October 27, 2018




Stefan Starzyński,  Mayor of Warsaw was arrested by the Gestapo on October 27,1939, and imprisoned in the notorious Pawiak prison. By December the Gestapo made him an offer for his "escape" but Mayor Starzynski refused on the premise that it would be too dangerous to those involved.  (Previously, on October 5,  the Gestapo had arrested him along with other prominent officials, and held them hostage as a warrant of safety for Adolf Hitler during the victory parade in Warsaw. They were released the following day.)  Starzynski's fate remained unknown -  until September 8, 2014, when the Polish Institute of National Remembrance closed the investigation on the circumstances of his death. They found that the instigators were  Gestapo functionaries, Oberscharführer Hermann Schimmann, Hauptscharführer Weber, and Unterscharführer Perlbach, but no proof could be discovered regarding the identity of the murderer(s).  Stefan Starzynski's most famous quote was translated to English as follows:  " A day will come when Berlin will be set on flames, when German women and children will die just like ours are dying. I hope all of you will understand then that there is God's justice.  I wanted Warsaw to be great. Both my colleagues and I were making plans of a great Warsaw of the future. And Warsaw is great. It happened sooner than we thought. And although where we wanted parks are barricades, although our libraries are burning, although the hospitals are burning the city of Warsaw, defending the honour of Poland, is today at the highest point of its greatness."  (N.B.  Berlin was subjected to over 360 Allied air raids throughout WW2.  Berlin was bombed by the RAF Bomber Squadrons (1940 to 1945);  by the USAAF Eighth Air Force (1943 to 1945); the French Air Force (1944 to 1945); and the Red Air Force (1945).  British bombers dropped 45,517 tons of bombs while the Americans dropped 23,000 tons. By May 1945, 1.7 million Germans had fled the city (40% of the population). Many other German cities were bombed. )

Polish General Marian Zegota-Januszajtis was arrested by the notorious Soviet NKVD. He was imprisoned in Lwów and later transferred to the infamous Lubyanka prison. After the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement of July 1941, he was released.  He was one of the founders of Polish paramilitary pro-independence organizations in the Austrian partition, and the last commander of the 1st Brigade of Polish Legions.  He was also organizer of the unsuccessful coup in 1919,  a general in the Second Polish Republic and Polish Armed Forces in the West, voivode of the Nowogródek Voivodeship (1924-1926), and a member of the Polish government in Exile in London.

The Pope Pius XII encyclical Summi Pontificatus was published. In it he denounced totalitarianism, ideologies of racism, and cultural superiority.  The encyclical was non-political, however it expressly condemned the actions of Nazi Germany, but without mentioning it by name. The following is an excerpt translated to English: "......."The blood of countless human beings, even noncombatants, raises a piteous dirge over a nation such as Our dear Poland, which, for its fidelity to the Church, for its services in the defense of Christian civilization, written in indelible characters in the annals of history, has a right to the generous and brotherly sympathy of the whole world, while it awaits, relying on the powerful intercession of Mary, Help of Christians, the hour of a resurrection in harmony with the principles of justice and true peace......"   Nazi Germany tried to play it down, but Von Bergen, the German ambassador to the Vatican, said: "Pope Pius wanted to hit with this encyclical primarily the Third Reich..."


Augustyn Łukosz, 56, died on October 27, 1940 in Mauthausen concentration camp.   He was a Polish national activist and socialist politician from the region of Zaolzie, Czechoslovakia. In 1935 Łukosz founded the Polish Social Democratic Party (PPSD).  After the annexation of Zaolzie region to Poland in 1938, President Ignacy Mościcki appointed him as Deputy of the Silesian Parliament, where Łukosz was a deputy until the outbreak of World War II. In 1938 he was decorated with  the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.


Parliamentary election in Poland:  The 1991 election was notable on several counts. It was the first parliamentary election to be held since the formation of the Third Republic;  the first completely free and competitive legislative election since the fall of communism;  the first completely free legislative election of any sort since 1928;  and only the fifth completely free election in all of Polish history.  With the collapse of the political wing of the Solidarity,  the 1991 election exposed deep political fragmentation, and a corresponding rise of numerous new parties and alliances.  Contributing to this fragmentation were very low voting thresholds.  No party held a decisive majority in the Sejm or the Senate.  (There are 460 seats in the Sejm, and 231 seats were needed to win a majority.  The results showed that the Democratic Union party won 12.3% of the vote, with 62 seats in the Sejm.  They were followed closely by the Democratic Left Alliance, with 12% of the vote and 60 seats;  Solidarity ranked in tenth place with 5.1% of the vote and  27 seats. There were about 29 political parties running in the election.)

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