• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland


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  • 10 March 2017

    A fascinating show ‘Auschwitz Volunteer - Captain Witold Pilecki’, about the daring undercover mission of Captain Witold Pilecki, took place at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles on 9th of March.

    Witold Pilecki was portrayed by a Polish actor Marek Probosz, who also played the role of the Captain in the movie produced by the Polish television ‘Death of the Captain Pilecki’ (Śmierć Rotmistrza Pileckiego, 2006). The story was narrated by Terry Tegnazian, a great friend of Poland and the founder of the Aquila Polonica Publishing, which was the first to publish the story of Captain Pilecki in English.



    Marek Probosz as Captain Pilecki (fot.: Gosia Probosz)


    Witold Pilecki himself presented the idea to the Polish Underground State to voluntarily go into the German concentration camp in Auschwitz. His decision had two objectives: to gather and later pass on the information about the conditions in the camp and to establish a resistance movement inside Auschwitz. Pilecki got himself arrested by the Germans and spent almost three years in the camp, where he had to fight repeatedly for his life.


    He was able to survive due to a combination of factors: luck, of course; his intelligence and extraordinary “street smarts”; physical stamina, mental toughness and moral/spiritual strength; military training and experience with undercover operations; and lastly, by building an organization that enabled prisoners to help each other.


    A performance that was both dramatic and emotional—brilliantly performed by Marek Probosz—was followed by a lecture by one of the best-known Holocaust scholars in Los Angeles, Prof. Michael Berenbaum. In his lecture, Prof. Berenbaum pointed out that the horrible suffering, both mental and physical, as a result of being in the camp at Auschwitz was easier for someone who voluntarily dared to go through it rather than having been passively forced.


    After the show, which took place before a full house of nearly a hundred guests, Prof. Berenbaum moderated a Q&A with the audience.



    Prof. Michael Berenbaum, accompanied by Terry Tegnazian and Marek Probosz moderationg the discussion. (fot. Ignacy Żarski)


    The event was organized thanks to a collaborative work of the Polish General Consulate in Los Angeles, the LA - based publisher Aquila Polonica and the American Jewish University. The Polish Culture Institute in New York supported it financially.




    Caroline Cohen from the AJU, introducing the program (fot. Szymon Hambicki)



    Marek Probosz portraying Captain Pilecki (fot. Szymon Hambicki)



    Prof. Michael Berenbaum, Consul General Mariusz Brymora and Terry Tegnazian (fot. Szymon Hambicki)



    Prof. Michael Berenbaum, Terry Tegnazian and Vice–Consul Ignacy Żarski (fot. Szymon Hambicki)

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