Poland commemorates two great late heroes
PR dla Zagranicy
The anniversaries of the deaths of Polish military leaders Józef Piłsudski and Władysław Anders, and the anniversary of the start of a battle led by Anders, were marked in Warsaw on Friday.
Flowers laid at Warsaw's monument to Józef Piłsudski. Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak.
Jan Kasprzyk from the Council of War Veterans and Victims of Oppression, who attended celebrations at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, said two major Polish leaders were being honoured.
Kasprzyk said Józef Piłsudski, once first Marshall of Poland and de-facto leader of the country, was fundamental to building the Second Polish Republic and to fighting off a Bolshevik attack in 1920.
He said Piłsudski will remain a symbol of Poland returning to European maps in 1918 after more than 120 years of partitions.
Kasprzyk said General Władysław Anders led 120,000 Poles out of Soviet forced labour camps and later led an army, largely made up of those he liberated, in battles in World War II against Nazi Germany in Italy's Ancona, Bologna and, most famously, Monte Cassino exactly 73 years ago.
A veteran of Anders' army, Alfons Mrzyk, said Piłsudski, who died 82 years ago, and Anders, who died 47 years ago, were great heroes who gave Poland strength and freedom. (vb)