Before the funeral mass at St. Mary’s Basilica in Gdansk Siedzikowna and Selmanowicz were posthumously promoted to a higher military rank, and Selmanowicz was decorated with a state distinction.
President Duda said that the funeral of Danuta Siedzikowna and Feliks Selmanowicz “was restoring dignity not to them since they had never lost it, but to the Polish state, which for years – even after 1989 – had not honoured its heroes”.
Addressing the gathering at the cemetery, PM Szydlo said that thanks to Inka and Zagonczyk we could live in a free Poland. “Thanks to your ideals we are Poles and it is our duty to preserve them, “the PM said.
“Glory to the heroes,” the PM stressed, adding that “we are obliged to find those who are still not found and honour them”.
On August 28, 1946, Poland’s communist authorities executed Siedzikowna and Selmanowicz. At the time of the execution Siedzikowna, codename Inka, was 17. She was a nurse of the 5th Vilnius Home Army (AK) Brigade, and Selmanowicz, codename Zagonczyk, was a commander of one of the brigade’s platoons. During the war the two fought the Germans and after the war they continued their pro-independence activity.
Arrested in June and July 1946, they were tortured, sentenced to death, executed and secretly buried in an unmarked pit at a cemetery in Gdansk. Pavement tiles were put on top to conceal the site. Their remains were found in 2014 and identified through DNA tests. In 1991, a Gdansk court ruled that Siedzikowna and other soldiers of the 5th Vilnius Home Army (AK) Brigade had been fighting for Poland’s independence.
The Cursed Soldiers were underground organisations fighting against the communist regime, which seized power in 1944, after World War II. Most had ceased to exist by the late 1940s and 1950s. The last known ‘cursed soldier’, Jozef Franczak, died in an ambush as late as 1963. (PAP)