would have it, these were the only weapons at his disposition. He did not receive the other weapons in time, and thus could not support his team, Cichy, Lot and Olbrzym. As a result they were all wounded in a vicious hail of bullets.
Gravely wounded, Lot was unable to call out loud enough to order a withdrawal. None of the team members heard him and as a result, the shootout was unnecessarily prolonged. They were in extreme danger, caught in the very epicenter of the German office quarter. Miraculously, they were finally able to get into their get away cars and escape.
What followed was a frantic search for a hospital that was willing to defy German orders and agree to operate on Cichy and Lot, who were mortally wounded. (The original medvac plan failed.) It took several hours and five attempts before a hospital would finally admit them. But tragically, because of the delay, both men died within the next couple of days.
In the meantime Sokół and Juno, in defiance of AK orders, attempted to return the car to the garage but were intercepted by German troops at Kierbedz bridge. After a short, fateful exchange of gunfire, Sokol and Juno tried to escape by jumping into the Vistula River. They either drowned or were shot.
The Germans held a funeral ceremony for Kutschera in Bruhl palace. His body was then transported to Berlin on a special train. The Nazi Germans had demanded 100 million zloty from the City of Warsaw as a retribution. Then the very next day, German troops rounded up and executed 100 Polish civilian hostages.
They were shot in what was the last public execution in Warsaw...until the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising....
PART II MISSIONS: Operation Ostrama Brama