In May 2016 Ostrow Mazowiecka county bought the house belonging to the Pilecki family. Minister Glinski received the symbolic key from the mayor of Ostrowia and announced the opening of the Museum.
‘This will be the place to show historical truth’ Min Glinski said during the ceremony. The building which once was a family home of Witold Pilecki will now become an official museum dedicated to his history. Since the beginning of its functioning the Pilecki Family Museum has organised lectures and workshops for over 5,000 people living in the area.
Witold Pilecki was born in 1901 and served as cavalry captain during the Polish-Soviet War and WWII. Pilecki was also a co-founder of the Secret Polish Army, a resistance group in German-occupied Poland. In 1940, he volunteered to be arrested by the Germans and deported to Auschwitz concentration camp in order to organise a resistance movement there and to prepare a report on the situation in the camp. The report was presented to the Western Allies as early as 1941.
After WWII, Witold Pilecki was arrested, accused of anti-state activities in a show trial, and executed in secret by the Communist authorities in 1948. Despite concerted efforts by the Institute of National Remembrance, his body has not so far been found.
Until 1989, all information about the achievements and fate of Captain Pilecki was subject to censorship in the Polish People's Republic. He was posthumously awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta and the Order of the White Eagle − Poland's highest order awarded to both civilians and the military for their merits.