Danuta Siedzikówna - September 3rd, 1928 – August 28th, 1946
“Danuta Siedzikówna (nom de guerre: Inka; underground name: Danuta Obuchowicz) was a medical orderly in the 4th Squadron (created in the Białystok area) of the 5th Wilno Brigade of the Polish Home Army. In 1946 she served with the Brigade’s 1st Squadron in Poland’s Pomorze (Pomerania) region.
After their mother was murdered by the Gestapo in Białystok, together with her sister Wiesława, Danuta joined the Home Army in late 1943 or early 1944. As part of the underground army’s training she acquired medical skills. After the Soviets took Białystok from the German Nazis, she started work as a clerk in the forest inspectorate in Hajnówka.
Together with other employees of the inspectorate she was arrested in June 1945 by NKWD and UB for collaboration with the anticommunist underground. She was liberated from a prison transport convoy by a patrol of a Wilno group of ex-Home Army partisans commanded by Stanisław Wołonciej ‘Konus’, a subordinate of Zygmunt Szendzielarz, ‘Łupaszko’, who were operating in the area. ‘Konus’ took the freed prisoners to ‘Łupaszko’s’ camp where some of them, including Danuta, joined his group. Subsequently Siedzikówna served as a medical orderly in the ‘Konus’ troop, and then in the squadron of lieutenant Jan Mazur, ‘Piast’, and that of lieutenant Marian Płuciński, ‘Mścisław’. For a short period of time her superior was also lieutenant Leon Beynar ‘Nowina’, deputy of ‘Łupaszko’, later known as ‘Paweł Jasienica’ - a notable Polish historian and writer. During this time Danuta assumed pseudonym ‘Inka’.
The ‘Łupaszko’ brigade was dissolved in September 1945 and Danuta went back to work in the forest inspectorate in Miłomłyn in Ostróda County under the name ‘Danuta Obuchowicz’. However, the brigade was re-mobilized in response to Communist repressions in January 1946. In the early spring of 1946 Danuta came into contact with second lieutenant Zdzisław Badocha ‘Żelazny’, the commander of one of Łupaszko's squadrons. After 'Żelazny's' death, the new commander, second lieutenant Olgierd Christa ‘Leszek’, ordered Danuta to travel to Gdańsk in order to collect medical supplies.
She was arrested by the UB again on 20 July 1946, in Gdańsk. While in prison she was tortured and beaten but refused to give up any information about her contacts in the anti-communist underground and their meeting points. Danuta’s brutal interrogations were personally supervised by the Head of the Investigations Department at the Voivodeship Office for Public Security, (WUBP), (Polish Secret Police) in Gdańsk, Józef Bik, vel Jozef Gawerski, vel Jozef Bukar. In 1968, Bik, vel Bukar emigrated to Sweden. An IPN indictment against Bik, vel Gawerski, vel Bukar reads: ‘Jozef B. is accused of participating in court-sanctioned murders perpetrated against members of Polish Democratic Forces (pol. Polskie Siły Demokratyczne) and Polish Secret Army (pol. Polska Armia Tajna) whom he was beating and torturing in order to extract confessions’.
She was charged with taking an active, violent part in an attack on functionaries of the Communist UB (Polish secret police) and the Milicja Obywatelska near village Podjazy as part of the Łupaszko unit, despite the fact that she was only a medic. She was accused of shooting at the policemen and even issuing orders to other partisans. However, the testimony submitted by MO and UB members involved in the fight was at best contradictory, as some claimed to have seen her shooting and giving orders, while other denied it altogether. One (Mieczysław Mazur) even testified that Danuta gave him first aid after he was wounded by other partisans. She was also charged with killing wounded policemen, which was also contradicted during her trial. Given such conflicting testimony and the absurdity of the charges, even the Stalinist court decided that she did not take a direct part in the attack. Despite these findings, and ignoring Danuta’s young age (she was only seventeen at the time), the court still sentenced her to death. The president of People’s Republic of Poland, Boleslaw Bierut refused to grant her clemency (the request was submitted by Danuta’s public defender, and she herself refused to sign it). Danuta Siedzikówna was executed (along with Feliks Selmanowicz nom de guerre ‘Zagończyk’), six days before her 18th birthday, on 28 August 1946, in a Gdańsk prison.
The last minutes of her life are known from the testimony of Marian Prusak, the priest who was called to give ‘Inka’ and ‘Zagończyk’ last rites. According to Prusak both prisoners were calm before their execution. Siedzikówna, after taking the Sacrament of Penance, asked Prusak to inform her family of her death and gave him their address. Afterward the two were executed in the basement of the prison, tied to wooden stakes. They both refused blindfolds. When the prosecutor gave the order for the execution squad to fire, both simultaneously shouted ‘Long Live Poland!’ Danuta was still alive however, and the coup de grace was delivered by the present prosecutor, Franciszek Sawicki (the members of the firing squad refused to do so). Danuta’s Protocol of Execution was signed by: Major Wiktor Suchacki, (Prosecutor), Firing Squad Leader, 2nd Lt. Franciszek Sawicki, Attending Physician, Captain Mieczysław Rutkowski, and Jail Warden Jan Wójcik.” (source)
Wartime photo of Danuta Siedzikówna (aka Inka) with sub-machine gun and medic’s pack
Memorial graves for Danuta Siedzikówna and Feliks Selmanowicz in Gdańsk