“I've been trying to live my life so that in the hour of my death I would rather feel joy, than fear.”
What a hero.
Those words are also quite a challenge. They make so much of my own life sound... trivial.
He did so much for Poland, yet was ultimately shot in the back of the head by a communist Pole, after the show trial in 1948, and after months of torture. He'd been trying to gather information of Soviet bloc atrocities.
The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather, published last year is well worth a read.
Edit: You can also get the reports themselves, with little extra translated to English. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Auschwitz-Volunteer-Beyond-Bravery/...
Incredibly sad, and probably typical of how communist regimes dealt with resistance heroes after the war. See František Fajtl  for instance.
"I've been trying to live my life so that in the hour of my death I would rather feel joy, than fear."
If you think this story is interesting Sabaton has an entire album dedicated to stories of people like this called Heroes.
In 1948 Pilecki was executed by communists after a show trial.
The Polish entry has a bit more info (https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witold_Pilecki). What is horrifying are his words during the last seeing of his wife: "Auschwitz was a plaything". While in arrest he was tortured: the denailed his feet, crushed his genitals, impaled him on a table leg.
(2nd one down on the left)
Humans are capable of incredible atrocities, once you convince them that the "other" side are not (worthy) humans ("Untermenschen").
What is even worse for me: humanity has not learned much from the horrors of the Nazi regime, it seems. China is locking up millions in concentration camps, using prisoners for forced organ harvesting and medical "experiments"... and the West, similar to what happened with the "appeasement" politics, is doing nothing. Meanwhile, Australia and the EU see letting refugees drown in the sea as an effective deterrent, and what is happening in the border camps both at the US-Mexican border and in the camps in Greece and Libya is utterly inhumane.
After WW2, many Germans excused their actions with "we had not known/realized what happened" and "we just followed orders" - history repeats itself today, and unlike our ancestors we know what is going on, and still do nothing. We are all failures.
Generic tangents are ok when they're unpredictable. It's the predictable part that we're trying to avoid here, since it's bad for intellectual curiosity, however justified the indignation may be.