Tribute to WWII crack paratroop force unveiled
PR dla Zagranicy
President Bronislaw Komorowski has unveiled a monument in Warsaw in tribute to a crack force of Polish paratroopers dropped into occupied Poland during World War II.
President Bronislaw Komorowski (L) and General Stefan Baluk (in wheelchair), the latter the last surviving member of the 'Unseen and Silent' paratroopers. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
Members of the elite 'Unseen and Silent' (Cichociemni) formation were trained in the UK and Italy, and the first parachute drop occurred in February 1941.
By late December 1944, 316 operatives had been parachuted into the occupied country.
“Each member of the Unseen and Silent deserves separate remembrance by us,” Komorowski declared on Monday during the unveiling ceremony near the Polish parliament.
“Remembrance of the Unseen and Silent requires us to analyse the fate of an entire generation, as well as the extraordinary accomplishments of the entire underground state,” he said.
Members served as part of the underground Home Army (AK), which was smeared during the period of communist rule following the war.
The new monument was proposed by the last surviving member, 99-year-old General Stefan Baluk, and the project was realised through cooperation between the Warsaw Rising Museum and the GROM special operations unit.
“I am very happy that in my own lifetime we are able to honour the memory of my colleagues and friends, some 316 Army paratroopers, the so-called Silent and Dark, the elite of the Polish intelligence services,” General Baluk said. (nh)