Polish town honours WWII special-ops heroes
PR dla Zagranicy
A memorial to six members of an elite WWII special-operations unit has been unveiled in the town of Gliwice, southern Poland.
The last living soldier from the 'Cichociemni' unit, Aleksander Tarnawski, 95, during the unveiling of the memorial. Photo: PAP/Andrzej Grygiel
The Cichociemni (“Silent Unseen”) were a handpicked paratrooper unit of the Polish Army in exile.
Among the six men whose names are inscribed on the granite memorial, all of whom lived and worked in Gliwice for many years, is the only living soldier from the unit, 95 year-old Aleksander Jan Michał Tarnawski, a resident of Gliwice for 69 years.
Speaking during the unveiling ceremony, town mayor Zygmunt Frankiewicz admitted that for many years he was not aware of the fact that a group of former Silent Unseen heroes lived in Gliwice.
“It is our duty to honour those to whom we owe the free Poland of today,” he said.
Earlier this year, the Polish parliament declared 2016 a year of tribute to members of the Cichociemni.
The unit was created in Britain to operate in Nazi German-occupied Poland during World War II.
Of the over 2,600 Polish Army soldiers who volunteered for training, only 606 completed it and eventually 306 of them were secretly parachuted into Poland.
Of those, 103 were killed during World War II and nine were executed by Poland’s communist regime after the war. (mk/pk)