For the fourth time, motorcyclists came from all over Poland to take part in the Piaśnica Motorcycle Rally, commemorating thousands of Poles murdered by Nazi Germans during the first year of WWII in the Piaśnica Forest near Wejherowo, northern Poland.
The last stage of the Rally led from the square in Wejherowo to the chapel in the Piaśnica Forest, where between the autumn of 1939 and spring of 1940 over 12,000 Kashubians, teachers, representatives of the intelligentsia and clergy from the Pomerania region were murdered. In Piaśnica the Germans murdered Poles with a shot in the back of the head, like the Soviets did in Katyń.
Most victims were Polish intellectuals from Gdańsk, although Jews, Czechs and German inmates from mental hospitals were also killed.
Among the perpetrators, alongside the SS soldiers, were also local Germans – members of paramilitary forces.
Piaśnica is the second largest execution site, after the concentration camp Stutthof, in the Pomerania region of northern Poland.
The Piaśnica Massacre was part of a larger German operation “Intelligenzaktion” to completely liquidate the Polish intelligentsia. Around 100,000 Polish teachers, priests, officers, doctors, and social and political activists were murdered as part of the operation during the war.