Mikołajczyk, Stanisław (1901–1966) was a politician and leader of the Peasant Party (Polish: Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe). He took part in the defensive war of September 1939. After the defeat, he escaped to France, where he was asked to join the Polish government-in-exile in London. He became Deputy Chairman of the Polish National Council and in 1940, Władysław Sikorski’s Deputy Prime Minister. From July of 1943 until November of 1945 he was the Prime Minister of the Polish government-in-exile in London. He returned to Poland in 1945 and joined the Provisional Government of National Unity. Facing arrest in 1947, he fled Poland. He eventually settled in the USA. He was deprived of Polish citizenship by Polish Communist authorities. He remained an active politician for the rest of his life.
Nireńska, Pola (1910–1992) was a Polish dancer and choreographer of Jewish descent. She was Jan Karski’s second wife. She became interested in dancing in her early childhood and received thorough training. She studied dancing in Dresden. In 1935, she went to London, where she spent the war years. Most of her relatives died in Holocaust. She emigrated to the United States in 1949. She continued to master her dancing skills and her American debut met with an enthusiastic response. She had her own dancing school which attracted many students. She and Jan Karski were married in 1965. After she retired from dancing, she took up photography. She committed suicide in 1992. After her death, Jan Karski established the Jan Karski and Pola Nirenska Award, which is granted to authors who show the contribution of Jews to Polish culture.
Okulicki, Leopold (1898–1946), pseudonym Niedźwiadek, was a Polish Army brigadier general. In September of 1939, he took part in the defense of Warsaw. He was an active member of Service for Poland’s Victory (Polish: Służba Zwycięstwu Polsce). Later, he worked at the headquarters of the Union for Armed Struggle (Polish: Związek Walki Zbrojnej). He was arrested by the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (Soviet secret police; Russian: Narodnyi Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del) in January of 1941 and remained in a Moscow prison until August of 1941. After his release, he worked in the Polish Armed Forces headquarters, first in the Soviet Union, then in the Middle East. In May of 1944, he was transferred to Warsaw where he was appointed Deputy Commander of the Polish Home Army (in case people who were in command could not fulfill their duties) and Commander of NIE (first letters taken from a word niepodległość, which means independence; a division of the Home Army, which prepared the organization for functioning under Soviet occupation). On October 3, 1944, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Home Army. On November 16, 1944, he ordered the dissolution of the Home Army. In March of 1945, he was arrested by the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs along with other leaders of the Polish Underground state. He was charged with criminal activity near the Soviet front and was sentenced in the so-called “Trial of the Sixteen” to 10 years in prison. What happened to him next is unknown; he was allegedly murdered in a Moscow prison in December of 1946.
Pełczyński, Tadeusz (1892–1985), pseudonym Grzegorz, was a Polish Army brigadier general. After the defensive war of September of 1939 was over, he became involved in the resistance. He was a Chief of Staff of the Polish Home Army headquarters; in 1943, he became Deputy Commander of the Polish Home Army headquarters. After the war, he settled in London, where he was active in veterans’ organizations.
Piekałkiewicz, Jan (1892–1943), pseudonym Wernic, was a Polish economist and member of the Peasant Party (Polish: Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe). In 1942, he became a delegate of the Polish government-in-exile and he authorized the creation of the Polish Council to Aid Jews, “Żegota.” He gave orders to register Nazi crimes. He was arrested and murdered by Gestapo in February of 1943.
Pużak, Kazimierz (1883–1950), pseudonym Bazyli, was a Polish socialist politician. He was the co-founder of the underground Polish Socialist Party–Freedom, Equality and Independence (Polish: PPS-WRN). He was a member of the Political Consultative Committee (Polish: Polityczny Komitet Porozumiewawczy). In January of 1944, he became President of the Council of National Unity (Polish: Rada Jedności Narodowej), which operated as the parliament of the Polish Underground State. In 1945, he was arrested by the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (Soviet secret police; Russian: Narodnyi Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del) together with other leaders of the Polish Underground state. In the so-called Trial of the Sixteen in Moscow, he was sentenced to one and a half years in prison. After he returned to Poland, he was arrested again in 1947 and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He died in Rawicz prison in 1950.
Quisling, Vidkun (1887–1945) was a Norwegian military and fascist politician. After Germany invaded Norway in April of 1940, he declared himself Prime Minister of the national government and appealed to the Norwegian citizens (who were loyal to the legal government) to end resistance. He became head of the puppet collaborative government. He was responsible for terrorizing Norwegian citizens and deporting them to Nazi concentration camps. After the war, he was sentenced to death and executed. In the occupied Europe, his name became symbol of collaboration with the enemy.
Raczkiewicz,Władysław (1885–1947) was a Polish politician. Before WWII, he held numerous political posts such as senator, minister for foreign affairs and province governor (Polish: wojewoda). On September 17, 1939, he left Poland and via Romania reached France. In compliance with the Polish March Constitution of 1921, he was appointed vice president to Ignacy Mościcki. On September 30, 1939, he became President of the Republic of Poland. He was the author of a letter to Pope Pius XII in which he asked the Pope for public protection of the Poles and Jews being murdered in the Nazi-occupied Poland. He died in Great Britain.
Ratajski, Cyryl (1875–1942), pseudonym Wartski, was a Polish lawyer and politician connected with Wielkopolska (region in central-west Poland). In September of 1939, he was arrested as a hostage, released at the beginning of 1940 and deported to General Government. In December of 1940, he was appointed Delegate of the Polish government-in-exile, the function he held until August of 1942. He resigned due to poor health. He died in Warsaw in October of 1942.
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (1882–1945) was an American politician, leader of the Democratic Party and the 32nd President of the United States.
Rowecki, Stefan, (1895–1944), pseudonym Grot, was a division general of the Polish Army. During the defensive war of September 1939, he was a commander of an armored brigade. After the defeat, he got involved with the military Underground operations and was appointed Deputy Commander, and in June of 1940, Commander-in-Chief of the Union for Armed Struggle (Polish: Związek Walki Zbrojnej). In February 1942, he became Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Home Army. Considered by German authorities to be “number one enemy” of the Third Reich, he was on the “most wanted” list. As a result of betrayal, he was arrested in June of 1943 and taken to Berlin. He refused to collaborate with the Germans. He died in the Nazi concentration camp in Sachsenhausen, soon after the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 started.
Rzepecki, Jan (1899–1983), pseudonym Prezes, was a Polish Army colonel. During the defensive war of September 1939, he worked in the army’s “Krakow” headquarters. During the German occupation, he engaged in the operations of the Union for Armed Struggle (Polish: Związek Walki Zbrojnej) and Polish Home Army. In October of 1940, he became head of the Polish Home Army’s Information and Propaganda Office. After the war, in September of 1945, he founded an underground anti-Communist organization “Freedom and Independence” (Polish: Wolność i Niezawisłość). He was arrested on November 5, 1945 and sentenced to eight years in prison. He was released under the amnesty of 1947. He was imprisoned again in 1949 and released in 1954. He worked for the Institute of History at the Polish Academy of Sciences.