Operation Kutschera

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Nov 9, 2005
76th anniversary of executing top German Nazi in occupied Warsaw.

76 years ago, on February 1, 1944, the Polish Home Army made a successful attempt at executing the commander of the SS and the Nazi German police in Warsaw, Franz Kutschera.
Franz Kutschera took up his position on September 25, 1943. Since then, the number and severity of Nazi German reprisals had increased, including numerous mass executions and round-ups. Shortly after, he was placed by the Home Army commandment on the list of targets to eliminate.
Kutschera was very well protected, and the Home Army intelligence came across his trail by accident. Aleksander Kunicki, nom de guerre "Rayski", who was then tracking the movements of another Nazi officer Walter Stamm, used to monitor the Warsaw police district. There, he noticed the appearance of a limo with an unknown general. Since then, "Rayski" had been monitoring his arrivals at the Gestapo building and soon found out his whereabouts and the real name. "Rayski" reported his discovery to the Home Army's headquarters.
The first unsuccessful attempt to carry out the assassination took place on January 28, 1944. The car with Kutschera inside did not come though.
The next attempt was scheduled for the morning of February 1, 1944, and it involved 12 people: Bronisław "Lot" Pietraszewicz , Stanisław "Ali" Huskowski, Zdzisław "Kruszynka" Poradzki , Michał "Miś" Issajewicz, Marian "Cichy" Senger, Henryk "Olbrzym" Humięcki, Zbigniew "Juno" Gęsicki, Bronisław "Bruno" Hellwig, Kazimierz "Sokół" Sott, Maria "Kama" Stypułkowska-Chojecka, Elżbieta "Dewajtis" Dziębowska , and Anna "Hanka" Szarzyńska-Rewska.
The action
"Kama" gave a sign to start the action, when Kutschera left his premises at Aleja Róż Street. Kutschera had to travel only 140 metres, which was the distance between his home and the SS command. When his car was approaching the gate, a vehicle driven by "Miś" blocked his way. Kutschera's driver slowed down, wanting to let the intruder pass. "Miś" slowed down as well, and at the moment the German tried to pass him, he blocked the car of the SS chief again. "Lot" and "Kruszynka" ran up to Kutschera's car and opened fire from the distance of one metre, wounding him severely. "Miś" got out of his car and killed the Warsaw Nazi police head on the spot.
The Germans opened fire from the headquarters of the SS and all surrounding buildings. With four people wounded, the participants of the action escaped via previously designated routes.
"Juno" and "Sokół" jumped to the Vistula river, after being surrounded while taking one of the cars to the garage, and died in its currents. Severely wounded "Lot" and "Cichy" died a few days after the attack. The German losses, including Kutschera, amounted to 5 killed and 9 wounded.
The aftermath of the action was tragic. In revenge for the death of Franz Kutschera, the Germans imposed PLN 100 million penalty on the city of Warsaw, and the day after the assassination, near the place where the action took place, 100 hostages were shot. It was one of the last public executions before the outbreak of the Warsaw Rising.

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