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    The Cursed Soldiers Remembrance Day

    The “Cursed Soldiers” were an underground anti-communist armed resistance movement against the Sovietization of post-World War II Poland. It was formed by many former Home Army soldiers who, observing the political situation in Poland after 1945, did not agree with the new system and decided to fight against it. On March 1st, 1951, the imprisoned leaders of the movement were executed, hence why on this date the Cursed Soldiers Remembrance Day is celebrated.

    The Cursed Soldiers originated from the organisation Freedom and Independence, whose goal was to prevent Soviet domination in Poland. They wanted the government to be free of Soviet influence, to remove NKVD and the Red Army from the Polish territory, and oppose the nationalisation of economy and business. Knowing that they didn’t stand a chance in a full-scale war against USSR, they decided to focus on guerrilla operations and propagating the only legal opposition – PSL (Polish People’s Party) in the 1947 elections.

    The Cursed Soldiers fought with the Red Army, attacked the militia stations and members of ORMO (Volunteer Reserve of the Citizens’ Militia) and killed the officials who collaborated with the communist regime. The government responded by repressions, sending troops and showcasing their actions as savage in propaganda.

    However, on February 22nd, 1947 the parliament issued an amnesty for the anti-communist underground activists. The actual purpose of the law was to uncover the activists and liquidate the resistance, which turned out to be a success. A total of 76, 774 people revealed themselves to belong to armed resistance, leaving just about 2,000 still undercover. The amnesty lasted 2 months, and later the Ministry of Public Security (UB) tracked them down and arrested them with higher charges. Some of them were tortured to reveal the information, like Łukasz Ciepliński, the chief of the 4th Freedom and Independence administration.

    On March 1st, 1951 an ostentatious execution took place in prison on Rakowiecka Street in Warsaw. The members of the 4th and last executive of Freedom and Independence: Łukasz Ciepliński (pseudonym: “Plow”, “Louis”), Adam Lazarowicz, Mieczyslaw Kawalec, Józef Rzepka, Franciszek Błażej, Józef Batory and Karol Chmiel were killed. The place of their burial is unknown.

    The “Cursed Soldiers”, called also “Indomitable Soldiers” for their bravery and relentlessness in the fight for Poles’ freedom, were forgotten for decades. It was the 1993 exhibition “The Cursed Soldiers – anti-communist underground armed resistance after 1944” organised by the Republican League of the Warsaw University that brought back their history. In 2010, president Lech Kaczyński decided to constitute March 1st as a celebration of the Indomitable Soldiers.

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