To date, two persons wrote about my father: Mr. Edward Ciesielski ("Wspomnienia Oświęcimskie", Wyd. Literackie, Kraków, 1968) as well as Lieut. Wincenty Gawron ("Ochotnik do Oświęcimia", Calvarianum, State Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau, Oświęcim 1992). Konstanty Piekarski's memoir is the third publication documenting the united fight that was inspired and painstakingly realized by Captain Witold Pilecki.

For years, our family suffered personal harm and political ostracism, for not only was our father taken away, but also his image was falsely tarnished by accusations of treachery. For a long time, it was an agonizing burden to our family. It was impossible to change anything about it though because of the totalitarian character of the communist regime in Poland. Even after 1989, still strong political influence of the post-communists prevented the process of legal rehabilitation of Capt. Pilecki and his comrades to compensate for the communist court's crimes. Only the anti-communist opposition maintained the truth about Capt. Pilecki's heroism.

Eventually the truth began to see light and Polish society became increasingly aware of my father's bravery and dedication. Today, schools and streets in Poland are named after him. Commemorative historical plaques have been unveiled, books have been published and a cenotaph has also been erected in his honor.

Nonetheless, in light of Pilecki's unprecedented act of volunteering to be incarcerated at KL Auschwitz and spending 947 dreadful days there, many feel these symbolic commemorations seem to only partially satisfy their feeling of gratitude.

Today, thousands of people from around the world visit the Auschwitz Museum. There, they can find the exposition about the camp's resistance with only a short mention about the underground initiator at Auschwitz. This half-truth is unacceptable in the eyes of history.

I consider the testimony by Konstanty Piekarski as an authentication of my Father's role and the mission he completed at KL Auschwitz. They both met at the camp, they cooperated and became friends. They both left important and consistent accounts of mutual beliefs and heroic actions undertaken for a good cause.

Zofia Pilecka-Optułowicz
Warsaw, November 11th 2004.

Translated by Adam Pogorzelski and Julia Pulwicki
Sault Ste. Marie/Calgary, August AD2006