Officers who saved Polish gold in WWII buried in Warsaw
PR dla Zagranicy
Two Polish army officers who saved 75 tonnes of gold from being seized by enemy forces in World War II were on Saturday buried at Warsaw’s Powązki cemetery.
The funeral at Warsaw's Powązki cemetery. Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz
Government officials and members of the public turned out to pay their respects to the men, Colonel Ignacy Matuszewski and Major Henryk Floyar-Rajchman.
Their remains were transported to Poland from the US last month.
Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said at their funeral on Saturday that the two men were heroes, adding that their deeds testified to the “strength of the Polish nation.”
In 1939, the year Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, the two officers carried out a successful operation to save gold from the Polish central bank.
They transported it through Romania, Turkey and Syria to France, where the Polish government-in-exile was based at the time.
Both men had fought in World War I, and in the interwar period served as government ministers, Matuszewski for the treasury, and Floyar-Rajchman for industry and trade.
After emigrating to the US in 1941, they established the National Committee of Americans of Polish Extraction. Matuszewski and Floyar-Rajchman died in New York in 1946 and in 1951 respectively. Both wanted to be buried in Poland when it became a free country.
Source: Polish Radio/IAR