Recording no. 1
An account of the funeral of the victims of the Radogoszcz massacre, which took place on February 18, 1945, in St. Roch’s Cemetery, written for the District Committee of the Polish Workers’ Party in Łódź.
State Archive in Łódź, District Committee of the Polish Workers’ Party in Łódź, ref. no. 39/1029/0/5/17, p. 44.
On February 18, 1945, a ceremonial funeral of the victims of Nazi barbarity, burnt in the local concentration prison, took place. The mortal remains of freedom fighters were transported on carts decorated with greenery to the nearby cemetery, where they were buried in two huge twin graves. From early morning, crowds from Radogoszcz, Łódź, Zgierz, Aleksandrów and other neighbouring villages and towns gathered to take part in this demonstrative funeral. Nearly the whole Łódź and the Łódź District participated in this funeral ceremony.
After the church service, the priest, accompanied by a delegation, went to the prison grounds, where he blessed the ashes of the burnt ones, whom German bestiality had turned into truly sacred dust. Then they went to one of the rooms, where symbolic coffins with the remains of the victims were displayed. After the exequies, the funeral procession went to the cemetery, where innocent people murdered in such a brutal way were lying in open graves one next to the other.
Recording no. 2
A description of the funeral of the Radogoszcz victims on February 18, 1945.
State Archive in Łódź, District Committee of the Polish Workers’ Party in Łódź, ref. no. 39/1029/0/5/17, pp. 45-48.
The cemetery is full. Adjacent streets and yards are all packed with crowds. In front of the grave, surrounded by representatives of the authorities and the clergy, there are the closest relatives of the murdered. You can hear crying and wailing.
National banners lean over the open graves, and Polish eagles cover them with their wings. The bells don’t toll in complaint to heaven, the bells stolen from Polish churches by the invaders, but all Polish hearts are beating today in unison in memory of those who died for the holy cause of the freedom of the Polish people, for freedom and for social justice. Above the holy remains of martyrs stand today representatives of the Polish army, representatives of the government, the government and the justice that will mete out punishment for the crimes the world has never known before.
You can hear the lament all around for those who are gone, who were killed by the enemy. The pain is throttling, so excruciating, hitherto unknown to humanity.
And man asks why did it happen? They died because they were Poles, they died for their holy love for their land, for their love for the Polish people. And you, their close family members, be proud of their death because they gave their lives for Poland.
After soldiers fired a honorary salute, the gathered sang the national anthem and a parade of crowds before the open graves started, so that everyone could cast the last glance at the murdered. Crowds filed through the cemetery until late evening.
Recording no. 3
A fragment of press coverage of the Holy Mass celebrated in the grounds of the burnt prison in Radogoszcz on January 28, 1945, for the victims of the Radogoszcz massacre.
Wolna Łódź, Łódź, January 31, 1945, p. 1.
We will avenge the Radogoszcz martyrs!
On Sunday, January 28, 1945, a ceremonial field mass was celebrated, attended by representatives of the authorities, the Red Army, and the Polish Armed Forces.
A field altar was placed at the wall of the place of slaughter. Martyred Jesus on the cross, the patron saint of all those who suffer undeservedly, was towering high above the heads of the gathered crowd.
Inscriptions: “We will avenge the Radogoszcz martyrs!”, “The proletariat will avenge Majdanek victims”, “The German won’t spit in our face”, “Death to fascist executioners”, and “March on Berlin” all reflected the feelings of the manifestation participants.
Then General Mochnacki spoke: “Who can describe, who can tell how Hitlerism abused the defenceless Polish nation. Words are too weak to convey the unbelievable bestiality of the executioners. Nearly every Polish family cries for their lost loved ones. But justice will be done as the heroic Polish Armed Forces, allied with the Red Army, will avenge their suffering.”
There was no end to spontaneous cries: “Long live the Red Army, the saviour of Poland”, “Long live the Polish Army”, “Long live the workers’ Łódź!”
Military troops honoured the martyrs. A 24-gun salute was heard. The bodies of the murdered were covered with flowers. Deeply moved people sang “Rota”.
Recording no. 4
A fragment of the sermon delivered by the Rev. Canon Józef Orłowski during the Holy Mass for the peace of the souls of those tortured to death in Radogoszcz.
Wolna Łódź, Łódź, January 31, 1945, p. 1.
Everything great is born in pain. Our nation has experienced great pain. Radogoszcz, Auschwitz, Majdanek, Oranienburg, Dachau, Mauthausen, and a number of other towns will forever remain the disgrace of the German filth. But things don’t just disappear. Every good deed has its consequences, and so does the bad one. The Divine Providence allowed us to see the time when the German power collapsed. It’s being crushed by our brave army and partisans. The day of justice is nigh.
Thanks to the noble initiative of the Representative of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Poland Colonel Loga-Sowiński, today we can pray for the souls of our fellow countrymen so brutally murdered by German butchers here, in Radogoszcz, from where so many groans, so much pain and suffering came during the long five and a half years.
“In pain, the bird of God flies high,
Those fighting throughout the night will be victorious at dawn.”