EXCERPT FROM THE LONG NIGHT
“A new batch of Poles who had been captured during the Warsaw Uprising arrived in the summer of 1944. They were members of the Polish underground who had fought under the leadership of General Bor-Komorowski. A prisoner from this transport slept on the plank directly above me. My new companion was an intelligent boy from Krakow. We became friends. I enlightened him about the complex conditions of camp life which at first glance defied any logical explanation. I drew much comfort from this encounter. It was in marked contrast to many Poles who had been transferred from Grossrosen to Fünfteichen. It was their bestial behaviour that convinced me that most Poles had chosen to become accomplices of the despotic national socialist ways of the SS in the process of our destruction. However, I was relieved to discover that this was a misleading generalisation. The fighters of the Polish underground did not fight on the side of the conquerors. They belonged to that large majority of Poles who hated this oppression and forcibly rebelled against it. They had felt compelled to totally commit themselves to years of underground resistance. They were united by a strong sense of comradeship that enabled them to commit themselves to a trail of strength with the apparatus of destruction of the SS.
… Everything they (i.e. the Poles) had previously known paled into insignificance as they had to come to terms with the stark reality of the concentration camps. Soon after these Poles had been inducted into camp life, they frequently acknowledged their preference to continue to engage in a hopeless battle and death with a bayonet in their hands rather than to succumb to this existence.
…Polish members of the Underground movement were well-informed by foreign radio stations and press about the aim of the National Socialists (i.e. Nazis) to encompass “the Final Solution of the Jewish Question”, which was to bring about the physical destruction of our people.”