Top Polish officials commemorate 160th anniversary of the January Uprising


“The January Uprising will forever remain a testament to the unbridled power of freedom. Representatives of the nations of the former Republic of Poland fought together ‘for our freedom and yours’,” Polish President Andrzej Duda wrote in a message, sent out on the occasion of the 160th anniversary of the January Uprising, on Sunday.

“Thinking about the epic of the January Uprising, it is impossible not to see many parallels with the dramatic events of the present time - with the war that Ukraine is fighting today, defending its sovereignty and integrity against a brutal Russian onslaught,” President Duda stressed in his letter.

“We see that despite the passage of time, the nature of aggressive Russian imperialism remains unchanged, and the response to this threat must be the solidarity of free nations,” he added.

The Polish head of state also thanked all the heroes that fought during the uprising. He stressed that the memory of those Polish patriots will always be cultivated in the mind of the nation.

The desire of freedom is in our genes

“The January Uprising broke out because the Poles never gave in to all that is associated with oppression, what is associated with taking away freedom, because we have this trait, the desire for freedom, in our genes,” the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said during an unveiling of a commemorative plaque dedicated to the insurgents, at the new headquarters of the Polish Army Museum.

From generation to generation we have been fighting for our homeland to be free, he emphasised.

“What our ancestors fought against 160 years ago, is what our neighbours in Ukraine are facing today. Today, the Kremlin’s rulers are trying to recreate an empire, trying to impose their will on Ukrainians,” the deputy PM said.

He further stated that Poland supports Ukraine “because we do not accept that someone else should decide for others. It is the Ukrainians themselves who should have the right to determine what alliances they want to be in, to determine their independence.”

The defence minister concluded his speech by saying that Polish people have the responsibility to cultivate the memory of our ancestors.