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    2024: Commemorating Polish Anniversaries and Milestones – January

    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.


    120 years ago, on January 1, 1904, in the village of Sebastianowo in Greater Poland, Antoni Baraniak was born. Since 1933, he served as the secretary to the Primate of Poland, August Hlond, and after his death – to Primate Stefan Wyszyński. In 1951, Pope Pius XII appointed him as the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Gniezno. In the night from September 25 to 26, 1953, he was arrested by the communist security services. Until July 1955, he was repeatedly brutally interrogated. After regaining freedom in 1957, the priest was appointed the metropolitan archbishop of Poznań. He passed away on August 13, 1977.

    “On the 120th anniversary of the birth of Archbishop Antoni Baraniak – Metropolitan of Poznań, Salesian, unwavering defender of the Catholic faith, Church, and Poland in the face of communist persecutions, one of the leaders of the peaceful struggles of Poles for independence, the Polish Sejm declares the year 2024 as the Year of Archbishop Antoni Baraniak,” reads the resolution of the Sejm from July 28, 2023.

    25 years ago, on January 1, 1999, the new administrative division of the territory of the Republic of Poland came into effect. As a result of the reform, 16 voivodeships, 314 counties, and 66 cities with county rights were created. On the same day, a reform of the healthcare system was introduced.

    80 years ago, on the night from January 3 to 4, 1944, the Red Army crossed the pre-war border of the Republic of Poland near the town of Sarny in Volhynia, starting the reoccupation of the territories belonging to Poland, not recognized by the Kremlin.

    100 years ago, on January 11, 1924, the Sejm passed the law on the repair of the State Treasury and monetary reform, authored by Prime Minister and Minister of Treasury Władysław Grabski. During almost two years of the Grabski government, the currency was stabilized, hyperinflation was combated, and the banking system was organized.

    To commemorate this anniversary, the centenary of the introduction of the Polish złoty, the centenary of the establishment of the Bank of Poland and the Bank of National Economy, and the centenary of the publication of the educational novel for young people by Janusz Korczak, “The Bankruptcy of Little Jack,” the Senate established the year 2024 as the Year of Economic Education. “Guided by the words of Władysław Grabski: ‘Economic education is the foundation of national and personal prosperity,’ we want to strengthen the efforts of the world of economics and education to subjectively present economic education in Polish social, economic, and political life,” reads the resolution adopted by senators on September 7, 2023.

    90 years ago, on January 14, 1934, Marek Hłasko was born, one of the most famous Polish post-war writers, author of, among others, “Beautiful Twentysomethings,” “Converted in Jaffa,” “They Were All Turned Away,” and “Owls, the Baker’s Daughter.”

    “Marek Hłasko was a writer who could saturate banal motifs and themes drawn from everyday life with profound existential content. Thanks to this, his work has a universal message. With his uncompromising attitude, also towards the communist reality, he attracted young people from various parts of the world to himself,” states the Sejm resolution establishing the year 2024 as the Year of Marek Hłasko.

    80 years ago, on January 17, 1944, commandos from the 1st Independent Commando Company of Major Władysław Smrokowski, together with the British 56th Infantry Division, captured one of the hills of the Monti Aurunci range overlooking the Garigliano River valley in Italy. These battles are considered the beginning of the Battle of Monte Cassino, one of the largest battles of World War II involving Polish forces. On May 19, 1944, units of the 2nd Polish Corps commanded by General Władysław Anders captured Monte Cassino, along with the ruins of the monastery on its summit.

    60 years ago, on January 18, 1964, Pope Paul VI announced the decision to appoint Karol Wojtyła as the Archbishop of Kraków.

    150 years ago, on January 21, 1874, Wincenty Witos was born in Wierzchosławice near Tarnów. He was a leader of the peasant movement, a three-time Prime Minister of the Second Polish Republic, including during the crucial moments of the Polish-Bolshevik war in 1920, and after World War II, a moral symbol of resistance to the establishment of communist rule. In 1922, he was awarded the Order of the White Eagle.

    “Wincenty Witos encapsulated the political motto of his actions in the words: +When there was no independent Poland – strive for it, when it came – work for it, and when it was in need – defend it+. The Sejm of the Republic of Poland, by the act of April 7, 2017, included Wincenty Witos among the Fathers of Independence of the Republic of Poland,” reads the resolution of the Polish Sejm from July 28, 2023, declaring the year 2024 as the Year of Wincenty Witos. The Senate also adopted the resolution establishing the year of Wincenty Witos.

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