On March 1, the National Indomitable Soldiers Memorial Day has been celebrated in Poland for 10 years. The Deputy Head of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), professor Krzysztof Szwagrzyk, emphasised that thanks to this day many Poles got to know the heroes of the anti-communist underground. He also added that the attempts to tarnish their good name have intensified in recent years.
In an interview with the Polish Radio, Mr Szwagrzyk pointed out that not so long ago the history of the Indomitable Soldiers was known only to a small group of historians and researchers.
“Today, thanks to this celebration, all Poles are aware of who the Indomitable Soldiers were. Moreover, they are included in history books. It is very important", he stressed.
Professor Szwagrzyk also emphasised that the actions aimed at tarnishing the good name of the Indomitable Soldiers, taken for several years, are not limited only to the statements of politicians, but are also carried out by the media and scientists accusing the soldiers of acting out of low incentives. In his opinion, these attacks are non-substantive and testify to the political views of people expressing such opinions.
Professor Szwagrzyk pointed out that this narrative is readily accepted by the young generation.
“Meanwhile, these are quotes from either communist propaganda brochures or directly from security service, prosecutor and court documents from the 1940s and 1950s. It does not matter here that the vast majority of the Indomitable Soldiers received acquittal verdicts in the 1990s. The independent Republic of Poland (...) canceled those documents from the 1940s and 1950s,” he emphasised.
The main celebrations of the National Day of Remembrance of the Indomitable Soldiers, co-organised by the IPN, will be held at 'Powązkowska Meadow' and in the former jail at Rakowiecka Street in Warsaw. An open-air exhibition about the cavalry captain Witold Pilecki and about Lieutenant Colonel Łukasz Ciepliński “Pług” will be opened at the “Ł” section of the capital cemetery Powązki, where the remains of Indomitable Soldiers were hidden by the communists.
The “Indomitable Soldiers”, also known as “Doomed Soldiers” and “Unbroken Soldiers” were people who did not stop their fight after the end of WWII.
On March 1, 1951, in the prison in Warsaw, the communist authorities shot seven members of the leadership of the “Freedom and Independence Union”, one of the major organisations of the anti-communist underground. They were sentenced to death after a show trial.
The anniversary of their execution has been commemorated as the National Indomitable Soldiers Remembrance Day since 2011.