2024: Commemorating Polish Anniversaries and Milestones – August

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Explore Poland’s rich history in 2024, from the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising to the centennial celebrations of notable figures like Antoni Baraniak, Marek Hłasko, and Wincenty Witos. Immerse yourself in pivotal political, cultural, and societal events, honoring the legacy of these individuals and the nation’s accomplishments.


    August

    80 years ago, on August 1, 1944, on the orders of the Commander-in-Chief of the Home Army, General Tadeusz Komorowski “Bór,” the Warsaw Uprising erupted in Warsaw. For 63 days, the insurgents engaged in a heroic and isolated struggle against the German forces, with the goal of achieving an independent Poland free from German occupation and Soviet domination. From the early days of the uprising, the Germans committed atrocities against the civilian population of the city, culminating in the Wola massacre between August 5 and 7. This unprecedented organized massacre of civilians during World War II is estimated by historians to have claimed the lives of 40,000 to 60,000 people.

    120 years ago, on August 4, 1904, Witold Gombrowicz, a novelist, playwright, essayist, and author of “Ferdydurke,” “Trans-Atlantyk,” “Iwona, Princess of Burgundia,” and “Diaries,” was born in Małoszyce near Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski.

    The Polish Senate declared the year 2024 as the Year of Witold Gombrowicz. “Witold Gombrowicz is not only one of the most important creators of native literature today but also remains one of the leading inspirations for contemporary European philosophical, social, and artistic thought. His work has been a hallmark of modern Polish culture for decades, showcasing its universal dimension and avant-garde potential,” emphasized the Senate resolution adopted on September 7, 2023.

    160 years ago, on August 5, 1864, at the foot of the Warsaw Citadel, the Russians executed the dictator of the January Uprising, Romuald Traugutt, and three other leaders of the insurgency—Rafał Krajewski, Józef Toczyski, Roman Żuliński, and Jan Jeziorański. A crowd of thirty thousand people witnessed the execution.

    “In recognition of the merits of the unwavering dictator of the January Uprising for Poland, the Sejm of the Republic of Poland declares the year 2024 as the Year of Romuald Traugutt,” states the resolution of the Polish Sejm dated July 28, 2023.

    20 years ago, on August 14, 2004, in Krakow, the winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize in Literature, poet, prose writer, and essayist Czesław Miłosz, the author of “The Captive Mind,” “Native Realm,” “Roadside Dog,” and “A Treatise on Morality,” passed away.

    “His work is one of the most significant phenomena in world literature. The importance of Czesław Miłosz’s creativity is evidenced by awards, including the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1980, and the highest Polish distinction – the Order of the White Eagle. The Senate of the Republic of Poland, convinced of the special significance of his creative legacy for national and global heritage, declares the year 2024 as the Year of Czesław Miłosz,” states the Senate resolution dated September 7, 2023.

    125 years ago, on August 27, 1899, Kazimierz Wierzyński, a poet, prose writer, one of the Skamander poets, editor-in-chief of “Przegląd Sportowy” and the weekly “Kultura,” journalist of “Gazeta Polska,” and a gold medalist in the arts and literature competition at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, was born in Drohobycz.

    “After the war, he remained in exile, living for many years near New York. He organized the cultural life of emigrants, visited Polish soldiers, and through Radio Free Europe, he reached his compatriots in the country with his poems and essays. In 1968, in the volume ‘Czarny polonez,’ he included the most severe accusation against the communist system and demanded the truth about the Katyn massacre. But in the poem ‘Nocna Ojczyzna,’ he expressed the certainty that Poland would survive the communist occupation: ‘Faithfulness of conscience, / Sense above defeat, / They won’t take that, / It was ours, / It is and will remain,'” recalls the resolution of the Polish Sejm dated July 28, 2023, declaring the year 2024 as the Year of Kazimierz Wierzyński.

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