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Events around Poland mark Kosciuszko anniversary

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 25.03.2017 10:17
Events have been launched in Poland to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of Tadeusz Kosciuszko, military commander and national hero of Poland and the United States.
Tadeusz Kościuszko. Photo: Wikimedia CommonsTadeusz Kościuszko. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

They were inaugurated Friday, 24 March, in the Market Square of Kraków, the place where Kościuszko proclaimed the act of insurrection against Tsarist Russia on 24 March 1794.

Wreaths were placed at a commemorative plaque and a huge white-and-red flag was displayed at the city’s Kosciuszko Mound. A wide range of artistic, education and academic events are planned in Kraków till the end of the year, which was declared by the Polish Parliament as the Kościuszko Year.

In a special letter to mark the occasion, President Andrzej Duda described Kościuszko as the patron of Polish liberty and expressed hope that his life, ideas and achievements will be the source of inspiration for Poles and other nations.

During the American War of Independence, Kościuszko served as a colonel in the Continental Army. He designed and oversaw the construction of state-of-the-art fortifications, including those at West Point. Thomas Jefferson called him “the purest son of liberty I have ever known.”

In 1794, after the Second Partition of Poland between Tsarist Russia, Prussia and Austria, Kościuszko organised an uprising against Russia. Kościuszko’s victory at Racławice on 4 April was the first in a series of military successes by the insurgents. It was soon halted, however, by the accession of the Prussian troops to war against Poland. The defeat of the Kościuszko Insurrection led to the Third Partition of Poland.

In 1796, Kościuszko emigrated to the United States, but soon returned to Europe, eventually settling in Switzerland, where he died in 1817. A year later, his remains were brought to Poland and placed in a crypt at Wawel Cathedral in Kraków, a pantheon of Polish kings and national heroes.

The bicentenary of Kosciuszko’s death is included in the 2017 UNESCO list of anniversaries. (mk/rg)

tags: kosciuszko
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