On March 1, Poles pay tribute to the Steadfast Soldiers

On the National Remembrance Day of the Cursed Soldiers, the Institute of National Remembrance honors the soldiers of the post-war conspiracy. In Warsaw, we commemorate the heroes of the fight for Poland’s independence in the former Remand Center at ul. Rakowiecka and “Łączka” in Powązki.

On March 1, 1951, in the prison in Warsaw’s Mokotów district, after a show trial, the leaders of the 4th Main Board of the “Freedom and Independence” Association – the president of WiN, Lt. Col. Łukasz Ciepliński (“Pług”, “Ludwik”) and his closest collaborators: Adam Lazarowicz, Mieczysław Kawalec, Józef Rzepka, Franciszek Błażej, Józef Batory and Karol Chmiel were executed. Their bodies were buried by the communists in an unknown place.

March 1, 2024 at At 9.00, on the premises of the former prison, currently the Museum of the Cursed Soldiers and Political Prisoners of the Polish People’s Republic (PRL), celebrations commemorating the heroes of the post-war anti-communist underground began, in which representatives of state authorities and veterans’ organizations, the Institute of National Remembrance, and the director of the museum, Adrianna Garnik, took part. The IPN was represented by: president – Dr. Karol Nawrocki and his deputies – Prof. Karol Polejowski and Dr. Mateusz Szpytma.

The celebrations began with a ceremonial appeal of remembrance and laying flowers at the Death Wall, where soldiers of the independence underground were shot.

During his speech, the president of the Institute of National Remembrance, Dr. Karol Nawrocki, recalled the figure of Łukasz Ciepliński: “The life and death of Łukasz Ciepliński is another example of what the battle of the Steadfast Soldiers and the Cursed Soldiers was fought for – for the same independence that Poland lost in 1939. Łukasz Ciepliński he was a hero of the Battle of Bzura, in 1939 he defended Warsaw, he was a conspirator of the largest underground army in the world – the Home Army, and after 1945 the Soviets and their supporters forced him to continue fighting for the same free and independent Poland lost in 1939”.

The President of the Institute of National Remembrance emphasized that it is impossible to build a national community and cultivate the identity of Poles without referring to the phenomenon of the Steadfast Soldiers.

“The death of Łukasz Ciepliński and the soldiers of the anti-communist underground was neither a loss nor a failure. It was the end of a beautiful service for the Republic of Poland, and today it is also a great obligation for all of us. It is an obligation for the Institute of National Remembrance, for the state authorities, for social activists, for foundations, for football fans who never forget about the Unbroken Soldiers and the Cursed Soldiers. It is an obligation to the past, but it is also an obligation to the future” – he said.

Adrianna Garnik, director of the Museum of Cursed Soldiers and Political Prisoners of the Polish People’s Republic, added that the “Freedom and Independence” Association was one of the largest post-war organizations that opposed the communist regime imposed by the Soviets. More than 320 people were executed in the Mokotów prison, many of them tortured to death during brutal interrogations. “Many brave women and men passed through this prison, striving on different paths for an independent Poland. Their paths crossed here, in this place” – Adrianna Garnik said.

Andrzej Dera, Secretary of State in the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland, read a letter from the President of the Republic of Poland. Andrzej Duda assured that he is thinking with sympathy “today about the families of the victims of communist repression, who still do not know the fate of those arrested and their loved ones who disappeared without a trace”. Among those present at the ceremony were: Izabela Archacka, granddaughter of 2nd Lieutenant Józef Kozłowski “Las”, executed on Rakowiecka Street in 1949.

After the ceremony in the museum’s courtyard, the event participants went to the famous Pavilion X, where, among others, Captain Witold Pilecki and General August Fieldorf “Nil” were held. There, a special audiovisual show was prepared, which presents the fate of those imprisoned and murdered.

Source anf photo.: Institute of National Rememberance

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