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Captain Józef Rzepka (noms de guerre "Krzysztof", "Rekin", "Stefan", "Znicz") was born in 1913 in the village of Bratkowice (now in Rzeszów County, Subcarpathian Voivodeship). He graduated from the 1st High School in Rzeszów, then went to Warsaw, to study law at the Warsaw University.

During the Polish September Campaign he fought as colonel of the Polish Army, then became a member of Zwiazek Walki Zbrojnej (later: Home Army), in the area of Rzeszów. In the summer of 1944, Rzepka was commandant of the Home Army field forces around Rzeszów, which took part in the Operation Tempest. When Red Army captured Rzeszów, he decided to continue fighting for freedom of Poland. In the night of October 7/8, 1944, Rzepka participated in a failed attempt to free members of the Home Army, which were incarcerated by the NKVD in the Rzeszów castle prison.

In mid-1940s Rzepka joined anti-Communist organization Wolnosc i Niezawislosc (WiN), in its Information Department. Some time in the fall of 1945 he moved to Upper Silesia and settled in Zabrze. There, he became a member of the 4th Headquarters of WiN, led by Łukasz Ciepliński. Arrested in 1948, he was taken to the infamous Mokotów Prison in Warsaw, together with a group of other members of WiN. Tortured, he was in 1950 sentenced to death, and as President Bolesław Bierut did not pardon him, Rzepka was executed with a shot in the head on March 1, 1951, at 8:45 pm. His body was buried in unknown location.

In 1992, Warsaw Military Court voided the 1950 sentence and posthumously cleared Rzepka of all charges.

See also




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