Poland Begins Probe into Victims of Stalinist Terror
Poland has begun digging up a mass grave at Warsaw's military cemetery searching for the remains of victims of a 1948-1956 Stalinist-era campaign of terror, war crimes prosecutors said Thursday.
After more than half a century, the final resting place of key figures in Poland's anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet resistance who perished at the hands of the Stalinist-era secret police is still a mystery.
Among them are General Emil Fieldorf, one of the leaders of Poland's World War II-era Home Army (AK) resistance and Witold Pilecki, an AK fighter who went undercover at the Auschwitz death camp in 1940 and then delivered his eye witness testimony of Nazi German war crimes to the Allies.
In charge of the search, Poland's Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) responsible for prosecuting Nazi- and Stalinist-era war crimes hopes the dig will produce clues about the final resting place of both Polish heroes.
After the war, Poland's puppet communist regime answering to Moscow executed both men on accusations of treason and spying -- Fieldorf in 1953 and Pilecki in 1948 -- but their families were never informed about the fate of their remains.
"It is our clear obligation to do everything possible to provide a dignified burial for every person who was persecuted and assassinated," an IPN statement said.
The dig which is scheduled to last through August, is part of a larger program designed to find the remains of the victims of Stalinist-era terror in Poland begun in 2011.