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President inaugurates 150th anniversary of failed uprising

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 17.01.2013 06:45
President Bronislaw Komorowski has launched commemorations marking the 150th anniversary of the doomed January Uprising of 1863 against Tsarist Russia.

President Komorowski: photo - PAP/Jakub Kaminski

“It seems that on the anniversary of the January Uprising today, when we are enjoying freedom, and when we do not have to glorify battles... we can afford ourselves the opportunity to declare loudly that our generation has been granted a better destiny,” Komorowski said, at a special ceremony at the presidential palace.

Komorowski added that today, Poles can serve their country with a patriotism that “no longer demands the ultimate sacrifice.”

The 1863 January Uprising (often called the January Insurrection) was the largest insurgency against Tsarist Russia during the long period of Poland's partitions (1795-1914).

Three partitions in the late eighteenth century had seen the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth divided between Russia, Prussia and Austria.

About 200,000 insurgents joined the fight against Tsarist Russia after the uprising began on 22 January 1863.

The revolt was all but completely crushed by the following year.

Ringleaders were executed, and countless estates of the nobility (the driving force of the insurgency) were confiscated.

At least 38,000 insurgents were deported, typically to the wilds of Siberia.

Some 200 events are set to take place at 36 cities across Poland this year in commemoration of the struggle.

President Komorowski has encouraged his countrymen to light lanterns at the graves of the insurgents. Monuments dot cemeteries throughout Poland. (nh)

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