Today we are celebrating the National Cursed Soldiers Remembrance Day throughout Poland.
The day of those invincible persons for whom the motto “God, Honour, Homeland” was nothing exceptional, but an everyday duty. They always, at the most difficult moments, knew how to behave – the prime minister said. She added that
today Poland needs such invincible persons who will always defend it, who will remember about this message, about the testament which they have left to us: Obedience to God, loyalty to the Nation, filial duty to Poland: great with people’s greatness.
The prime minister pointed out that thanks to efforts taken by people who have passion and civic involvement, it has been possible to restore the memory about those who were wiped out from the cards of history during the communist period. The prime minister also emphasised the services of President Lech Kaczyński, thanks to whom celebrations commemorating the Cursed Soldiers have become a public holiday.
Talking about the particular importance of Augustów as a place of remembrance of the Cursed Soldiers, the prime minister said that the truth about Augustów Roundup is our moral duty. She added that there is a need to ascertain facts about that event and to find the victims’ graves.
In July 1945, Red Army units assisted by the Polish Army as well as officers and collaborators of the Security Office (UB) conducted a wide-ranging pacification campaign in the area of Augustów Forest and its vicinity, the so-called Augustów Roundup. The Soviet units searched forests and villages, and arrested those suspected of contacts with the Polish independence guerrillas. In total, a few thousand people were detained, out of whom some were put in prison and underwent a brutal investigation. The heroic struggle of the Cursed Soldiers with the communist Poland’s security services in Augustów forests lasted as late as until 1954.
In Augustów, Prime Minister Beata Szydło was accompanied by Anna Maria Anders - Plenipotentiary of the Prime Minister for International Dialogue and Chair of the Council for Protection of Memory about Struggle and Martyrdom, as well as Vice-Minister of Interior Jarosław Zieliński.
Earlier the prime minister met four Cursed Soldiers during breakfast at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister.