In the autumn of 1943, SS-Brigadeführer Franz Kutschera was transferred to Warsaw with the aim of pacifying Polish resistance to the Nazi German occupation.
As soon as he took up his post, the number of street arrests and public executions grew rapidly, and Kutschera was soon nicknamed the ‘Butcher of Warsaw’. As a result, he also became a wanted target by the Polish underground, which started to track him with the intention of gunning him down.
After a failed attempt on Kutschera’s life in the final days of January 1944, another attempt was made in the early hours of the 1st of February. This time, the plan worked… Kutschera’s limousine was ambushed and he was shot by a gunshot to the head.
The next day, in retaliation for the killing, the Nazis rounded up and shot 100 Poles near the site, while a further 200 were killed in what was left of the Jewish Ghetto. The people of Warsaw were also told they would have to pay a fine… to the tune of 100 million złoty.
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.