Following World War II, some 200,000 people objected to Soviet oppression and approximately 20,000 of them joined armed units. Communists fought them ruthlessly, and captured fighters were tortured, killed, and often denied a proper burial. The Polish state continues to search for the remnants of several key figures in this movement. To contemporary Poles, these silent heroes are an example of devotion to the country. Remembering them is an honourable duty.
They were called Cursed Soldiers, as they were hunted and cursed by the Communist authorities, but for most Poles they were the opposite of cursed – they were the indomitable soldiers. During the official state celebrations of the remembrance day for those brave heroes, president Andrzej Duda gave the following speech:
“History was to never tell their story because that’s what the Communists wanted. They wanted to get rid of the memory of them, and that is why they were buried in unmarked graves. The Communists often dressed them up in Nazi Germany uniforms in order to humiliate them and cover their tracks so that if someone were to find them, they would not be treated as heroes. But history stopped being silent. It has loudly spoken through the mouths of our patriots, especially the young. I want to thank all the people who always remembered about the Cursed Soldiers, even during the times when we were not allowed to remember and speak about them. They always had them in their minds. And when Poland was liberated, they demanded they be commemorated and their graves be found. Thanks to them, Professor Szwagrzyk together with his co-workers could take action to find their graves and exhume their bodies. Today, thanks to those people, we can pay tribute to the heroic soldiers of the Republic of Poland who never laid down their weapons and sacrificed their lives just as the soldiers’ oath provides”.