July 7, 2018




The Polish Underground State imposed severe punishment to anyone found guilty of  collaborating with the Nazis,blackmailing Jews, or handing Jews over to the Germans.  The Polish Directorate for Civil Action printed these warnings and distributed them throughout Poland in their underground newspapers.  On this day, the underground Polish Court handed down sentence to a Polish man guilty of the crime of treason.  The Court Sentence read as follow: " By sentence of the special court in Warsaw, on July 7, 1943, Borys, alias Boguslaw, alias Boguslaw Jan Pilnik, born on May 5, 1912, son of Aleksander and Felicjy Szolkowska, domiciled in Warsaw, ulica Pierackiego 17, was sentenced to death and the loss of civic and public rights for collaborating with Nazi authorities to the detriment of the Polish community and for denouncing to German authorities, Polish citizens of Jewish nationality who were hiding from the Germans;  also for extorting from his victims large sums of money under pretext of needing this money to protect the persons hiding;  subsequently, after betraying them to the Germans, they extorted from the families of his victims various possessions - allegedly to supply them to the arrested person but which he appropriated to himself.  (Directorate for Civil Action)  The sentence was carried out August 25, 1943.


The Polish Home Army began Operation Ostra Brama, an armed uprising against Nazi occupiers in Wilno as part of Operation Tempest. Although the the Polish army were able to defeat the Germans, the following day the Soviet Red Army entered the city and the Soviet NKVD proceeded to intern and arrest Polish soldiers and their officers. Several days later, the Soviets took control of Wilno, while the remaining Polish troops retreated into the surrounding forests.  Gradually, the Soviets encircled the area and captured them.  The West did not know about this situation. The British media was censored, by decree of the Minister of Information, Brendan Bracken, so that news about Soviet actions would not leak to the West.  Britain, and the US did not want to sully the image of the Soviet Union as the "liberator" of Europe from Nazi evil.  And Poland had already lost its eastern territories to Stalin at the Tehran Conference, but none of the Polish soldiers fighting in the Battle of Wilno knew about it at the time.

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