UPDATE: Poland remembers post-WWII anti-communist fighters
PR dla Zagranicy
Top politicians on Friday paid tribute to Polish post-WWII anti-communist resistance fighters.
President Andrzej Duda (centre) during a state honours ceremony in Warsaw on Friday.
Poles living abroad were also to pay tribute to the fighters, referred to by some as the “Cursed Soldiers” and by others as "indomitable soldiers".
After Poland's official underground army (AK) of World War II disbanded, thousands of Poles continued to fight in other formations as the Soviet Red Army extended its grip across the country.
The “cursed soldiers” faced a brutal crackdown by Poland’s communist authorities and were a taboo subject during the country’s decades under communist rule.
At a ceremony to mark the expansion of the Museum of Cursed Soldiers in Ostrołęka, north-eastern Poland, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said: "Thanks to a museum like this, history will not be silent about heroes.”
Meanwhile, at the presidential palace in Warsaw, President Andrzej Duda handed out state orders to former fighters and to people who had worked to spread the word about their deeds.
Duda said: "Most probably there would not be a truly free, truly independent, truly sovereign Poland today if not for that heroism, suffering… it not for those indomitable soldiers whom the communists were afraid of.”
An official day of remembrance for the fighters was finally introduced in 2011, more than two decades after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
March 1 was selected as a poignant date for the day of remembrance, as on this day in 1951, seven prominent members of a post-war resistance force called Freedom and Independence were executed in Warsaw.