Archives for the Study of the Polish Underground / Archiwum Studium Polski Podziemnej

History

The Polish Underground Movement Study Trust was established in 1947 on the initiative of Gen. Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski with the primary objective of securing, processing and publishing documents on the Polish Underground State and the Home Army, chiefly files of the VI Division of the Staff of the Commander in Chief. A major role was played by Halina Czarnocka, who for 37 years, until 1988, was the director of the SPP archive. In that year, financial difficulties forced the merger of the SPP with the Gen. Sikorski Polish Institute. Its archival holdings have been discussed in relatively extensive detail by the incumbent head of the SPP archive, Andrzej Suchcitz.

Archival and Other Holdings

In all, the SPP’s archival collections run to some 160 linear metres of files, chiefly dating from the years 1939-1947. In addition to these document files, the SPP has amassed a large collection of photographs (approx. 3,000 prints, including photographs documenting persecution of Jews), bills, flyers and pamphlets issued by the underground movement, maps and plans, films and video cassettes (including material on persecution of Jews), as well as some 700 museum artefacts, underground press and a library of books numbering around 6,000 volumes. The archive also collects the results of thematic surveys in its section entitled “Źródła” (Sources), as well as personal card files (e.g. K.19 – Pseudonimy kurierów i kryptonimy baz i placówek łączności z Krajem [Pseudonyms of couriers and cryptonyms of bases and establishments used for communication with Poland]). The materials gathered by the SPP are crucial to research into the attitudes of the AK, NSZ and other underground organizations toward the extermination of the Jews and into cooperation (or the lack thereof) between Jewish and Polish underground circles.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

A seminal achievement of the SPP employees is the publication of the six-volume work Armia Krajowa w dokumentach 1939-1945 (The Home Army in documents), released in London over the period 1970-1989 under an editorial board headed by Brig.-Gen. Tadeusz Pełczyński.

Opening Times

The Archive’s holdings are available in the workroom open Monday - Wednesday 10.15 -15.00, Thursday 10.15 - 16.00

Conditions of Access

Visits ONLY by appointment

Description Identifier

Agnieszka Wasiak

Sources

  • ClaimsCon'06/Alina Skibińska, Guide to the Sources on the Holocaust in Occupied Poland/online search