Mariusz Błaszczak travelled to Italy to honour Polish soldiers during commemorations of the 1944 battle, which opened the road to Rome for Allied troops.
The Battle of Monte Cassino provided “more proof that Polish soldiers are the best in the world” and that Poles show solidarity toward other nations, he said.
“We are proud of the soldiers of the 2nd Corps under Gen. Anders. We are proud of our compatriots," Błaszczak said during the ceremonies, which marked 74 years since the 2nd Polish Corps led by Gen. Władysław Anders finally captured Monte Cassino after months of heavy fighting.
The heroes of the Battle of Monte Cassino "passed on all those basic values around which the Polish national identity is built” today, Błaszczak told reporters.
He said: "We pay tribute to all those who fought at Monte Cassino. We remember in our prayers those who gave their lives … They accomplished extraordinary deeds."
Błaszczak also said that authorities in Italy, “every time we meet and talk, underline the role played by Polish soldiers in the liberation of Italy and in the creation of a system of freedom and democracy in Italy.”
Interior and Administration Minister Joachim Brudziński was also among Polish officials taking part in the ceremonies in Italy on Friday, along with a group of war veterans and scouts.
"Go, tell Poland, O stranger passing by, that here we lie..."
The hills of Monte Cassino with their fortified Benedictine monastery were a key German defensive position along the so-called Gustav line designed to prevent the Allies from taking Rome during World War II.
The 2nd Polish Corps commanded by Gen. Anders captured Monte Cassino on May 18, 1944, after 123 days of fierce fighting.
The victory cost the lives of 923 Polish troops, with 2,931 wounded and 345 declared missing in action.
By the time the war ended in 1945, a Polish military cemetery was established on the slopes of Monte Cassino, which today is a major site of national remembrance for Poles.
A total of 1,072 Polish soldiers are buried there, among them Gen. Anders, who died in London in 1970.
A sign on the cemetery wall says: "Go, tell Poland, O stranger passing by, that here we lie—having fallen faithful in her service."