Poland commemorates 80th anniversary of the establishment of WWII-era underground Home Army

“We are grateful to all those who back then did not hesitate, who stepped up to battle. We honor them and especially those who had fallen and gave their lives for their fatherland,” President Andrzej Duda declared

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: tvp.info
Mortars which were prepared by the Polish Home Army in secret are shown in use by soldiers during the Warsaw Uprising, Aug. 1944. The weapons were made in underground factories. (AP Photo)

During the state ceremony on the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the Polish Home Army (AK) in Warsaw, President Andrzej Duda stated that the Home Army and the Polish Underground State was a chapter of Polish history which was taught to cadets in military academies throughout the whole world.

“We are grateful to all those who back then did not hesitate, who stepped up to battle. We honor them and especially those who had fallen and gave their lives for their fatherland,” Duda stated.

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, left, speaks during ceremonies in honor of clandestine anti-communist fighters of the post-World War II era in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, March 1, 2017, inside the Rakowiecka street prison where many of them were tortured and executed by the communist regime. Poland’s Home Army soldiers who fought the German Nazis during the war, continued their struggle after 1945 against the communist regime imposed on Poland then. Many were arrested and killed by the communist regime. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

He emphasized that hopefully Poles would never again have to form an underground state and will never have to fight to reclaim their homeland. He said what had happened during that era was Polish history, but would not have a place in contemporary or future Poland.

“Honor and glory to the heroes, eternal memory to the fallen,” Duda concluded his speech.

The anniversary was also commemorated by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Minister of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak, who attended the state ceremony.

Eighty years ago on Feb. 14, 1942, Supreme Commander of the Polish Armed Forces, General Władysław Sikorski, gave the order to transform the Union of Armed Struggle (the underground movement established when the war started) into the Home Army (AK).

The AK is commonly considered to be the most well-organized underground army in German-occupied Europe. In the summer of 1944, its forces included around 400,000 soldiers.

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