Official celebrations of the 189th anniversary of the outbreak of the November uprising took place in Warsaw. According to some historians, it was the November insurgency which was Poland’s biggest, last chance to regain independence during the 123 years of partitions.
The celebrations began with a solemn singing of La Varsovienne at the Heroes of Olszynka Mound, followed by a march through the Alley of Glory. The idea for the Alley came from the late priest Wacław Karłowicz and MP Stefan Melak.
”The memory of the anniversary was forgotten, and Olszynka as a place of a famous battle was overlooked and disregarded since it was the place where the Russians suffered their defeat. Then, primate Wyszyński brought back Holy Masses for the anniversary and we have been holding them for 45 years”- says Andrzej Melak, President of the Circle of National Memory.
The November uprising was preceded by the creation of a secret organisation inside the School for Officer Cadets in Warsaw in 1828 led by Second Lieutenant Piotr Wysocki. He would later become the first commander of the uprising which broke out as a consequence of the worsening political situation in the Russian controlled Polish Kingdom.
“The insurgency which had the biggest military potential was the November Uprising. Today, we celebrate the 189th anniversary of the outbreak of the uprising which lasted for an entire year”- says Ryszard Czarnowski, historian,writer.
The November Uprising began on November 29th 1830 with an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Grand Duke Konstanty, the brother of Tzar Nikolai I. Officer cadets led by Piotr Wysocki started the fighting and were soon joined by the capital’s citizens and Polish officers in the Russian army. 54 thousand Poles stood against 115 thousand Russian soldiers. The insurgency lasted more than a year and ended with the Polish defeat. In the aftermath, many insurgents were met with brutal repercussions, thousands were sent deep into Russia. The Tzar authorities also drastically lessened the Polish Kingdom’s autonomy.