Meet the Defenders of Westerplatte
In autumn 2019, a team of archaeologists from the Museum of the Second World War found the remains of nine defenders of Westerplatte.
Thanks to cooperation by the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk with the Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin and the Departmental Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation of the Institute of National Remembrance in Gdańsk, to date seven of the fallen defenders of Westerplatte have been identified. They will soon be buried with dignity at the new military cemetery on Westerplatte.
We encourage you to watch the video materials presenting their profiles.
He came to Westerplatte as a rifleman in September 1938 from the 5th Legion Infantry Regiment in Vilnius. The beginning of the combat operations found him in the area of the ‘Ferry’ post, which is at the eastern section of the defenses. There he was wounded in the head. He was transferred to a medical dressing point located in the barracks. During the bombing of the depot on September 2nd, 1939, he was wounded again - this time in the stomach. This wound turned out to be fatal. For his highest sacrifice, Senior Rifleman Zygmunt Zięba was awarded in 1945 with the Virtuti Militari order of the 5th class.
Ignacy Zatorski, born July 25nd, 1915 in the village of Baranów (now Suchedniów, he lived in Bugaj, in the Suchedniów commune, Świętokrzyskie Province). Son of Andrzej and Marianna née Mendakiewicz. He served in the army in the 4th Legion Infantry Regiment in Kielce. He arrived at Westerplatte on March 30th, 1939 as a Senior Rifleman as a machine gunner. On August 17th, 1939, he was assigned to the 1st team of the 1st platoon, which manned the eastern outposts of the defense system of the Military Transit Depot at Westerplatte. On August 31st, 1939, by order of the Commander of the Guard Unit, Captain Franciszek Dąbrowski he was assigned to the staff of Guardhouse No. 5. He took part in repelling the first German assault on the area of the Storehouse as part of the manning of the facility headed by Corporal. E. Szamlewski. Then he fought in the vicinity of Guardhouse No. 5. On the afternoon of September 2nd, 1939, Zatorski was in Guardhouse No. 5, where he was killed during an air raid by the Luftwaffe.
Posthumously awarded the Cross of the Order of VM, 5th class (in 1945). Personnel Order of the Supreme Command of the Polish Army No. 749 of August 30th, 1945 for his defense of Westerplatte.
He arrived at Westerplatte with the last reinforcement on August 13th, 1939. Assigned to the crew of guardhouse no. 5, he died inside it during an air raid on September 2nd, 1939. He was buried at the Officers' Villa in a mass grave after the end of the fighting.
From July 30th, 1939 he served at the Depot. He was a soldier responsible for supplies and food for the crew. He died on September 2nd, 1939 during an air raid at Westerplatte on Guardhouse No. 5. He was buried at the Officers' Villa in a mass grave after the end of the fighting.
He reported to Westerplatte with the spring shift on March 17th, 1939. He was elected to be the orderly of the storehouse commander. Assigned to the crew of Guardhouse No. 5. One of the soldiers manning Guardhouse No. 5, he died on September 2nd during the bombing of Westerplatte, buried at the Officers' Villa in a mass grave after the end of the fighting.
He reported to Westerplatte with the spring shift on March 17th, 1939. A soldier from the crew manning Guardhouse No. 5, he died on September 2nd during the bombing of Westerplatte, buried at the officers' villa in a mass grave after the end of the fighting.
On Westerplatte from September 20th, 1938, Commander of Guardhouse No. 5. He died on September 2nd, 1939 during the bombing at Westerplatte of Guardhouse No. 5. He was buried at the Officers' Villa after the end of the fighting.