Estimated reading time: 2 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.
September: Transparency of History
September is a month filled with pivotal events that left an indelible mark on Poland’s history. 85 years ago, on September 1, 1939, Germany attacked Poland, ushering in the beginning of World War II. This tragic event marked the onset of one of the most devastating conflicts in human history.
This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Melchior Wańkowicz, an outstanding writer, journalist, and reporter. He passed away on September 10, 1974, in Warsaw. His body of work, including collections of reports, significant accounts of battles such as “The Battle of Monte Cassino,” and novels like “Ziele na kraterze,” positioned him as one of the most important figures in 20th-century Polish literature. Recognizing his independence, courage, and insight, the Sejm of the Republic of Poland declared 2024 as the Year of Melchior Wańkowicz, establishing him as a model and symbol of Polish journalism.
The past also reminds us of General Władysław Sikorski’s decision, 90 years ago on September 12, 1924, to establish the Border Protection Corps (Korpus Ochrony Pogranicza). The KOP’s task was to protect Poland’s eastern border from Soviet saboteurs, combat foreign intelligence and economic crimes, and engage in educational and cultural activities. The soldiers of the Corps also actively participated in defending the border during the events of 1939.
In 1989, 35 years ago, Poland experienced a political breakthrough when the Sejm expressed confidence in Tadeusz Mazowiecki’s government. It was a historic moment as, after years of communist rule, a prime minister from outside that bloc gained support, paving the way for systemic transformation in Poland.
Reflecting on September, it is impossible to overlook September 17, 1939, when Soviet forces, in accordance with the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, attacked Poland. This tragic event revealed the harsh reality faced by the Polish nation, confronting two powerful aggressors.
September, a month of contrasts – from the heroic defense of borders to tragic external attacks – leaves an enduring imprint on Poland’s history, reminding us of the nation’s strength and its ability to endure in the face of the most challenging challenges.