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Poland commemorates doomed 1863 uprising

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 21.01.2013 09:16
Tributes were made on Sunday marking the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the January Uprising against Tsarist rule.

January Uprising tribute at Suchedniow: photo - PAP/Michal Walczak

The main ceremonies took place at noon in Kampinos, on the outskirts of Warsaw.

A commemorative mass was held at the local church and wreaths laid at the graves of Polish insurgents as well as at the manor where the general staff of the insurgency led by Zygmunt Padlewski had been headquartered.

A letter written by President Bronislaw Komorowski was read out by Professor Tomasz Nalecz of the Presidential Chancellery.

“Regardless of the varying evaluations [of the uprising] we must always remember with respect the courage and sacrifices made by thousands of insurgents,” the letter stressed.

“They stood to fight as they saw a flash of hope for the recovery of their own state.”

The insurgency broke out on 22 January 1863 in defiance of Russian occupation of then partitioned Poland.

The so-called Central National Committee proclaimed itself the Interim National Government and appealed to all Poles to take up arms against Tsarist rule.

The insurgency became the largest and longest of Poland's armed struggles for independence during the 19th century.

Over 30 thousand insurgents were killed during the bloody one year struggle and some 40 thousand were exiled to Siberia.

Besides the tributes made at Kampinos, other events were organized in places connected with the insurrection.

At Zwierzyniec in south east Poland, Hungarian ambassador Ivan Gyurcsik took part in a commemorative mass, echoing the participation of a number of his countrymen in the insurgency.

Other tributes were held at Olsztyn, in the north-east, as well as Kock in the east and Wilkow in the south-west. On Saturday a commemorative mass was held in Suchedniow, south-east Poland.

Poland ultimately regained national independence in 1918 after World War One, following 123 years of partitions by neighbouring powers.

Events connected with the uprising are due to be held throughout the year, under the patronage of President Komorowski, who inaugurated the commemorations on 16 January. (ss/nh)

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