Pilecki Project Committee is a volunteer group formed with the purpose of organising cultural and historical exhibitions and events presenting the heroism and achievements of Polish and Australian soldiers in the World War II as well as their after war social and cultural activities.
Our projects are organised in public places i.e. Jewish Holocaust Centre, Federation Square, Parliament House, Public Libraries, Schools and Cultural Centres. We promote our activities through media: radio, television, newspapers and internet social media platforms. Many projects offer lectures on interesting historical subjects presented by invited special guest speakers including war veterans and survivors, as well as academics and writers. We also organise special educational workshops for young students.
Majority of our events involve organising artistic and cultural meetings. Very often we provide catering to our invited guests. For our exhibitions and events we produce various valuable materials such as books, banners, booklets, brochures, electronic presentations etc.
About our mission
“Report W KL Auschwitz 1940-1943 by Captain Witold Pilecki” book and electronic presentation of most brave Home Army (AK) soldier who first informed the international opinion about the extermination of Jews, Poles and other people in the German concentration camp.
We believe that the heroic contribution of Pilecki in the battle to maintain the dignity of man, his deeply felt compassion for each victim, his determination to spread information about the mass extermination of Jews, Poles and other nationalities in the German concentration camp of Auschwitz, deserves world recognition. This book and electronic presentation show the most unusual hero who deserves commemoration.
The project is dedicated to Captain Witold Pilecki – the founder of the underground organization in the German extermination camp KL Auschwitz and the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, part of which presents profiles of Australian pilots who took part in helping the Warsaw insurgents.
The aim of our project is to convey to the public the most important historical narratives of the Warsaw Uprising within the history of the Second World War.
The Uprising was essentially a response to the brutal German occupation of Poland, but for all its heroism, more than 200,000 Polish civilians were killed in the 63 days of its duration. The sacrifice of these innocent civilians must be remembered equally with that of their comrades in arms. Our aim is to show how, for these two months in 1944, strength and dignity surpassed the fear of death; how one’s individual survival mattered less than the universal message of freedom from oppression.
While the Germans aimed to subjugate and destroy the Polish nation during the five years of occupation since 1939. August 1944 saw the culmination of Polish opposition to this persecution. In the largest single military response by a European resistance movement, the Uprising stated clearly: “We have had enough; we will stand up to you together regardless of what anyone else does. Poland will fight.”
About Report W
Report W provides irrefutable and detailed first-hand evidence of the existence of German Nazi built and operated concentration and extermination camps, in particular about the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. The Pilecki report, an honest, insightful, comprehensive, detailed and fair account of what the life inside the camp was like certainly corrects some misguided views and makes it possible for the whole truth about those days of horror to come to the surface.
We owe it to Pilecki and the resistance movement he helped set up at Auschwitz that the first message from inside that camp reached Warsaw already in November 1940. That message was taken by an underground ZWZ courier to London in March 1941 and presented to the governments of all major Western allies of Poland.
The Polish Cavalry Captain Witold Pilecki, veteran of the First, and Second, World War, a prominent and very active member of one of the first Polish military underground organization operating under German occupation during WWII (TAP) took such a vivid interest in finding out what the prisoners’ conditions of life and practices within the Nazi established Auschwitz camp were like that on 19 September 1940 he joined a group of Poles as they were being rounded up by Germans in a Warsaw street, so that he could be sent to that camp, get acquainted with it, provide various forms of assistance to inmates, improve their morale, and assess the chances of liberating the camp with assistance from the Polish underground detachments operating in the region, or Polish airborne units from Great Britain.
His task was also to let the headquarters of Polish underground military organizations in Warsaw know of the overall situation and camp practices, including those in place at the Birkenau mass extermination sub-camp of Auschwitz. He sent a number of messages to Warsaw through released prisoners or escapees, and also sent many of them from a radio transmitter prisoners built and clandestinely operated at Auschwitz.
Tragically, his alarming messages from the Auschwitz camp and the evidence of unheard of scale of extermination and atrocities were practically ignored by the Western powers.
We believe that the heroic battle fought at Auschwitz, and later, by Pilecki to uphold the dignity of every human being, his deeply felt compassion for every victim, his determination in spreading the information about the mass extermination of Jews in the German concentration camp KL Auschwitz, deserve a global recognition.
In his book “Six Faces of Courage”, British historian Michael Foot counts Pilecki amongst six bravest members of resistance movement during WWII.
In the foreword to the book “The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery” which was published in USA in 2012 by Aquila Polonica, Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich, had this to say about Pilecki: “…Pilecki is a shining example of heroism that transcends religion, race and time…” When God created the human being, God had in mind that we should all be like Captain Witold Pilecki, of blessed memory. May the life of Witold Pilecki inspire us all to do one more good deed, of any kind, each day of our lives?”
In February 2014 the Pilecki Project Committee has donated, to the Jewish Holocaust Museum in Melbourne, authentic copies of the original historical documents provided by Polish Institute of National Remembrance (Instytut Pamieci Narodowej)relating to the extraordinary conspiratorial activities of Captain Pilecki in the Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp.
Our book „Report W KL Auschwitz 1940-1943 by Captain Witold Pilecki” has been distributed to organisations worldwide.
In Australia, this includes the Australian War Memorial, National Library of Australia, National Library in Canberra, State Library of Victoria, Monash University Library, Parliament Library of Victoria, Jewish Holocaust Museum in Melbourne, Kadimah Jewish Cultural Centre & National Library, and the Bentleigh, Glen Eira and Caulfield libraries (south eastern Melbourne).
Internationally, the includes Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Auschwitz-Birkenau Former German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp Memorial and Museum and The Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw.
Links to institutes and libraries with our books and presentations:
View our electronic presentations:
Presentation based on our exhibition in Melbourne commemorating 70 years anniversary of Warsaw Uprising 1944
Tragic 63 days of struggle for Poland’s freedom during Warsaw Uprising 1944
Captain Witold Pilecki The Only Auschwitz Volunteer Presentation
Further links to our exhibitions, events and activities:
Exhibition at Jewish Holocaust Centre
Segment in Halo Polonia
Article on Niezalezna
The official opening of the exhibition devoted to Captain Witold Pilecki, the Warsaw Uprising and Poles saving Jews during World War II in the Parliament of Victoria in Melbourne.
Article in The West Australian
Exhibition launch at Government House Western Australia
Report w KL Auschwitz 1940-1943 by Captain Pilecki, Allegro Archiwum
Report w KL Auschwitz 1940-1943 by Captain Pilecki, Google Books
About our completed projects:
2008- 2013 An exhibition was created in the form of posters, newsletters, brochures and in an electronic version. A book about the life and activities of rtm was published. Witold Pilecki. The exhibition was extended to include issues related to heroism and the participation of civilians during the Warsaw Uprising and the participation of Australian soldiers in the Warsaw Uprising.
The book “Report in KL Auschwitz 1940-1943 by Captain Witold Pilecki” with two editions.
Currently, the book is available to readers at the Auschwitz Museum, Yad Vashen Institute in Jerusalem, Monash University in Melbourne, Museum of Polin, Jewish Culture Centre Kadimah in Melbourne, National Library in Canberra, Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw, the Jewish Centre for the Holocaust in Melbourne.
2013 Petition of the Pilecki Project Committee to the Australian public television channel SBS TWO on the screening of Ryszard Bugajski’s film ‘Gen. Nil’. The first premiere of the film thanks to our action was shown in February on the World Movies channel, then the 5th screening of the film between 2014 and 2018 on the Australian Public Television channel SBS TWO.
2014 Jewish Holocaust Centre – the first museum in the world that accepted publications prepared by the Pilecki Committee in Melbourne regarding rtm Witold Pilecki
2015 Federation Square “Atrium” exhibition on rtm by Witold Pilecki and the Warsaw Uprising. The exhibition was made available free of charge, intentionally in central Melbourne, to bring the Australian history of Poland closer to the Australian community
2016 After negotiations, the project officially handed over materials related to Witold Pilecki to the Museum “Polin” in Warsaw
2017 Exhibition at the Jewish Culture Centre “Kadimah” in Melbourne dedicated to rtm Witold Pilecki, the Warsaw Uprising with the thread of the participation of Australian Soldiers in the Warsaw Uprising.
2018 Exhibition at the Victorian Parliament in Melbourne regarding the heroic attitude of rtm. Witold Pilecki, the heroism of the Warsaw Insurgents. The topic of the participation of Poles saving the Jewish community during World War II was expanded through exhibitions about the Ulma Family and the “Żegota” Council of Jewish Aid Council activities made available by the Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw. The exhibition in the Victorian Parliament attracted not only many significant Australian politicians, but also numerous crowds of people visiting Parliament and young people who, as part of school trips, could learn about the honourable, true history of Poland.
2018 Exhibition in the Parliament in Perth visited by numerous significant politicians in Australia, school trips, Polish communities in Australia and Australia.
2019 Presentation of the exhibition “Time For Heroes” during the Polish Federation Square Festival. Pilecki Project Committee INC booth (About 50,000 people visited the Fed Square Festival)
The board of Pilecki Project Committee
A volunteer group of friends and polish organizations formed with the purpose of drawing attention to the heroism and achievements of Captain Pilecki and Warsaw Uprising in Australia.
Zofia Karolina Musial (President)
Hanna Lilpop Michankow
Andrzej Nowak (founder of the project)
To learn more or connect with us, visit our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Pilecki-Project-Committee-not-for-profit-organization-1997880943652259/about/)