Polish WWII memorial site in Belarus destroyed

Belarusian authorities have levelled a Polish World War Two memorial in the village of Mikuliszki, western Belarus, glosznadniemna.pl, a Belarus-based Polish-language website reported on Tuesday.

The memorial consisted of the graves of the Polish Home Army (AK) soldiers, who died in combat in the area in 1944.

The Home Army was the primary resistance movement in Poland during World War Two.

The website ran several pictures of the location, showing only heaps of soil at the site where the tombstones and crosses commemorating the fallen soldiers had once stood.

A plaque informing on the history of the site was also removed.

The soldiers, mostly from the locally stationed 3rd and 6th AK Brigades, died fighting between January and July 1944.

The memorial was erected in the 1990s and until recently had remained under the care of the Union of Poles in Belarus.

Polish Foreign Ministry condemns Belarus violating Polish national memorial sites

“Poland has received with indignation reports regarding the levelling to the ground of the Polish Home Army (AK) memorial in Mikuliszki, in the Grodno region,” The Foreign Ministry wrote in a statement.

The Foreign Ministry stated that Poland “condemns all acts desecrating the memory of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the defence of their homeland.”

Poland appeals to the Minsk authorities to give up practices which look like the darkest pages from the history of the communist regime,” the ministry said, adding that this was an unprecedented act directed not only against the history of Belarus but also against the Polish community in that country.

The ministry has also called on Belarus to immediately give up “shameful actions directed against the Polish remembrance in Belarus.”

It also added that it had undermined Poland's and Belarus' mutual obligations to protect remembrance sites.