“Stop the Soviet propaganda about the liberation of 1945 and about the liberators who were murderers, child killers and rapists. Down with communism!” – said the President of the Institute of National Remembrance, Dr Karol Nawrocki, during the briefing in Głubczyce. The dismantling of monuments to the Soviet occupiers takes place as part of the implementation of the Act of 1 April 2016 on the prohibition of promoting communism or another totalitarian system.
According to the Institute of National Remembrance, in Głubczyce (Opolskie Voivodeship), on the corner of Maria Skłodowska-Curie Street and Żeromski Street, a Soviet propaganda object – “a monument of gratitude to the Red Army” – was dismantled. The obelisk erected in 1945 commemorated 676 soldiers of the Red Army of the 1st Ukrainian Front who died in March 1945 in the battles for the city. Based on the documentation of the Polish Red Cross, it was figured out that in 1952, comprehensive exhumations of the remains of the Red Army soldiers were carried out in Głubczyce and no burial places of Red Army soldiers were left in Głubczyce.
“The year 1945 in Poland, in the Opole region, in other regions, was not the year of a clash between enslavers and liberators. It was not a year of clash between good and evil, but it was a year of clash between evil and evil, enslavers and enslavers, regardless of whether they were German national socialists or Soviet communists. From 1939 they wanted to destroy Poland, they wanted to destroy Central Europe. In 1939 and in 1945” – the president of the Institute of National Remembrance said during the briefing.
“Therefore, such propaganda objects cannot stand in the space of a free, independent and democratic Poland, because it is not a monument. It is an object. A monument must contain historical, scientific or aesthetic values. It is ahistorical because it refers to events which did not exist, because there were no liberation and heroes from the Red Army in 1945. It does not withstand the collision with scientific facts, but it is also unsightly, it is stripped of the symbols of Soviet communism, just as Soviet propaganda is stripped of truth today” – dr Karol Nawrocki emphasised and added that the Institute of National Remembrance does not only remove Soviet monuments – Soviet propaganda objects, but also fights for the awareness of subsequent generations of Poles.
In turn, Adam Siwek, director of the Office for Commemorating Struggle and Martyrdom of the Institute of National Remembrance, reminded that the Institute of National Remembrance continues the mission of implementing the law, which began in 2022 – the act on the prohibition of the promotion of communism and other totalitarian regimes. He concluded that 28 Soviet propaganda objects had been removed so far, of which 7 were dismantled by local governments, responding to the appeal of the President of the Institute of National Remembrance. “We are not destroying history, we are restoring true history and restoring true memory” – emphasized Adam Siwek.
In March 2022, the President of the Institute of National Remembrance appealed to local governments to remove from the public space all names and symbols still commemorating people, organizations, events or dates symbolizing communism. “It’s high time to catch up in this area (…) Let it be clear and distinct: in the Polish public space there is no place for any commemoration of the totalitarian communist regime and the people serving it” – he stressed in a statement of March 4, 2022. Thus, the next stage of decommunization in Poland began. On the statement of Dr. Karol Nawrocki responds to more and more local governments that want to get rid of the remnants of the totalitarian system. The disassembly of monuments is a practical implementation of the Act of 1 April 2016 on the prohibition of promoting communism or other totalitarian system by the names of organizational units, auxiliary units of the commune, buildings, public utility facilities and devices, and monuments.