Thursday, 3 March 2016

Remembering the Polish Volunteers from the Spanish Civil War

A memorial to commemorate those from Poland that fought against fascism in the Spanish Civil War took place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw on March 1st. 

Organised in the Dąbrowski Brigade, more than 3,000 Poles volunteered to fight in Spain during the 1930s, under the banner of 'For Your Freedom and Ours'. During the 1930s, these volunteers had their Polish citizenship taken away from them. Then in the 1990s, the inscription remembering them was erased from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and other monuments in Warsaw. According to the Institute of National Remembrance these volunteers 'served the interests of Stalin in Spain'. 

This week’s action was organised by a group of art students, led by Zuza Ziółkowska, the grand-daughter of one of the volunteers. Participants carried anti-fascist flags and banners from the Spanish civil war and laid a reef in the shape of the symbol of the International Brigade. 

The action took place on the year of the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. It also coincided with the day in Poland that commemorates the so-called 'Disavowed Soldiers' (or 'Cursed Soldiers'), a term applied to the armed resistance movement to Communism after the Second World War. This has taken on a strong significance for the right-wing in Poland, who honour all the 'Disavowed Soldiers', including those that killed an estimated 5,000 civilians (amongst them 157 children). 

At the event Ziółkowska said that those who fought in the Spanish Civil War are now Poland's 'Disavowed Soldiers'. She added that the lack of memorials to these Polish volunteers has helped to fragment historical memory in Poland and that they wish to help make history once again more pluralistic. 


  1. Few things, not uncritically defend the Polish historical memory, actually my criticism is similar to the Spanish: it seems that both historical memories intended to benefit certain ideologies and policies that genuine national reconciliation formations. The evils of the Polish communist regime not justify anti-Semitism Polish minority sectors, just as Franco does not justify the anti-Catholicism of major sectors of the Spanish left. On the other, really governs the extreme right Poland? : A Sectarian article El Pais angers Polish journalists via @gaceta_es
    Aceprensa | Poland, a thorn in the side of the EU
    The Polish right is right; the "anti-fascist" Dolores Ibarruri "La Pasionaria" acerca de esta thought the joint invasion of Poland by Hitler and Stalin:
    "Workers of all countries Have welcomed with enthusiasm the liberating action of the Red Army on the territory of the old state of Polish landlords". "Not a soldier, not a single Spanish can be paid to the infamous game of the French and British governments".
    According to various media, conservatives who rule in Poland, led by its president Lech Kaczynski and the Institute of National Memory (IPN), have implemented measures to eliminate the country's history the memory of the Polish brigade that fought in the defense of the Spanish Republic, which qualify as "traitors and criminals". Are there any good historical memories and some bad?
    Why do we protest to destruction of the monument to General Walter while MyCountry, Spain, the same is done with the Francoist symbols? Curious.



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