Polish paratrooper who was decorated for his initiative during the disastrous Allied attack on the Dutch towns of Arnhem, Oosterbeek, Wolfheze, Driel and the surrounding countryside from 17–26 September 1944.
David Salik was one of the last surviving veterans of the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade which was dropped at Arnhem in September 1944. A sergant in 3rd Parachute Batalion, David Salik had survived imprisonment in a Soviet labour camp , in 1942 he served with Polish forces in Iran, Iraq and Palestine and was later awarded the Polish Field Para badge, the Medal Wojska Polskiego—Military Medal and Bronze Krzyż Zasługi—Cross of Merit with Swords and 4 British campaign medals. At the war’s end David Salik was to be one of a small number of Jews from his home town of Sanok, Poland to have survived the Holocaust.
At least twenty eight Polish Jewish soldiers served and fought with the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade at Arnhem, of whom ten were officers. Jewish servicemen in the Polish Parachute Brigade were awarded the Order Virtuti Militari—Poland's highest award for valour (2), the Medal Wojska Polskiego—Military Medal (5) Bronze Krzyż Zasługi—Cross of Merit (1) and the Krzyż Walecznych—Cross of Valour (1) for their part in the Battle of Arnhem.