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Father Zdzisław Peszkowski

Zdzisław Peszkowski (August 23, 1918 Sanok – October 8, 2007 Warsaw) was a Polish Roman Catholic priest and one of a small group of Polish army officers who managed to survive the 1940 mass execution of over 20,000 Polish citizens by NKVD, the Katyn massacre. Peszkowski was a leading advocate and chaplain for the Katyn Families Association, which works with survivors of the Katyn massacre and their families.[1]



Peszkowski was born in Sanok, in what is now Poland. Peszkowski was living in Poland when the Soviet Union invaded the eastern half of the country in 1939.[1] Together with other Polish officers located by the Soviets he was imprisoned and sent to a POW camp in Kozelsk.[1] He was one of the few at the camp who were not executed by the Soviets.[1] Peszkowski joined the Polish Home Army following his release from the camp.


Peszkowski left the army following World War II and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest.[1] He became a leading advocate for the remembrance of the Katyn massacre and the murder of Poles elsewhere in the country during the war. He also became a chaplain for Polish families of the Katyn massacres.[1] He preached forgiveness for the perpetrators of Katyn. He called for forgiveness for those who killed Polish army officers during a speech at Warsaw's Unknown Soldiers' Grave in 1995.[1]

June 4, 2007 was the last Katyn remembrance ceremony where Peszkowski took part.[1] He laid a cornerstone for a memorial at the cemetery for Polish army officers in Katyn.[1] He told those gathered that he hoped the tragedies that happened to Poland during World War II would serve as a warning against hatred to the rest of the world.[1]

Zdzisław Peszkowski died in Warsaw, Poland, at the age of 89.[1] He remained a chaplain for the Katyn families until his death.[1]

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