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Left avoids minute of silence to communist victims

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 02.03.2012 13:28
Members of the Democratic Left Alliance party (SLD) arrived late in parliament on Friday, avoiding a minute's silence for victims of post World War II repressions.

Other left-wing MPs, from both post-communist SLD and liberal Palikot's Movement (RP), “ostentatiously” walked out of the debating chamber, according to conservative MP Dawid Jackiewicz (Law and Justice).

The minute's silence came in the wake of yesterday's official day in tribute to the so-called “Cursed Soldiers.”

Now in its second year, the national tribute honours resistance fighters who opposed the communist take-over of Poland.

“Parliament wants to honour the memory of those who, led by the love of the fatherland and the idea of an independent Poland, voiced their opposition to the postwar order, often incurring the highest price,” reflected Speaker of the House Ewa Kopacz, as she announced the minute's silence.

SLD, which was largely formed from veterans of Poland's communist party, had been against the holiday, which was introduced in 2011.

“We are opposed to 1 March being a national holiday of the 'Cursed Soldiers',” SLD MP Tadeusz Iwinski told the Gazeta Wyborcza daily.

He highlighted that SLD had rejected the initial concept and that his party had hoped to find a different way of remembering the 30,000 victims of the “civil war” in Poland between 1944 and 1947.

The date of 1 March was approved by parliament as on that day in 1951, the leaders of Poland's main surviving resistance movement were executed by the communist authorities.

The so-called Freedom and Independence formation (WiN) was created after Poland's official wartime resistance movement (AK) was disbanded in January 1945.

Poland's government-in-exile in London had been obliged to dissolve the AK, owing to the official alliance between the West and the Soviet Union.

However, the 'liberation' of Poland by the Red Army saw former AK fighters rounded up by their theoretical allies.

Members of WiN were typically branded as fascists by the communist regime, and the organisation continues to inspire controversy among historians. (nh/pg)

Source: IAR

tags: communism
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