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Polish president honours 'Cursed Soldiers'

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 01.03.2018 14:53
Polish President Andrzej Duda on Thursday laid a wreath beneath a plaque on a former NKVD office building in Warsaw which commemorates the victims of the communist regime, as the country marked Cursed Soldiers' Day.
Andrzej Duda lays a wreath at the former NKVD office in Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Adam GuzAndrzej Duda lays a wreath at the former NKVD office in Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Adam Guz

Duda also laid a wreath at a building which housed the Public Security Office. Its basement saw the internment, brutal treatment and murders of members of Poland’s underground anti-communist movement.

The president, who on Thursday also handed out state distinctions to people who fought for Polish independence and who cultivated the memory of the so-called Cursed Soldiers, said that the anti-communist underground wanted Poland to be truly free.

Duda said anti-communist conspirators and partisans “did not want a Poland that was not truly free, truly sovereign, truly independent”.

“Cursed Soldiers” refers to some members of Poland's anti-communist movements.

After Poland's official underground army (AK) of World War II disbanded in January 1945 thousands of Poles continued to fight in other formations as the Soviet Red Army extended its grip across the country.

A Soviet-backed communist regime was later installed in rigged 1947 elections after the war.

The anti-communist guerrillas were largely stamped out by 1948, although one fighter, Józef Franczak, was gunned down as late as 1963.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Twitter paid tribute to the Cursed Soldiers, saying: “You won. Though many of you still do not have graves, you live on in our memories and in our hearts”.

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