Stefan Korboński
born 2 March, 1901 in Praszka
died 23 April 1989 in Washington

patriot, social activist, soldier and politician
of the Polish Underground State

Biography


 

 

1939–45

Despite his being a reserve officer, Korboński was not called up on 1 September 1939. He, with his partner and his wife (who then stayed with her grandmother Cecylia Hulewiczowa in Kovel), left Warsaw heading eastward, until he was taken prisoner with soldiers from a Polish detachment smashed by Soviets. He escaped with his wife and returned to Warsaw, to the former headquarters of his law office at 10, Aleja Róż, as their apartment on Aleja Przyjaciół had been destroyed. Soon after his return, Maciej Rataj got Stefan involved in the activities of the Service for Poland’s Victory (Służba Zwycięstwu Polski, SZP), an underground movement started on 27 September 1939. Rataj got Korboński in contact with its activists: Mieczysław Niedziałkowski from PPS, an editor, Leon Nowodworski from the National Party (Stronnictwo Narodowe, SN), and Brigadier General Michał Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski.

General Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski, at Rataj’s request, personally met Korboński at his own place on Fałat St. and acquainted him with the resistance principles. It was from that very group that the main structure of the Polish underground movement was formed later on: the Main Political Council (Rada Główna Polityczna, RGP) active at the SZP, transformed into the Political Consultative Committee (Polityczny Komitet Porozumiewawczy, PKP) being a political arm of the Union for Armed Struggle (Związek Walki Zbrojnej, ZWZ), recognized by Prime Minister Władysław Sikorski in March 1940 to be the country’s political representation, operating until the middle of 1941. Early in October 1939, Rataj appointed Korboński to serve on RGP as his substitute, thus formally recognizing him to be one of the several founders of the Polish UndergroundState.
As Rataj’s representative, Korboński took part in the meetings– convened regularly before Gen. Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski left for Lvov – with the SZP Chief of Staff,
Colonel Stefan Rowecki (Korboński soon became one of Colonel Rowecki’s advisers and he remained in that capacity until the detention of “Grot” on 30 June 1943), the Head of the Department of Political Propaganda, Major Tadeusz Kruk-Strzelecki, and politicians: Kazimierz Pużak from PPS and Aleksander Dębski from SN. The first meeting of representatives of three political parties: SL – “Trójkąt” (“Triangle”), PPS – “Koło” (“Circle”), and SN – “Kwadrat” (“Square”) with Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski and Rowecki was held on 7 February 1940. In March 1940, the Central Directorate of the Peasant Movement (Centralne Kierownictwo Ruchu Ludowego) was called into existence, which sanctioned the role of Korboński in the “Trójkąt”, thought not without certain reservations about his excessive uncontrollability and his susceptibility to ideological influences from PPS, and even from the Sanacja (“Sanation”) coalition whose presence in the ZWZ structures was strong.
On 9 November 1939, Korboński was detained by the Gestapo for the first time as part of their operation intended to ensure that the atmosphere in the capital city on Independence Day was peaceful. Together with the other detainees
from intellectual circles, he was kept hostage for two days in the Assembly Hall of the Warsaw University.
The next time that he was detained was around 20 February1940 in his own apartment at 10, Aleja Róż. Like several dozen other detainees from the neighboring streets, he was kept prisoner in the Pawiak prison for two weeks in connection with Governor Hans Frank’s arrival at Warsaw and his stay on Chopin St. at a former Czechoslovakian Legation building. A short note added to the minutes of the PKP meeting on 26 February 1940, said: “‘Nowak’s’ absence justified.” (“Nowak” was the then-pseudonym of Korboński, and the other ones used by him during the war included: “Zieliński”, “Bubnicki” and “Rózia”). On 4 March 1940, at the next meeting of PKP in a flat on Skorupka St., Korboński was given a special welcome as the first “Pawiak prisoner” in their group. Although the Korboński family returned to their apartment upon Frank’s departure, they made an instantaneous decision to move out. Several days later, without having their registered address details changed, they settled down in Kolonia Staszica. This, however, did not prevent Stefan Korboński from being detained again during a massive raid in Kolonia Staszica. Together with a thousand or so other people, he was kept in the former light cavalry barracks next to Łazienki Park for two days before he was finally released after his employers’ intervention. The others were transported to Auschwitz the following night.
When Maciej Rataj was first arrested by the Gestapo on 28 November 1939, Korboński replaced him at the meetings of the Political Consultative Committee on which he reported to the Speaker afterwards upon the latter’s release on 14 February 1940. Before the release, he accompanied Rataj’s daughter, Hanna Stankiewicz, to the Gestapo headquarters to request a permit to have a parcel of food passed along to the Speaker. In spite of the permit, a parcel was not allowed in Pawiak. After Rataj’s release from prison, Korboński made him take a short rest in Otwock, which was interrupted by the arrival of Władysław Kiernik from Cracow. On 30 March 1940 Rataj was arrested again. Korboński, who went again to Pawiak with his daughter as well as his son-in-law, was able to see the Speaker only from a distance, the last time before Rataj was murdered in Palmiry on 21 June 1940.
At the same time PKP, after numerous debates and consultations, nominated Korboński for the Government Delegate, with SN voting against. Unfortunately, Jan Karski (Kozielewski),
the emissary, who was to propose the candidature for approval to the Polish Government in Paris, fell into the hands of the Gestapo in Slovakia and failed to reach his destination. Cyryl Ratajski at last was chosen to be the first delegate. Prime Minister Władysław Sikorski appointed him in December. It was announced by the government’s temporary delegate, Colonel Jan Skorobohaty-Jakubowski (known by the pseudonym of “Vogel”). Korboński, who together with Pużak made efforts to have the Main Political Committee form a so-called Collective Body of Delegates, lodged a formal protest on behalf of SL and PPS at the PKP meeting on 22 December 1940, after his proposal was rejected by the government, protesting against having three Delegations called into being, and against Ratajski’s nomination. Despite that, it was he who duly swore the so-appointed Delegate in as it was his turn to chair the PKP debates within the rotational system adopted by the Committee.
Ratajski was in office until 5 August 1942, when he was recalled by Gen. Sikorski and replaced, on that same day, by Prof. Jan Piekałkiewicz from SL, known by his pseudonym “Wernic”. Stefan Korboński took part in PKP meetings for 15 consecutive months. He withdrew in April 1941, changing role  with his substitute, Józef Grudziński. Delegated by “Trójkąt” to the ZWZ Headquarters (Komendy Głównej ZWZ), he was appointed Representative of the ZWZ Headquarters for the Civilian Resistance, the organization for which he had been making arrangements from the beginning of the German invasion, but had not been formally sanctioned before. Korboński headed the Civilian Resistance Section, whose status was then raised to that a self-regulated Department for Civilian Resistance in the Bureau of Information and Propaganda in the ZWZ-AK Headquarters. Out of this, over time, a new structure was formed, known as the Directorate of Civilian Resistance (Kierownictwo Walki Cywilnej, KWC). Korboński was in charge of it from its beginning until the end, with Marian Gieysztor (pseudonym “Krajewski”), a professor of the University of Warsaw, as its deputy head.
When KWC got organizationally subordinated to the Government Delegation for Poland (Delegatura Rządu RP na Kraj) a year later, in April 1942, it was also Cyryl Ratajski who appointed Korboński his representative. The next Delegate of the Government, Prof. Jan Piekałkiewicz, confirmed those arrangements and had a proclamation published in the No. 47 issue of “Biuletyn Informacyjny” on 3 December 1942, saying: “I do appeal to all the Polish society for full subordination to the orders, declarations, and calls by KWC.” The commotion provoked by a message published in the “Biuletyn Informacyjny”, signed by the “Directorate of Clandestine Resistance” (Kierownictwo Walki Konspiracyjnej), easily mistaken for the Directorate of Civilian Resistance, resulted in the two above structures (the Directorate of Civilian Resistance, and the Directorate of Clandestine Resistance, being the military section of the organization) united under “Grot” to form the Directorate of Underground Resistance (Kierownictwo Walki Podziemnej). Korboński became Head of the Civilian Resistance – the only civilian within the organizational structure of the Directorate, staffed with top military men, each in the rank of a General or a Colonel. eginning with January 1941, endeavors were made to ensure a civilian wireless network connection with the Government in Exile in London modeled on that at the disposal of the military authorities. A civilian emissary, Franciszek Moskal (known by his pseudonym “Teodor Martyniuk”), arrived in Warsaw and passed the codes required for connection with the civilian authorities in London to Korboński. It enabled him to fix the date for making the first connection for 1 April 1941. The radio station was built for Korboński by an unusually talented short-wave radio enthusiast, sixteen-year-old Józef Stankiewicz (pseudonym “Ziutek”), and the organizational aspects of securing connection with London were covered by his wife Zofia, Celina Broniewska-Holm, Helena Guc and Aniela Jachnik. After the first attempts to make contact in April turned out to be a failure, Korboński turned to Major Konrad Bogacki (pseudonym “Zaremba”), who was responsible for military communication, for help.
Thanks to the arrival of a new government courier (Czesław Raczkiewicz, pseudonym “Włodek”) with codes on 9 June 1941, communication with the Government in London was established on 2 August 1941.
The successful radio operator was Jan Kępiński, known as “Janek”. From then on, KWC kept developing its radio network through which it got connected with the Government in London several times a day, transmitting and receiving hundreds of telegrams, using transmitters installed in the building at 46, Górnośląska St., and 10, Orla St. in Podkowa Leśna. Korboński’s self-reliance in carrying out radio transmissions (Ratajski authorized him, among others, to establish a direct radio connection with the government in emergency situations), even if given for security reasons, was received unfavorably by some other activists, including the Head of the Central Directorate of the Peasant Movement, Józef Niećko. In fact, Korboński, in terms of radio communication, substantially assisted not only the Directorate itself, but also the underground army.
On 10 January 1942, he was thanked by Deputy Prime Minister Stanisław Mikołajczyk for “the first signal to reach England from Poland”, i.e. for the first message transmitted by radio to London in December 1941. In order to maintain the radio communication, Korboński and his wife would regularly travel to Podkowa Leśna, visiting Janusz and Halina Regulski in their palace at Zarybie. Some time later they settled down in the neighborhood of Podk
owa Leśna, changing their address for safety reasons. In 1942, KWC got an opportunity to have its material published in a supplement to “Biuletyn Informacyjny”:
“Z Frontu Walki Cywilnej”, a two-page publication at first. Over time, the supplement got enlarged, and as the first KWC periodical it was continuously published until the outbreak of the Warsaw Rising, thus coming out before the best known KWC periodical, “Kronika Walki Cywilnej”, which was first issued in June 1943. The supplement was edited by an editorial staff appointed by KWC who were independent from the “Biuletyn Informacyjny” board of editors. The texts were most often written by Stefan Korboński. In the issue No. 16 on 23 April 1942, a Call for Boycott was published, signed by KWC, calling citizens to boycott the Nazi-controlled newspapers on every Friday, and in the issue No. 18 on 7 May 1942, 10 przykazań walki cywilnej (Ten Commandments for Civilian Resistance) were published, ending with an appeal: “Poles! The degree to which we shall obey the above rules and orders shall be a true test of our civic virtues and ideals to the future generations.
Do keep it in mind that on the Independence Day we shall all have to account for today’s choices and deeds.” In the autumn of 1942 Korboński received a cable advising him of a clandestine radio station broadcasting on a 31-meter band at 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. It was the “Świt” (“Dawn”) radio station in the vicinity of Bletchley, a town in Great Britain, broadcasting from 10 September 1942, which was to pass for a Polish radio station.
As Korboński himself had been considering a similar solution, he estimated its functionality at its proper value, and, in accordance with wishes of the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Armed Forces, was ready to provide information on a daily basis, which made it possible for “Świt” to simulate broadcasting from Poland.
KWC had a number of radio stations destined for the purposes of communication with “Świt” and with the civilian authorities in London, which enabled continuity of transmission.
The truth behind “Świt”, which was codenamed “Anusia” in Poland, was first known only to the Korbońskis and their radio operators. The radio station, which was also used by the new Commander- in-Chief of the Home Army, Brigadier General Leopold Okulicki (known by his pseudonym as “Niedźwiadek”), was active throughout the Warsaw Rising and was the only one to make a radio contact with London after its fall. It was possible only on 15 October 1944, after a radio antenna hidden under the debris in the destroyed Warsaw was brought to Podkowa Leśna by a special envoy.
A response to the transmission was: “You are the only Warsaw station saved from destruction!!!” The operation of “Świt” was appreciated in Great Britain and in the USA as well. Korboński and his wife were highly respected in both the countries for it.
The information radioed to the West included that transmitted on 17 May 1942, about the celebrations of the anniversary of the Polish Constitution of May 3rd in Warsaw, and the telegram transmitted to Deputy Prime Minister Mikołajczyk in the autumn of 1942, respecting the massive displacement of civilians from the rural areas of Zamojszczyzna. In his telegram on 23 December 1942, when the situation turned dramatic, Korboński appealed: “Over the nearest days and nights the soil may redden with blood, and the sky may glow red from fires. Ring the alarm bells, threaten them with bombing unprotected German towns! We are short of weapons and ammunition” (signed by KWC). On 15 January 1943, London was informed about intensified street raids in Warsaw. That was when Germans encircled all the districts and began arresting people both in the street and in their houses.
The alarming tidings from the country, mainly from “Świt” and KWC, contributed to the decision made by the President of the Republic of Poland, Władysław Raczkiewicz, to address Pope Pius XI by a letter sent on 2 January 1943 with a request to condemn the extermination of Jewish and Polish people.
Korboński was also the first to report to the Polish Government in London on the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto. That information was at first met with disbelief which changed only after it was confirmed by independent English sources. The first telegram message said: “As we have been notified by our Polish sources, Germans have started mass killings in the Warsaw Ghetto.
They have issued an order on forced displacement of 6,000 people eastward. Luggage up to 15 kilos per person and valuables is allowed. Two trains have been dispatched so far; of course, they were death trains. Despair, suicide cases. The Polish police forces have been replaced by Latvian and Ukrainian formations, and by members of the Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union. There is a lot of shooting in the streets and within the buildings.
A Professor of the University of Poznań, [Franciszek] Raszeja, was killed during a medical consultation, together with another doctor and with his Jewish patient.” The next telegram said: “As we have been notified by our Polish sources, death transports from the Warsaw Ghetto are dispatched every day 7,000 [persons] daily. The Head of the Jewish Community, [Adam] Czerniaków, has committed suicide.”
After a German radio broadcast on 13 April 1943, about the mass graves of Polish officers discovered at Katyń, Korboński met with Kazimierz Skarżyński, the Secretary General of the Polish Red Cross, and had numerous telegrams transmitted to London, recapitulating all the content broadcast by Germans.
The Katyń massacre was what Korboński had on his mind for a number of years to come, when already in exile. On 18 September 1951, a group of American Congressmen, including an influential journalist Julius Epstein, inspired the American Congress with an idea to have a Special Committee set up for investigation into the Katyń massacre. The Committee published seven volumes containing the evidence given by witnesses of the crime in 1952. In order to manifest his gratitude for having the Katyń massacre issue brought to light, Korboński initiated a banquet given in the Waldorff Astoria Hotel in New York (the same in which US Ambassador Arthur Bliss Lane announced the setting up of the American Congress Committee) on 28 March 1955, for about one thousand representatives of Polish communities from all over America.
In a similar way Korboński kept London updated on the situation in the Warsaw Ghetto, which itself was able to receive some of the broadcast news. On 23 April Mordechaj Anielewicz wrote to his Second- in-Command on the so-called “Aryan” side, Icchak Cukierman: “It gave us a lot of satisfaction to hear that […] the ‘Świt’ Radio Station had transmitted a beautiful radio broadcast about our struggle, which we were able to pick up using our receiver. It infused us with courage to hear that they remembered about us on the other side of the Wall.” Undoubtedly one of many Korboński’s successes was getting connected to the system of outdoor megaphones to have patriotic content and the national anthem broadcast. A similar operation took place next to Nowy Świat St. in Warsaw on 31 July during a meeting of KWC Regional Directors.
Another great achievement of Korboński was working out the German system of detecting radio transmitters. It also deserves a mention that, after the Soviet army crossed the eastern
border of the pre-war Republic of Poland, on 8 January 1944, Korboński had a special appeal to the nations of the world broadcast and a week later a declaration O co walczy naród polski (What is the Polish nation’s struggle about?) was aired, with a vision of the future from of the government of Poland presented – which was technically possible due to the equipment supplied by Allied airdrops.
On 10 May 1943 Korboński and his wife suffered a great loss: Józef Stankiewicz (“Ziutek”), the self-educated child prodigy, constructor of radio apparatuses and main author of KWC radio communication successes, was killed. The Gestapo took over all equipment found in “Ziutek’s” workshop on Marszałkowska St. That was not the only heavy blow, however: on 10 November 1943, the KWC radio station operated by “Władek” from Okopowa St. fell into German hands as well, and a day later still another radio operator, “Mirek”, was killed when the radio station at 13 Dolna St. was confiscated. On this occasion, the Korbońskis themselves had a narrow escape. Stefan Korboński was also shocked by and grieved over the arresting of General “Grot” (30 June 1943) and the death of General Sikorski (4 July 1943). KWC was strict about observing a day of national mourning, it organized the display of obituary notices, and made arrangements for renaming Aleje Jerozolimskie in Warsaw to General Sikorski Avenue. Similar operations were carried out in Cracow and Lublin. On 26 October 1943 a Social Anti-Communist Committee “Antyk” was established, with Franciszek Białas from PPS-WRN (Polish Socialist Party – Freedom, Equality, Independence) as its chairman, and with Stefan Korboński as its deputy chairman and KWC representative.
On 4 April 1944 Korboński met with a London collaborator of “Świt” and civilian emissary, Tadeusz Chciuk (known by his pseudonym “Marek Celt”), who was airdropped into Poland four days before, together with Dr. Józef Retinger (pseudonym “Salamandra”), a special envoy of Prime Minister Mikołajczyk. This is how “Celt” remembered that meeting: “… so I could tell the most important ‘provider’ of news from Poland what it is like when it starts ‘dawning’ in England and how much we appreciate the operation of the underground component of our radio station*.” According to the entries made in “Celt’s” diary, he met Korboński several times a week, sometimes daily.
As early as his first meeting with “Celt”, Korboński asked to be in contact with Retinger who, as a result of their frequent contacts throughout the period from April to July, confided in Korboński so much that he entrusted to him an envelope with his report for the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland for safe-keeping in the event of his death. Korboński never opened that envelope.
Although Korboński participated in the meeting of the Central Committee of the Council of National Unity (Rada Jedności Narodowej, RJN) in Łowicka St. on 31 July 1944, at which the status of readiness for the rising in Warsaw was discussed, he was not notified of the exact time and date of its outbreak. All that he knew was that the time was near. He continued transmitting his radio telegrams to London as late as 30–31 July 1944, saying that the German civilian authorities had left Warsaw and that the Soviet cannonade could be heard, although the suburbs of Warsaw had not been bombed by then. On 1 August, when, in the KWC headquarters, Prof. Marian Gieysztor advised Korboński that the Rising was to start at 5 p.m. on that day, the Korboń ski couple gave the relevant orders to all the radio units and went to 56 Marszałkowska St. where there was a flat in the attic deemed to be perfectly safe. During the Rising, Korboński and his wife operated mostly within the block surrounded by the streets: Marszałkowska, Mokotowska, Koszykowa and Aleje Jerozolimskie, and sometimes they got through to southern parts of Śródmieście, in the vicinity of the main headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief, Colonel Antoni Chruściel (pseudonym “Monter”). Throughout the Rising the “Świt” and KWC radio stations kept updating London on the events in Warsaw, even after the restrictions and the censorship imposed by the British, much to the disgust of Korboński, in consideration of their Soviet ally. Stefan wrote on 23 August: “We are surprised by and disgusted with ‘Anusia’s’ doing only occasional odd jobs now that her work during the Rising should be her crowning achievement.” The first radio telegram advising London of the outbreak and of the progress of the Warsaw Rising was transmitted on 2 August 1944. Its receipt was confirmed by London.
The KWC radio stations working under Korboński took over the responsibilities of the Government Delegate’s radio station as well when that latter went wrong (as early as the first days of the Rising). Adam Bień, who substituted for the Delegate of the Government staying in Starówka (the Old Town), remembered that it was Korboński to whom they had been indebted for the communication with London and that the system was viable throughout the whole Rising. Similar support was given to the Trójkąt” radio stations. When the power plant in Warsaw stopped working, Korboński built an electric generator all by himself, which enabled him to maintain communication. In the period from 5 to 7 August 1944 Korboński had an English pilot, John Ward, involved in the work of the “Świt” radio station, and he entrusted the pilot with the task of reporting to London on the fighting in Warsaw. He wanted to avoid the repetition effect, with regards to his reports on the liquidation of the ghetto being met with disbelief. On 7 August 1944, Ward transmitted his first telegram to London, telling about Polish women used by Germans as live targets for the tanks advancing along Pius XI St. (currently: Piękna St.). By the end of the Rising, “Świt” had transmitted over 70 radio telegrams to London, out of which nine were publis hed by “The Times”, which appointed the pilot its war correspondent. During the Rising, Korboński was appointed (the appointment date is unknown, but it might have been 16 August 1944) Head of the Internal Affairs Department, which was de facto appointment to the office of a minister of internal affairs.
By taking this office, he replaced Kazimierz Bagiński. His department was responsible for all the administrative affairs of the Underground and, in wartime conditions, had to cooperate with the Commander-in-Chief of the Rising and with the Capital City Delegation headed by President Marceli Porowski (pseudonym “Sowa”).
Every three to four days all the parties held a council, and it was Korboński’s duty to keep Delegate of the Government Jan Stanisław Jankowski (pseudonym “Soból”) and Chairman of the Council of National Unity Kazimierz Pużak updated on all the issues. In his three consecutive radio telegrams on 22, 23, and 26 September he also reported to the Government in London on the situation in Warsaw, which were his final reports. Korboński was also the author of important executive orders concerning the functioning of the insurgent network, which regulated issues such as the establishment of an effective system of communication covering all the important leaders of the Polish Underground in view of possible confusion and segmentation in the underground structures.
Later on, Jankowski entrusted Korboński with the task to notify the inhabitants of Warsaw of their surrender and of the order to abandon the city. Under Art. 9 of the Capitulation of 2 October 1944, the top civilian and local authorities of the Polish Underground State did not have to come forward. The new Commander-in-Chief of the Home Army got through to Częstochowa, and the civilian authorities were deployed along the railway line Warsaw–Koluszki–Cracow–Częstochowa, only to later focus within a small area along the EKD (Electric Access Railroad) railway track, inside the triangle formed by the towns of Pruszków, Grodzisk Mazowiecki and Milanówek, the reason that area came to be called “Little London”. On 5 October 1944 Korboński bade farewell, on Śniadeccy St. to the Home Army detachments going to German prison camps, headed by General “Bór” and by Brigadier General Tadeusz Pełczyński (pseudonym “Grzegorz”), the Chief of Staff of the Main Headquarters of the Home Army. He, as it had been ag reed with “Soból”, did not come forward to continue struggle. As the Head of KWC and of the Internal Affairs Department, he had to leave Warsaw and meet the challenge of re-establishing the structures and the governing bodies of the Polish Underground State, as well as the wireless connection with the Government in Exile which was interrupted for a short time because of the capitulation. He notified London of his decisions: “We shall try to slip away from Warsaw and go on with our work. Listen to us in five days, every day at eleven o’clock, under the existing terms and conditions. Take care!” Korboński’s group, helped by the Central Welfare Council (Rada Główna Opiekuńcza), escaped from Warsaw without any serious problems and managed to reach Podkowa Leśna after 10 October 1944.
Korboński went on ensuring communication among the dispersed underground structures and among the representatives of the governing bodies until December 1944. As early as 18 October Delegate of Government Jankowski, whom Korboński went to see by train from Skierniewice to Cracow, issued with his help a manifesto in which he informed Polish citizens that the Council of Ministers at Home (Krajowa Rada Ministrów, KRM) and the Council of National Unity had left Warsaw. At the same time, he ensured that both the bodies went on performing all their duties on a continuous basis.
On that very day the civilian authorities appealed for help for Warsaw inhabitants. On 6 November 1944 Korboński, under an emergency procedure, appealed to the Government in London: “Have the BBC broadcast for a number of days that, as of the end of October 1944, the government structures of the Underground Polish State prohibit participation in the Polish national committees set up by Germans.
Warn Poles against voluntary conscription into armed groups of the German auxiliary services, intended by Germans.” After the November crisis in the Government in London, Korboński undermined the decisions reached by the all-Poland council of SL “Roch” activists who were inclined, by inspiration of Józef Niećko, to recognize the Polish Committee of National Liberation (Polski Komitet Wyzwolenia Narodowego, PKWN).
The main divisions of the Internal Affairs Department were located in Milanówek, where Korboński would ride by bike along the EKD railway track. There, in the house on Grudowska St., above the cafeteria “U Aktorek”, the meetings of the Central Committee of the Council of National Unity were held (of which we know only a few dates: 7 November, 4, 15 and 16 December 1944). On 8 December, at a meeting of the Polish Underground State authorities held in the monastery in Piotrków Trybunalski, with the participation of the Delegate of the Government, Jankowski, and General Okulicki, Korboński reported
on the overall activity of the Internal Affairs Department.

 


* Translator’s comment: this is a play on words; the radio station codename “Świt”
means “Dawn” in English. Thus, “…jak się w Anglii ‘świta’…” may be freely translated
as “…what it is like when it starts ‘dawning’ in England…” by which a double
effect is achieved: a reference is made to the codename of the radio station, and
hope is expressed about brighter days dawning in England.

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