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Stefan Rowecki in early thirties (here as Lt.
Col)
Stefan Paweł Rowecki (pseudonym: Grot, "Spearhead," hence the alternate name, Stefan Grot-Rowecki, 25 December 1895 - 2 August 1944) was a Polishmarker general, journalist and the leader of the Armia Krajowa. He was murdered by the Gestapo in prison, probably on the direct order of Heinrich Himmler.

Life

Rowecki was born in Piotrk├│w Trybunalskimarker. In his home town he was one of the organizers of a secret scouting organization. During World War I he was conscripted into the Austro-Hungarian army and later in to the First Brigade of the Polish Legion. He was interned in August 1917 after the majority of his unit had refused to pledge loyalty to the Emperor of Austria. In February 1918, he was released from the internment camp in Beniamin├│wmarker and joined the Polnische Wehrmacht, and after the establishment of the newly independent Poland, he joined the Polish Army.

Rowecki fought in the Polish-Soviet war (1919-1920). After the war, he remained in the army and organized the first military weekly periodical (Przegl─ůd Wojskowy). From 1930 to 1935, he commanded the 55th Infantry Regiment in Lesznomarker. From June 1939, Rowecki organised the Warsaw Armoured Motorized Brigade (Warszawska Brygada Pancerno-Motorowa, 7TP, TKS tanks). While the unit did not reach full mobilization, it did take part in the September Campaign.

After the Polish defeat, Rowecki managed to avoid capture and returned to Warsawmarker. In October 1939, he became one of the leaders, then in 1940 commander, of the Zwi─ůzek Walki Zbrojnej. From 1942, he was commander of the Armia Krajowa (Home Army).

In 1941, Rowecki organised sabotage in the territories east of the pre-war Polish borders Wachlarz. On 30 June 1943 he was arrested by the Gestapomarker in Warsaw and sent to Berlin, where he was questioned by many prominent Nazi officials (including Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Heinrich Himmler and Heinrich M├╝ller). He was offered an anti-bolshevik alliance, but refused. He was probably executed in August 1944 in Sachsenhausenmarker.

Rowecki was arrested due to his betrayal by Ludwik Kalkstein "Hanka", Eugeniusz Swierczewski "Genes" and Blanka Kaczorowska "Sroka" who were Gestapo agents. All of them were members of the Home Army but in fact collaborated with the Gestapo. Swierczewski, Kalkstein and Kaczorowska were sentenced to death for high treason by the Secret War Tribunal of the Polish Secret State. The sentence on Eugeniusz Swierczewski was carried out by troops commanded by Stefan Rys . They hanged Swierczewski in the basement of the house at 74 Krochmalna Street in Warsaw. Kalkstein received protection from the Gestapo and was not harmed. He fought in a Waffen SS unit during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 under the name of Konrad Stark. After the war, he worked for the Polish Radio station in Szczecinmarker and was later recruited as an agent by the Urz─ůd Bezpiecze┼ästwa. In 1982, he emigrated to France. Blanka Kaczorowska also survived the war. Her death sentence was not carried out because she was pregnant. After the war, she also worked as a secret agent for the Urz─ůd Bezpiecze┼ästwa and later for the renamed S┼éu┼╝ba Bezpiecze┼ästwa. She emigrated to France in 1971.

Rowecki was taken, after his arrest, to Berlin and then imprisoned at Oranienburgmarker. He was executed in August 1944 under orders from Heinrich Himmler.

There have been claims that the arrest of Rowecki on 30 June 1943 was a result of a wider intelligence operation against the Polish Underground State with the goal of eliminating top commanders and political leaders of the Polish resistance. During the same period, the Gestapo arrested the commander of Narodowe Siły Zbrojne (NSZ), Colonel Ignacy Oziewicz on 9 June 1943. On 4 July 1943, General Władysław Sikorski died in a plane crash under mysterious circumstances. Within a period of two months, the Polish Army had lost three top commanders.

Gallery

File:Ludwik Kalkstein.jpg|
Ludwik Kalkstein
File:Blanka Kaczorowska.jpg|
Blanka Kaczorowska


Medals



References




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