The story is available in both English and Polish.
One of the greatest travesties of justice in American history was that spectral evidence was allowed as court testimony during the Salem Witchcraft Trials in 1692. Spectral evidence is based on the visions, hallucinations, or dreams of the accuser. Today, it is inconceivable that any sane person would consider this type of evidence as valid, and there were some in colonial New England who would have agreed
A specter is a spirit or ghostly apparition that causes torment to its victims. The problem is that others cannot see the specter even though they may observe the alleged victim writhing in pain. Only the “victim” and perhaps a few of her friends were privy to observe the specter. This evidence was considered admissible at the time because the Puritans believed that the Devil and his minions were at work and powerful enough to send their evil spirits to lead pure, religious people astray.
The forgotten story of the Polish Christians who were killed by the Nazis during WWII is one which few people outside of Poland are aware. All of the people in Poland suffered enormously during the Holocaust−both Jews and Christians. Six million Polish people died under the Nazis and half of these were Christians. The German occupation and brutality overwhelmed all Poles during WWII, and this fact needs to illuminate the plight of all the Polish people. Unfortunately, some writers of the Holocaust deliberately distort the tragic circumstances of the typical Polish citizen while others might insert this fact in the last sentence of their article.
Polish women forced to work at a Nazi slave labor camp
The Jewish experience of the Holocaust has been remembered and honored in numerous books, movies, and museums. The movie “Schindler’s List” gave us insight into the valiant efforts of businessman Oskar Schindler’s rescue of eleven hundred Jews. Irena Sendler, a Polish Christian nurse and social worker who served in the Polish Underground in German-occupied Warsaw saved more Jews than any other individual during the Holocaust (besides diplomats who furnished visas.) Irena was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, but it was instead awarded to Al Gore for his work on climate change.
Years ago we visited the Criminal Museum in picturesque Rothenberg, Germany. Typical Americans who tour Europe visit royal palaces and grand museums unaware that these ostentatious sites and elegant objects likely are not part of most peoples’ heritage. Relatively few royals immigrated to America. Most of us descended from the persecuted peasant class. This unique museum was my introduction to the cruel world my peasant ancestors had to endure.
The Criminal Museum displayed hundreds of fascinating punishment devices used in medieval times. I recall a heavy wooden rosary that had to be worn for missing Sunday mass. There was metal contraption (shown below) resembling a flute that was secured around the neck and inserted into the mouth. Every breath produced a shirll, strident sound announcing that the flutist was a disgraceful musician.
Today is the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the Polish Home Army which was by far the largest resistance force in Poland when it was occupied by Nazi Germany. At its height, in 1944, over 400,000 Polish men and women were involved in the Polish Home Army’s resistance efforts. They performed well over 30,000 acts of sabotage and fought over a thousand pitched battles and 24 major encounters. They had no armored vehicles or tanks and no air force or navy. It was mainly infantry aided by their compatriots who were forced into slave labor in camps. By design, these factory workers produced munitions and equipment that malfunctioned or rendered useless in battle.
Polish Underground Grenade Production
Poles of all many religions, Protestant, Jewish, Orthodox, and Muslims, joined the predominantly Roman Catholic Poles in The Home Army. They all shared a love of country and Poland’s standards and wanted their country back. There was also what could be referred to as a phantom army of supporters. The fathers, mothers, sisters, brother and neighbors were the ears and eyes that provided medics, chaplains, messengers and financiers for the regular Home Army.
German Train Blown Up by the AK
The resistance blew up German bridges and railroads, and their mission was to reduce Germany’s ability to wage war and to defeat them through acts of espionage to provide intelligence for the Allies. They also worked to rescue countless Jews, Poles, and POWs in prison camps. An estimated 1-3 million Poles died trying to rescue or help Jews.
Polish Underground Radio Station
The Polish government still existed throughout WWII, intact and in exile in England with a small navy and air force also stationed in there. Poland’s treasure in gold bullion was sent to England and helped Britain purchase weapons and materials for its defense.
The Polish underground sent a working replica of the German “enigma machine” along with the ciphers to England in 1939. With this device, the British could read every military dispatch sent from Germany by airwaves or by captured couriers. Three Polish mathematicians, Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Rozycki and Henryk Zyalsi were credited with the enigma replica. Alan Turning, a Brit was later given exclusive credit for this feat but was really responsible for making a version that could meet the wartime challenge of daily code changes.
AK (Armia Krajowa)
During WWII, 7,000 German trains and 5,000 German vehicles were destroyed by the AK. Polish intelligence was the most consistent, prolific and reliable compared to any other occupied country during the war. The gallant efforts of the Home Army allowed the Nazis to squander valuable manpower and resources on failed operations.
Symbol of AK (Armia Krajowa
Although the Allies greatly valued the AK’s work, in the end, the Polish Army was given very little credit. We must not forget the millions of precious heroes who gallantly sacrificed their lives but were extinguished so ruthlessly.
Recent Additions and Website Reconstruction
I finally took the time to clean up and organize my website. The menu is now a bit clearer since this site has many varied topics of interest.
The Redemption of Mehitabel Braybrooke contains “all things Puritan” relating to Mehitabel and my upcoming historical novel to be published by Heritage Beacon in March 2018.
The History of Niwiska and Anna Grabiec’s Letters contain the fascinating history of this Polish village and one of its heroines during WWII, Anna Grabiec.
The ABC’s of Crime and Punishment in Puritan Times provides details on that topic and will be continued very soon.
Europe is an area of interest for those seeking information on Poland and Sweden, although I will branch out to England, German, Spain, Iceland, Denmark and Italy in the future.
Please sign up to follow my site. I truly appreciate all of my readers from the USA, Canada, Australia, Poland, Ukraine, Brazil, India, Ireland and more! Thank you.
Anna Grabiec has been sending letters to America all her life, but one unmailed letter made her quite the American celebrity.
The entire village of Niwiska had been evacuated so the Nazi Regime could conduct research on a top secret project of Hitlers: the V1 and V2 missiles. Many villagers were kept as workers for construction and provide food for the Germans through the maintenance of the local farms.
After World War II, the villagers in Niwiska suffered under the equally oppressive Soviet occupation of Poland. The Russians occupied the area shortly before WWII officially ended. They used the flat lands of Niwiska to operate an airstrip.