Konstanty Piekarski Memorial Foundation is pleased to introduce the first Polish edition of "Escaping Hell; The Story of a Polish Underground Officer in Auschwitz and Buchenwald". This has been made possible through many years of volunteer work by members of the Foundation and Polish community in Canada.
The book is available at:
|Stella i Marek Tarkowscy||tel. (416) 695-9276|
|Stefan Pągowski||tel. (416) 769-9593|
|Bonifacy Pulwicki||tel. (403) 289-9033|
English Edition of "Escaping Hell" also available in limited quantities.
Konstanty (Kot) Piekarski "Escaping Hell;
The story of a Polish Underground Officer in Auschwitz and Buchenwald"
First Polish edition "Umykając piekłu;
Wspomnienia polskiego oficera AK z Auschwitz i Buchenwaldu"
Lieutenant Konstanty Piekarski fought during the German invasion of Poland in September 1939. He was wounded in the Mokra battle and found himself in a hospital, which along with the surrounding territory, was soon invaded by the Soviet Army. Piekarski escaped from the hospital to Warsaw and joined the AK (Home Army). Arrested by Gestapo, he was tortured and sent to Auschwitz in September 1940. There, Piekarski witnessed the martyrdom and heroic death of Saint Maximilian Kolbe. In the concentration camp Piekarski joined the underground resistance organization headed by legendary cavalry captain Witold Pilecki, and led one of his groups. The underground movement organized escapes and helped prisoners, installed radio communication in the camp, and sent out secret reports from Auschwitz to inform the Free World about the atrocities taking place in the heart of Europe.
In 1943 Piekarski was sent to Buchenwald. Shortly before the war ended, Piekarski escaped from the concentration camp in Germany. He joined the American Army where he met AK soldiers - survivors of the Warsaw Uprising. The unit created from them, under Lieutenant Piekarski's command, fought the German 9th SS Division in Harz Mountain.
After the war, Lieutenant Piekarski served in the Polish Army in England, finished London University and received his M. Sc. in Metallurgy Mechanical Engineering. After immigrating to Canada in 1951, he worked and taught at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, for over 30 years. In 1968 he also obtained his Ph.D. from Cambridge University.
Towards the end of his life, encouraged by his friends and war-time companions, he wrote the memoirs of those tragic years. He started work on the Polish translation of this book and planned to publish excerpts of "Escaping Hell" in Polish magazines. But he was not able to finish this. After an active and committed life he succumbed to a serious heart disease and died in London, Ontario, on December 6th, 1990.
Professor Czesław Rodkiewicz remembers his friend this way: "Kot had something mystical in his personality. He was searching for a spiritual truth. Kot pursued the philosophy of life. He loved nature and took care of his faithful Siamese cat. In his journey through life, he manifested a profound intelligence and his love of the home land was full of nostalgia.
Kot lived life to the fullest. This fullness included an important element of helping others. Here no amount of time, personal involvement or cost were too much to help someone. As a grateful friend of Kot's, he will remain in my heart and mind as the brave man who was able to control his destiny regardless of the unfortunate fate of our generation"
Konstatny Piekarski Memorial Foundation decided to carry on the author's plan and now is proud to present the first Polish edition of "Escaping Hell" -
Wspomnienia polskiego oficera AK z Auschwitz i Buchenwaldu."
Konstatny Piekarski Memorial Foundation
Calgary, Canada, AD 2005