Home Army anniversary marked in Poland
PR dla Zagranicy
Events marking the 75th anniversary of the formation of the Polish Home Army (AK) are being held in Warsaw.
Józef Kasprzyk (centre) during an anniversary event in Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell
Scouts have lit symbolic “Lights of Memory” on 150 sites around the capital which were the scene of military operations by the Home Army during World War II.
Wreaths have been placed at memorials to General Stefan Rowecki, the first commander of the Home Army, and to the Polish Underground State.
General Rowecki was captured by the Germans occupying Poland in 1943 and shot in 1944.
The day’s programme includes an academic session on fostering patriotism and a concert for Home Army veterans.
The Home Army was by far the largest resistance force in Nazi-German occupied Poland. At its height, in 1944, it numbered up to 400,000 men and women.
Even though its activities were hampered by a lack of arms, the Home Army carried out several large-scale battles against the Germans, notably the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, which was an attempt to liberate the capital before Soviet troops arrived.
Home Army members sabotaged German operations, attacked military transports headed for the Eastern Front, rescued prisoners, assassinated individual SS officers and set up a successful intelligence service.
Tens of thousands of Home Army soldiers were killed during the war, and thousands were sentenced to death and imprisoned by the communist regime after World War II.
Józef Kasprzyk, acting head of the Office for War Veterans and Victims of Oppression, has told Polish Radio that the Solidarity movement of the 1980s would have not emerged if it had not been for the legacy of the Polish Underground State and the Home Army. (mk/pk)