We do remember

IPN BU 3452

Person donating: Waldemar Witek

In October 2016, the Archive of the Institute of National Remembrance was notified that documents from the Home Army had been found in one of the properties in the village of Skórzec in the poviat of Siedlce. Once we arrived there, we found a wooden house which had not been inhabited for many years. Mr. Waldemar Witek, the owner of the house, informed us that he purchased the property a month earlier from the family of Mieczysław Roman, a former soldier of the Home Army in the region of Skórzec, who had died three years earlier. Relatives of the deceased took everything from the house except for a table with mementoes from the deceased. A wheelchair - most likely belonging to the deceased - was left in an adjacent room. Without wasting time, we got down to work. Going through a pile of documents, we realized a few minutes later that we were holding documentation of the Local Association of the World Union of Home Army Soldiers in Skórzec, formerly headed by Mieczysław Roman. The documentation comprised of detailed information about all the local members of the Home Army. Furthermore, we found a white-and-red flag with an inscription saying “Home Army Skórzec” and a multitude of medals received by Mr. Mieczysław Roman, which were, as we suggested, used to prepare a permanent exhibition about the local hero in a nearby school.

On the way back to Warsaw, we were discussing what would happen to this material, had it not been for Mr. Witek? How many such places are there somewhere in an attic, in a cabinet or anywhere else, hiding damp, covered in dust and yellowed pieces of documents about the forgotten ones who had once formed an important part of our history? We can ask ourselves. What will happen to the documents we leave behind? Will they stay in the family as a reminder of their ancestors? Or will they end up on a waste heap, waiting for somebody to rescue them from oblivion at the very last moment? Perhaps, instead of dwelling on that unnecessarily, it is better to hand them over to the archive in due time.