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Polish martyrology during WW2 - today`s monuments

isthatu2 4 | 2,703
9 Feb 2011 #31
A couple of memorials of a happier tone from Polish soldiers stationed in East Lothian,Scotland.

  • A Thank You memorial from Polish troops to the Scottish town of Haddington

  • close up of inscription.
Babinich 1 | 455
9 Feb 2011 #32
Isn`t it unfair that today Polish losses are so unknown and forgotten?

Those are beautiful images Pawian.

I am not sure I'd use the word unfair. The word I'd use is unfortunate.
isthatu2 4 | 2,703
9 Feb 2011 #33
Not Forgotten everywhere.
This is my local Cenotaph on November the Eleventh,the Polish Flag has hung there along side the British flag since 1945.
(and I used to be one of those Air Cadets you can see in the foreground,a big honour.)

The word I'd use is unfortunate.

Also,when I first came across these memorials in Krakow I didnt know enough Polish to fully understand them,if these memorials were in any other european country they would have multi lingual signs.

I actually like that they are almost a private show of sorrow though,whether that is the intention or not.

  • 11/11/2010
rybnik 18 | 1,461
9 Feb 2011 #34
Another "How we suffered" thread.

Sick of it. Time for some to grow some balls. And move on.

Dude. Poles have only recently been able to talk about these horrors (20years). Exorcising these demons will take time. Chill out and let the venting run its course
OP pawian 177 | 14,563
10 Jun 2011 #35
Those are beautiful images Pawian.

Beautiful but depressing. Whenever I look through these photos, I get shivers.

Warsaw, still:

This plaque is my guidance in life with its simple message - never give up.

During the Warsaw Rising 1944, soldiers from the batallion Gustaw fought till the end, blocked the strategic route, repelled all German attacks, covered the sewer evacuation of insurgent troops to another district.

A plaque on the Cathedral of St. John - in honour of all insurgent soldiers from Róg (Horn) Unit killed during the 1944 Rising.

A part of the track of the mobile explosive carrier which was used by Germans to blow up the wall of the Cathedral.

A barricade was built up in this place

A Monument to Little Insurgents

A memory stone to honour the place where an explosion of a trap tank killed about 500 people.
TheOther 5 | 3,711
11 Jun 2011 #36
Looking at the photos, I can't help but think that the whole country is eaten alive by its history. Can't be healthy.
Marek11111 9 | 816
11 Jun 2011 #37
Poland is not eaten by history it just remembers the history, Poland got their independence just 20 years ago so we need to go thought the process of remembrance and healing all victims of ww2 and then the victims of soviet occupation, some nation had more time then Poland to heal but then you have to remember Poland lost 1/3 of population and 1/3 of land during ww2it was big shock to nation.
OP pawian 177 | 14,563
11 Jun 2011 #38
Looking at the photos, I can't help but think that the whole country is eaten alive by its history. Can't be healthy.

Remembering things is nothing wrong. Besides, who said famous words: a nation without memory is doomed to be annihilated. ? Wasn`t it Hitler who ordered the destruction of Polish culture during WW2?

That is how Germans tried to erase Polish memory 1939-1944:

The monument to Grunwald Victory:


Monument to Chopin

Monument to Mickiewicz


Monument to Poniatowski


Monument to Kopernik


Sigismund Column

Warsaw Royal Palace


and hundreds of the same or other monuments all over Poland.

Memory is important. That is why students who visit Warsaw on school trips, apart from Warsaw Stock Exchange, The Polish Parliament, Copernicus Science Center, Government Headquarters, Warsaw underground, also sightsee such places - because they are inseperable element of Polish culture and memory:
TheOther 5 | 3,711
11 Jun 2011 #39
Memory is important, I agree with you, and history should not be forgotten. But WW2 ended 66 years ago and most of those who lived through it are either dead or very old. What kind of "healing" (as Marek called it) needs to be done and by whom, if no one is left of that generation? Reliving the painful memories over and over and over again can't be good. Anyway, maybe your photos simply gave me the wrong impression that memorials are at every street corner in Poland, I don't know. There are definitely a lot, and for my personal taste too many. The country needs to look forward in my opinion, not backward - that's all I wanted to say.
isthatu2 4 | 2,703
11 Jun 2011 #40
How can you ever know which direction is forward if you never look back?
TheOther 5 | 3,711
11 Jun 2011 #41

Backward: 1939 - WW2, destruction, death
Forward: 2012 - Poland is a free and prospering country

I know which direction to choose.
isthatu2 4 | 2,703
11 Jun 2011 #42

says more about you I suppose. I think its called the arrogence of youth.If you want to prove how clever you are though,please do it in another thread.

Im not even Polish and I find your tone offensive rather than questioning.
You know your mind,nothing is going to change it so why comment on here?
If you have ever actually been to Poland you will know for a fact that its not a case of every garden having its own memorial,in some areas there does seem to be a lot of them,but hey,why dont we just plough them under,after all ,spoiled brat 20 somethings find them like,majorly depressing,innit.......
TheOther 5 | 3,711
11 Jun 2011 #43
Yeah, the typical PF reaction - why am I not astonished? If you cannot handle the opinion of others, then go live in a dictatorship.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
11 Jun 2011 #44
In the west of my country (Flanders) there are monuments and war cemeteries every square kilometer. Because that is where the front line was in 1914-18. In Lommel there is the Polish Military cemetery (including quite a few David Stars, too bad for the OP). But nobody makes a big story out of it. It is history, not be forgotten. But just history.
TheOther 5 | 3,711
11 Jun 2011 #45
But nobody makes a big story out of it. It is history, not be forgotten. But just history.

Exactly what I was talking about.
OP pawian 177 | 14,563
11 Jun 2011 #46
Anyway, maybe your photos simply gave me the wrong impression that memorials are at every street corner in Poland, I don't know.

Yes, you can say that about Warsaw. As I said in the middle of the thread, Warsaw, the indomitable city, lost 800.000 citizens, half of pre-war population. Can you imagine the tragedy? What do you expect then?

Whenever I visit it, I come across memorial sites which I haven`t seen before. Most frequently they are marked with such simple plaques:

Here, 2 September, Nazi Germans executed 30 Poles. (it was the day of the capitulation of the Old Town after its heroic defence, 5300 soldiers left to another disctrict by sewers, but left behind them their wounded comrades and civilians. Germans, after entering the Old Town, slaughtered all wounded soldiers and massacred civilians, thus strengthening Polish resistance in other districts).

Here, Nazis shot 22 Poles in an insurgent hospital on 27 Sept. 1944.

Here, Nazis shot 70 Poles on 2 Sept. 1944.

Here, Nazis executed 50 Poles on 24 Jan. 1944.

Here Nazis executed 15 poles on 20 August 1944.

On 8 August 350 Poles were executed by Nazis

On 15 February 1944 Nazis executed a few dozen Poles

Modern grafitti in Warsaw:
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
11 Jun 2011 #47
pawian - just wanted to say thank you for not being afraid to talk about Jews in an impartial way. It's really, really nice to see.
OP pawian 177 | 14,563
11 Jun 2011 #48
I haven`t talked about Jews much yet.


A special attention must be paid to this memorial. Located in the old Jewish District of Muranów which was totally razed to the ground by Germans. The monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto.

The German Chancellor knelt before the monument in 1970

Once the district was busy and lively

That`s what Nazis left of it - a single church. See the ocean of ruins.

Today the area is covered with ugly grey blocks.
isthatu2 4 | 2,703
12 Jun 2011 #49
Yeah, the typical PF reaction - why am I not astonished? If you cannot handle the opinion of others, then go live in a dictatorship

Not a bit of it. handle your opinions? huh?
You miss the point,I could care less for your opinions,what I do care about though is that this is a thread about memorials in Poland to the fallen of WW2 not a debate about whether they should exist or not,and frankly,anyone who has to ask questions such as you put does not understand something fundamental about Poland and her history;

There are definitely a lot, and for my personal taste too many.

Oddly enough its not about yours or anyone elses personal taste though is it.
Im surprised you dont realise how much of a fight it was to get half of those memorials put up? or the fact that so many of them couldnt go up at all untill the late 80s early 90s?

If instead of the devisive garbage of the post war period in Poland then A, more "communual"/"all inclusive" memorials would have been in place and subsequently , B,they wouldnt be so widspread and in places scattered every few hundred yards and,on in the case of an earlier unification in the national grieving process then , C, wounds would have healed faster.
OP pawian 177 | 14,563
25 Jul 2011 #51
A new tradition of honouring Polish martyrology is hanging memorial plaques in churches. They mostly concern topics which were forbidden in communist times and talking about them in stalinist times and later trying to honour might put you behind bars.

Of course, Katyn Massacre, a symbol of Polish suffering in the East

Other mention Soviet and Nazi terror and repressions, like concentration camps, gulags, deportations and extermination of Poles in general.

Very recent plaques honour the slaughter of 100.000 Poles by Ukrainian nationalists in Wołyń area in 1943.

A lot of plaques are devoted to Lwow Eaglets, students who fought for their city in 1918. Other mention victims of Polish communist regime after WW2.

A typical plaque reads: To soldiers of the Home Army, who fought against Nazi and Soviet occupants and who defended the Polish people against barbaric attacks of Ukrainian nationalists from UPA and OUN organizations.

Some mottos:

Let the memory of them never die.

If we ever forget them, let God forget us.

Poland was the highest value for them.

OP pawian 177 | 14,563
15 Jan 2013 #52
Katyn Monument in Krakow

25 Jan 2016 #53
sometimes I read others express their point of view and get shivers up my spine when I hear that we should go forward and that we should stop looking back, ''Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it" God forgive us because even after WWII we had ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Somalia and other countries that we do not know about yet. I live in Canada but I was born in Poland. I came to Canada when Poland was still behind the Iron Curtain, few years later Poland changed and I wasn't there to see it. I visited Poland 25 years later and OMG what a change, we now can speak proudly about Warsaw Uprising and all the soldiers of AK that gave their lives so that Poland would survive, yes we were sold to Soviet Union at the Yalta conference, even though England did not wanted to do that because we had a Gov't in Exile in England, but US gov't pushed for it because they needed the soviets to attack from the east side to destroy Hitler from both sides. It is known in Poland, not so much outside of Poland, that the Warsaw Uprising could have worked if it wasn't for Soviets shooting Polish soldiers in their army in the back when they tried to cross the Vistula river and help the Warsaw population, they did not wanted to cross the river and help even though they heard everything that was happening on the other side, the mass executions of women, men, children and complete destruction of Warsaw. So no we as Poles will never forget our history, because if we do that we will repeat it again and Poland has enough of wars already. We will never forget the Warsaw Uprising and all those that fought for our freedom. In US and Canada people have no clue what we went through and how strong is Polish pride and also how very patriotic ALL Poles around the world are, it's hard to understand unless you lived through it, the WWII or later the communist occupation of Poland. Learning history is very important and I will make sure that my kids and grandkids know where I came from and was was done to my motherland. If anyone is interested there's a polish movie with english subtitles that will tell you about Poland during the Nazi occupation and Warsaw Uprising in 1944 the title " Sierpniowe Niebo: 63 dni chwaly " translation September skies: 63 days of glory because that is how long the Warsaw fought 63 days and they waited for help from Soviets or Allied Forces but the help never came and the uprising was finished.
Ktos 17 | 456
25 Jan 2016 #54
If you have ever actually been to Poland you will know for a fact that its not a case of every garden having its own memorial

Exactly, well put, my thoughts exactly. Most Polish will agree with you and most of those who know and felt what it was like during war.

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