AK (Armia Krajowa)Home Army, subordinated to the Polish Government-in-Exile (first in France, later in the UK, London ). Created on Sept. 27, 1939 (still during the September campaign) as SZP (Sluzba Zwyciestwu Polski) Service for Poland's Victory, renamed in January 1940 as ZWZ for (Zwiazek Walki Zbrojnej) Union for Armed Struggle, and finally on Feb. 14,1942 as AK or Armia Krajowa. It was dissolved on Jan. 19, 1945 following the occupation of Poland by the Soviet Army, which lasted till 1989.

AL (Armia Ludowa) – People's Army, a very small Communist-led military organization, created in Jan. 1944 out of the People’s Guard (GL), opposing AK and Poland 's independence.

Aryan – Indo-European. In this work it is used in the sense of non-Jewish, or Polish, expression commonly used at the time.

BCH (Bataliony Chlopskie) – Peasants' Battalions, a strong military organization of the population in the countryside, created in 1939 by the People's Party, called: Roch, and coming from the youth countryside movement "Wici". It recognized the Polish-Government-in-Exile, and cooperated with AK, being very patriotic, and taking care also of the social needs of the population.

Boduen Home – foster home for infants foundlings, set up in 1736 in Warsaw by the Catholic priest Gabriel Baudoin and run by the Sisters of Charity.

Blue Police
– the uniformed auxiliary Polish police force created by the Nazis out of the remnants of the regular pre-war Polish state police, called "navy blue" for the navy blue color of their uniforms. According to international law, they were subjected to the occupying power, i.e. to the Germans. The Polish policemen were drafted on the pain of death and the Nazis held them and their families accountable for fulfilling their duties. Many, if not most, cooperated with the underground, including the Home Army.

BUND – Jewish Workers’ Party, a Marxist, albeit non-Stalinist, underground group active in the Warsaw ghetto and other places in Poland. Founded in Vilna in 1897.

(Front Odrodzenia Polski) – Front for the Rebirth of Poland, a Catholic conservative clandestine organization, one of the founders of the Zegota.

– a part of the Koncentrationslager Warschau (concentration camp in Warsaw, 1942-1944) which only recently had been brought to the public knowledge thanks to the opening (after 60 years) of the Polish Communist archives. Judge Maria Trzcinska has established, on the basis of German and Polish documents as well as witness interviews, that about 200,000 Varsovians were shot, gassed, and cremated their. Hitler planned to obliterate completely Warsaw as capital of Poland, which during the WW II lost in total 800,000 people, besides being in 85% destroyed. In the 1940s and 1950s, the Communist regime secretly used the very same facility to incarcerate political prisoners and force them to perform hard labor.

Gestapo – Abbreviation for the German Geheime Staatspolizei (Secret State Police). See also information under SS.

Ghetto – Since medieval times Jews flocked to Poland from East and West, being persecuted everywhere. Here they found royal privileges, more freedom and acceptance than elsewhere; they were even permitted self-government. Out of their own volition they settled in towns, in their own Jewish quarters, dealing with crafts, trade, money lending, often running great manufactories, esp. in Lodz. The great masses were poor, but many became very rich. During the war Germans closed
these Jewish quarters, forcing the Polish inhabitants living among them, to leave and replaced them with a much greater number of Jews, in extremely cramped quarters, several persons to a room, thus creating abominably unsanitary conditions, a breeding ground for sickness and death. The Germans themselves were extremely afraid of contracting the resulting typhoid fever. The Warsaw ghetto was sealed in November 1941.

Kedyw (Kierownictwo Dywersji)
– Subversion Directorate. Special elite units of the AK formed in 1942-1943, for acts of sabotage, like derailing of trains transporting German troops and military equipment, intended mainly for the Soviet front.

Kennkarte (plural Kennkarten). German identity document, based on birth certificates, work certificates, and other Polish documents, obligatory for everybody under severe penalties, which included forced labor, prison, and concentration camp.

Nazi – National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi party), created in 1919 and headed since 1921 by Adolf Hitler, with violently socialist, nationalist, and racist ideology. It preached class and race struggle; upon their assumption of power, the Nazis and introduced a centralized and dictatorial state, suppressing all opposition and civic liberties.

NSZ (Narodowe Sily Zbrojne)
– National Armed Forces. Formed in Sept. 1942, it consisted of a plethora of right wing groups, fighting against the Nazis and the Communists. After the battle of Stalingrad the NSZ considered the Communist underground and the impeding Soviet occupation to be a greater threat to Poland ’s independence than the collapsing Third Reich. The NSZ was active throughout Poland, although its structures were the weakest in the east. Most of the NSZ joined the Home Army in March 1944. The NSZ remained underground after the arrival of the Red Army and continued the struggle for Poland ’s independence into the 1950s.

OUN ( Oganizacja Ukrainskich Nacjonalistow) – the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, was created before World War II. It supervised the UPA (Ukrainska Powstancza Armia) – Ukrainian Insurgent Army which was active mainly in Poland ’s eastern borderlands. Both the OUN and the UPA collaborated to various degrees with the Germans. According to the doctrine of Dmytr Doncow of ultra fascist principles (1926), they dreamed of a "Greater Ukraine" which would encompass some of the Polish heartland, parts of Czechoslovakia, Belarus, Rumania, and all of Soviet Ukraine. The OUN and UPA struggled against the Poles (both civilian and underground), Soviet partisans, Ukrainian Communist sympathizers, Jews, and, occasionally, the Germans. The UPA continued its struggle against the Soviets and Polish Communists into the 1950s.

RGO (Rada Glowna Opiekuncza) – Central Relief Council, established in Feb. 1940. It was the only major Polish social charity organization allowed by the Germans, beside the Polish Red Cross, which remained active until the end of the German occupation.

Partisans – armed people, mostly in the woods, fighting for freedom, as was the case of the Polish partisans who were the most numerous. In addition, in eastern Poland in particular, there were also Belorussian, Lithuanian, Russian and Ukrainian partisans, exacting food and goods from the manors and from the peasants. As they all spoke Polish, it was difficult to differentiate them from the Poles and even from common bandits and robbers. There were also Jewish partisans maintaining themselves in the field at the expense of the civilian Christian population.

Registration – residence registration papers; all people were required during the occupation to carry on them the proof of residence. Failure to register one’s whereabouts with the police could result in heavy penalties. The owners and supervisors of buildings had the obligation to notify German authorities if any Jews or strangers (i.e., unregistered people) lived in their buildings.

Q.V. in Latin Quod Vide – which see. In this book the acronym after a name denotes a person, whom Yad Vashem recognized as "Righteous Among the Nations" and whose entry appears in the book.

SS in German Schutzstaffel – Defense Squad, the elite Nazi military corps, created in 1925 as Hitler's bodyguard, and commanded by Heinrich Himmler from 1929. The SS, or Blackshirts, by the mid-1930 controlled the Nazis' security system, including the Gestapo, concentration camps guards, and the Waffen SS, an elite combat troops in the World War II. Himmler was able to put SS men in many key posts in Nazi Germany. They carried out the racial extermination of Jews and the Germanization of the conquered lands in the East, which were slated for colonization by Germans. All SS formations were considered in the Nuremberg trials as criminal organizations responsible for crimes against humanity.

Volksdeutsch – an ethnic German born and residing outside of the pre-war boundaries of the Third Reich. Generally, a person of any degree of German ancestry who signed the "Volksliste", either for one’s own security’s sake or to enjoy benefits of the Nazi occupation, while colluding with the Nazi aims. In western Poland, many, if not most, people were forced to sign it.

WRN (Wolnosc, Rownosc i Niepodleglosc) – Liberty, Equality and Independence, the underground Polish Socialist Party.

Yad Vashem – The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes Remembrance Authority, a State tribunal of Israel, created in 1956. It has a Department which studies and decides the cases of non-Jewish persons, who saved Jews during the Holocaust (1939-1945). It confers in such cases a medal and a certificate in two languages, (Hebrew and French) per family, and the right to have their names and country engraved on the Honor Wall at Yad Vashem, in the city of Jerusalem. Before, when space permitted, the heroes planted an olive tree in the Alley of the Just at Yad Vashem, which recognizes such people by a very moving ceremony there.

Zegota – a Polish underground organization created for saving Jews. Its founders included Arczynski, Bartoszewski, Grobelny, Kossak-Szczucki, and many others. A special chapter on it concludes the present work.

(Zydowski Komitet Narodowy w Polsce) – Jewish National Committee in Poland.

ZOB (Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa) – Jewish Fighting Organization, a leftist Jewish underground group.