Poland commemorates elite WW2 unit
PR dla Zagranicy
Commmorative events are under way across Poland in tribute to an elite special-operations paratroopers unit of the Polish Army in exile.
Monument to the Silent Unseen in Dębowiec. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
It was 75 years ago, on the night of 15 February 1941, that the first group of three paratroopers, known as Cichociemni, or Silent Unseen, trained in Great Britain, were parachuted into Poland.
Representatives of the state authorities, with Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz, and Polish Army officials are in Dębowiec, southern Poland, taking part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Cichociemni Memorial Stone at the site of the parachute landing, which was the first operation of its kind in German-occupied Europe.
On Monday and Tuesday the white-and-red sign “Hołd Cichociemnych” (A Tribute to the Cichociemni) will be displayed after dusk at the National Stadium in Warsaw. A special concert is to be held at the Warsaw Philharmonic.
The Polish Parliament has declared 2016 the year of tribute to the Cichociemni. Of the over 2,600 Polish Army soldiers who volunteered for training in the UK, only 606 completed it and 316 were secretly parachuted into occupied Poland to join underground resistance units. Out of those, 103 were killed in combat with the Nazis and in air crashes, and a futher nine were murdered by the communist secret services after the war. (mk/rg)