Documentary film on Witold Pilecki to be released next year

A documentary film on Witold Pilecki, one of Poland’s greatest heroes, is currently being prepared and scheduled for release in 2020.

“Pilecki’s life is enough material for a couple of movies,” said Marcin Zarzecki, head of Polish National Foundation.

The biographical film about Witold Pilecki is being prepared by Polish National Foundation, in cooperation with Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Polish Film Institute.

Witold Pilecki fought in the Polish-Soviet war of 1919-1921, initially as behind the lines guerilla fighter, then as a private in the regular army. He took part in the decisive battle of Warsaw in 1920. Following the outbreak of WWII, Pilecki commanded a cavalry platoon which engaged in heavy fighting with the invading German forces.

After the fall of Poland to a joint German-Soviet invasion, Pilecki engaged in resistance efforts. He purposely got himself arrested and sent to Auschwitz concentration camp, to investigate it’s inner workings. Inside he organised resistance efforts and send out reports on the situation. In 1943 he escaped and wrote a detailed report on the inner workings of Auschwitz, including the mass murder being conducted in gas chambers.

Pilecki went on to fight in the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. After the war, he went to Italy and joined the Polish Armed Forces there. In late 1945 Pilecki returned to Poland to report on the puppet communist government installed by the Soviet Union.

Pilecki was arrested by the communist police in 1947, tortured and charged with espionage and preparing assassination attempts. After a show trial, he and three of his colleagues were sentenced to death in 1948. After the announcement of the death sentence, Pilecki reportedly said “I've been trying to live my life so that in the hour of my death I would rather feel joy, than fear”.

The film on Pilecki will be directed by Leszek Wosiewicz. It is scheduled for release in 2020.