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    Prussian guidon found in a flowerbed near Polish museum

    While breaking the ground under bushes, a worker of the Museum of Coastal Defence in Gerhard’s Fort dug up a metal bucket. As it turned out, it was a Prussian guidon from almost 80 years ago.

    Gerhard’s Fort is a coastal fort in Świnoujście, built-in 1849-1859 by Prussians. It was named after Gerhard Cornelius van Wallrawe, a Prussian fort designer who lived at the break of the 17th and 18th centuries. He also made the plans for Świnoujście Fortress.

    The guidon was found on April 24th only about 10-15 cm under the surface of the ground. Next to it were found wooden elements, so it might have been put into a box first. The standard is densely embroidered. It has the emblem of Prussia on one side and German national colours on the other, as well as the motto of King Frederick William III – Mit Gott für König und Vaterland (With God for the King and the Homeland).

    The custodian of the Museum of Coastal Defence (MOW) Piotr Kucharski established that the guidon belonged to an association of combatants of World War I. It was probably buried in 1945. There are two conceptions as to why the standard was left behind: one – is that it was thrown away by soviet soldiers since they dumped everything, German. The second says that it might have been left by German soldiers during the great evacuation in April and May of 1945 (when the USRR army was marching on Berlin) in hopes of getting it back.

    Now the guidon is put to conservation. It will be further decided whether the standard will be considered a relic and put in a museum.


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