The Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki talks about the January Uprising heritage

I am fully convinced that if it was not for them, we would not be living in independent Poland. Their fight back then was a great commitment. Today, the fight for better, more just and richer Poland is the continuation of their will, the Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said with regards to the insurgents fighting in the January Uprising during the 155th anniversary of the Uprising.

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Photo: Chancellery of the Prime Minister

Remembrance of the heroes of the January Uprising

The head of the government stated that 155 years ago the January Uprising was an act of desperation and courage, but it was not an act of madness. The Prime Minister declared that 50 years after the Uprising, an independent country could be established by people remembering this bid for sovereignty, and a better life could begin for all citizens.

As Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki reminded, more than 150 thousand uprising participants and insurgents took part in nearly 1200 skirmishes and regular battles. Only half of them were able to return home. A large portion of the insurgents lost their lives either on the field of glory or in the darkness of Siberia – he said.

The Uprising as an inspiration for decades to come

The head of the government stressed that the First Cadre Company began its journey precisely 50 years after the date of the execution of the last commander of the Uprising – Romuald Traugutt. Similarly, in the years of the Solidarity movement, we referred to this great, heroic past of the Warsaw insurgents, the defenders of Poland from the time of the second Apocalypse, as well as the insurgents fighting in the January Uprising – he informed. The Prime Minister emphasised that the inhabitants of Poland from those times passed the patriotism exam and proved their Polish identity. They also passed another, even more important exam. They made it impossible not to fight for Poland after their sacrifice of blood and life for the sake of their homeland – he said.

In the Prime Minister’s view, the January Uprising established a completely new reality for Poland. One could not be a Pole and not fight for Poland during the January Uprising – he stressed.

The partitioner had completely different plans back then. They were expressed by tsar Alexander II in 1856 in Warsaw, who said i.a.: No more dreams, gentlemen. But also clearly aiming at Poland and the Poles to be Russified. Even a fight for the soul of a Polish peasant was of a fundamental nature for the fight for independence – the Prime Minister said. At the same time, he reminded that the bidding for the Polish peasant that ended with enfranchisement, which was very beneficial for the peasants, resulted in the fact that in 1918 and 1920 they fought for the independence of the Republic of Poland.

We are here today to commemorate our great heroes from 155 years ago. I am absolutely sure that we would not be here today, in the independent Republic of Poland, if it had not been for them. At that time, their fight constituted a great obligation, and today, the fight for a better Poland and for making Poland a fairer and more abundant place is the execution of their will – Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said. May they rest in peace! – he summed up.

January Uprising

The January Uprising, which started on 22 January 1863 and lasted until autumn 1864, was the largest and the longest uprising in a fight for the independence on the Polish land and in the Taken Lands. It left the most permanent traces in the social awareness. It was also the first common uprising which was not supported by the structures of the existing Polish state and a regular army.

Not only the Poles fought in the uprising divisions, but also representatives of other nations living within the boundaries of the Republic of Poland. The idea of freedom was also a motivation for numerous foreigners who fought and died for Poland in the name of the motto For our freedom and yours. Approx. 150–200 thousand people joined the partisan forces, and even people more supported the uprising financially, organisationally, provided food, medication as well as – risking their own life – shelter and care for the wounded.


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