Poland / Cemetery

Grave of Danuta Siedzikówna, alias ‘Inka’




During the communist regime in Poland, many anti-communists were killed, among whom the 18 year old Danuta Siedzikówna, alias ‘Inka’, who gave her life in the struggle against the German and communist occupation of her home land. After the fall of Communism a search was started for the mortal remains of the victims, to give them the respect they deserved. The remains of freedom fighter Danuta Siedzikówna were found in 2014.

Those executed by the Stalinist secret police were usually buried in secrecy in unmarked locations. Friends and families were never informed about the location and were pressured not to pursue the matter. Until 1989 the question of the victims was totally suppressed by state censorship, although memory was kept alive by patriots and surviving family members. The number of those killed between 1945 and 1955 is estimated at 50 000. Only with the fall of Communism in 1989 did it became possible to talk about those imprisoned, tortured and killed after mock trials.

In 1999, the establishment of the Institute for National Remembrance expedited the search for the remains of the members of anti-communist resistance. From 2003 onwards a nation-wide programme was launched to locate the spots where the victims were buried and to identify the remains, in order to provide for a proper burial. Numerous surviving family members were contacted in order to provide DNA samples. Various documents pointed to the Garrison Cemetery in Gdansk as the burial place for the local victims of the Communist secret police.

The search began in September 2014 and was conducted with the usage of geo-radar, which enabled the identification of four remains, buried face-down in lidless boxes. One belonged to a young female with a bullet wound in the head.

In March 2015 the DNA testing finally confirmed the remains to be of Danuta Siedzikówna, alias ‘Inka’, the Polish freedom fighter who was executed in 1946, a week before her 18th birthday. On 28 August 2016 a state burial was held in Gdansk for Danuta and one of her companions.

Kolonia Jordana 30, 80-001 Gdańsk, Pologne