Witold Pilecki

Pilecki is someone I find particularly inspiring, and who I try to mention to people when the opportunity comes up. I’ll update this post over time, but thought I’d gather a few videos/pictures here to point people to who might want to learn more about him. When I was ill I found his example particularly inspiring. I’ll write a fuller blog later. If I could make even 0.1% of the difference he made, and have 0.1% of his courage, I would be very happy.

“I tried to live my life in such a fashion that in my last hour I would look back and feel not sad but happy. In this realisation I found strength within me, from knowing that the fight was worth it”.
Witold Pilecki upon the announcement of his death sentence at a communist show trial.

A drawing I commissioned in 2013 of Polish resistance fighter Witold Pilecki

This short video explains some of what he did. Video I first watched in 2013. The music is ‘Polski Drogi’ (Polish roads).

“Report back the order is done”. This documents Pilecki’s voluntary arrest to go to Auschwitz, by an eye witness. The first minute or so has some polish in it without translation – the rest is in English. The beautiful music is ‘New Lands’ by Ian Post.


Pilecki used to carry Thomas Kempis’ ‘The Imitation of Christ’ with him wherever he went including Auschwitz, and gave his copy to Eleanora, his wife, just prior to his execution, asking her to read from it every night to their children once he was gone.

Here is a shorter, earlier report written from within auschwitz and smuggled out:

Here is a short book about Pilecki:

From an interview with his child: “My father always taught me one thing: when you start doing something, do it well and to the end. If you think you’re not good enough, do not even start. It’s a wise word. Throughout my life I have tried to live by this principle.”

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