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Scottish Parliament mulls monument for Polish WWII general

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 27.02.2015 11:04
A campaign was inaugurated at the Scottish Parliament on Thursday for a monument to one of the most distinguished Polish soldiers of the Second World War, General Stanisław Maczek.
The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh. Photo: wikicommons/Klaus K.The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh. Photo: wikicommons/Klaus K.

The general, who led Polish troops under Allied Command during the liberation of France, settled in Edinburgh after the war, while a Moscow-backed Soviet regime was installed in his homeland.

"General Maczek was an exceptional man who lived an extraordinary life, but he was never really recognised here when he was alive," commented MSP Jean Urquhart, who held a reception at the Scottish Parliament on Thursday evening, as cited by The Herald newspaper.

General Maczek/wikicommons

In straitened circumstances after the war, the general was compelled to take up work as a barman at an Edinburgh hotel, ultimately dying in 1994 at the grand age of 104.

However, his legacy captured the imagination of Scottish peer Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, who set the monument initiative in motion before his death in 2013.

The campaign has gained renewed momentum through the peer's daughter, Katie Fraser, supported by figures including 92-year-old veteran Captain Zbigniew Mieczkowski.

The Polish Ex-Combatant's Association has pledged GBP 5,000 towards the initiative, with the ultimate goal set at GBP 100,000.

Maczek, as commander of 1st Polish Armoured Division, and later of the I Polish Army Corps, helped win decisive Allied victories during Operation Overlord, the 1944 Battle for Normandy, and his troops liberated numerous towns in the lead-up to Germany's capitulation.

He ultimately became commanding officer of all Polish forces in the United Kingdom until their demobilization in 1947. (nh)

Source: The Herald

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