“The Steadfast Soldiers are the foundation of a free Poland. The memory of them is an element of our identity” – said the head of the Office for War Veterans and Victims of Oppression, Jan Józef Kasprzyk during the ceremony in tribute to the Cursed Soldiers, which took place at the Powązki Military Cemetery in Warsaw – at noon in the headquarters Ł. (so-called Łączka), a place where the bodies of soldiers murdered in the Mokotów prison in 1948-1956 were secretly hidden.
“We gather today to pay tribute to those without whom we would not be free, because the Steadfast Soldiers, the Cursed Soldiers, fighting for what is most sacred, what is most beautiful for each nation, for each state, brought an independent Poland, whose freedom was interrupted by German aggression and the Soviet one in 1939 into the following times” – said Jan Józef Kasprzyk. He emphasized that “without their fight, without their determination, we would not have survived as a nation”. “Many times over the last three centuries, Poland was not on the maps of the world in a political and state sense, Poland was occupied and oppressed, but thanks to the commitment of hundreds of thousands of patriots, it survived, because the spirit of the nation survived, what in the life of nations and of states is the most valuable, the spirit of freedom, the love of independence” – he pointed out.
“Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, we gather in this special place, in a place where the memory of the Steadfast Soldiers was to be forgotten forever, because here thrown into nameless pits of death, they were to be forever erased from national memory. Happily, years later, they became that seed – exhumed, identified and buried in a Christian way, as they deserve, with the highest honours” – the head of the Office for War Veterans and Victims of Oppression addressed the gathered. He also thanked Prof. Krzysztof Szwagrzyk, Tadeusz Płużański and all those who contributed to the preservation of the memory of the Steadfast Soldiers.
“The trampling of the memory of the Cursed Soldiers did not end with the fall of the People’s Republic of Poland, it lasted in the 1990s, the 2000s and, unfortunately, often still continues, but thanks to such attitudes, thanks to such involvement of people I called here, the memory has survived, the memory has not given up. Just like the memory of the Katyn massacre did not die. Thanks to this, we stand today in reflection, thanking for the heroes, for the knights of freedom, for the Steadfast Soldiers, but also being aware that the fight for memory continues” – Kasprzyk said. “It will be a victorious fight for the Steadfast Soldiers, because we will do everything to ensure that their memory survives, that it is the foundation of a modern, contemporary Republic, its armed forces” – he added, emphasizing that “the Steadfast Soldiers are the foundation of a free Poland”. “The memory of them is part of our identity. Glory to the Heroes!” – Jan Józef Kasprzyk concluded his speech.