Home Army suffered great loses during a pacification action called Sturmwind that took place in June 1944. Hundreds of people were murdered and twelve thousand were sent to Majdanek, having been kept in transition camps in Biłgoraj and Tarnogród. It was an attempt to decommission partisan units. Russian and Polish divisions surrounded on Porytowe Wzgórze managed to flee to Solska Forest. The partisans were then surrounded and units led by major Markiewicz nickname Kalina, fought a dramatic battle in Osuchy in June 1944 incurring great losses. Capture during Sturmwind I and Sturmwind II, partisans were kept imprisoned in a Gestapo-occupied building called ‘Murder House’.
One of the prisoners was Wanda Wasilewska, a Home Army soldier imprisoned during Sturmwind I operation and interrogated by Gestapo in Biłgoraj. Not being able to stand the tortures, Wanda jumped out of the window. Despite severe injuries she continued to be interrogated. Along with other murdered prisoners, Wasilewska was executed on July 4th, 1944 and buried in a mass grave in a forest in Rapy. The execution was announced in a special notice issued by the Germans (seen above). The discovery of the mass graves was followed by exhumation of the bodies a month later.
Operation Tempest (Polish: Burza) was an anti-Nazi uprising and in Biłgoraj county it took place in summer 1944. Resistance movement developed in occupied area fostered the operation of the National Army, Bataliony Chłopskie, Armia Ludowa and Russian partisan units and their attacks on retreating German troops. On July 30th, 1944 Home Army units led by J. Sokołowki, nickname Sęp, reached Biłgoraj previously liberated by the Red Army on July 24th, 1944.
Pictures present mass graves, exhumed bodies of executed partisans, and a German Bekanntmachung notice.