Slated to close in the summer of 1944, by mid-July the Germans started to evacuate the Gęsiówka Concentration Camp. But by the time the Warsaw Uprising started, there were still around 400 inmates, mostly non-Polish Jews from across occupied Europe.
Storming the Gęsiówka camp was no easy task. The whole prison was surrounded by guard towers and bunkers, all armed to the hilt. The insurgents used a captured Panther tank – dubbed ‘Magda’ – to initiate the attack by firing at the towers.
This was followed by the assault. After the tank had forced through the barricade and broken through the entry gates, insurgents then used the cover of heavy fire to storm the camp.
Some 348 prisoners were freed, including 24 women. Eighty-nine prisoners had Polish citizenship, the rest were Jews from Hungary, Greece, Holland, Belgium, France and Czechoslovakia. A vast number of the freed prisoners joined the continuing fight against the Nazi German occupiers during the Warsaw Uprising, assisting the Home Army insurgents in the Old Town.
How to listen
Unseen is available as a downloadable podcast, although it is best experienced through the Echoes geolocative storytelling app available for iOS and Android. After loading the app, search for soundwalks in Warsaw and you’ll find Unseen.