Kansas professor honored for his role as resistance fighter in WWII


The railway tracks from where hundred thousands of people was directed to the gas chambers to murdered immediately inside the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz Birkenau or Auschwitz II. in Oswiecim, Poland, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. The commemorations for the victims of the Holocaust at the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau on Jan. 27, 1945, will be mostly online in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A retired University of Kansas professor received Poland’s Medal of Valor this weekend more than 75 years after he fought with the Polish resistance against the occupying forces of Nazi Germany during World War II.

Polish Air Force Major Gen. Cezary Wisniewski who is based at the Polish embassy in Washington D.C. visited Jarek Piekalkiewicz’s home in Lawrence, Kansas, Saturday to give him Poland’s second-highest combat honor on his 95th birthday.

Wisniewski said the honor was overlooked during the war and then the post-war communist government of Poland refused to honor the country’s wartime resistance fighters.

The recommendation that Piekalkiewicz receive the medal was recently discovered in Poland’s archives.

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