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PGE, in collaboration with the Institute of National Remembrance, commemorates five years of the Memorial Plaques project, preserving the memory of WWII victims in Warsaw through historical research, plaque installations, and educational initiatives.
In the late 1940s, over 460 commemorative plaques designed by Karol Tchorek were placed across Warsaw. They honored sites of mass executions in the whole city. Only 160 have survived to our times – some of them are neglected or obscured by new buildings. We often walk by the plaques without even remembering what they commemorate, and they bear testimony to the Germans' systematic plan to exterminate the residents of Warsaw and destroy the city. They bear testimony to the years when anyone could be caught and transported to a concentration camp or forced labor camp in Germany; when many were executed by firing squad in the streets; when Warsaw Jews were mercilessly killed; when the German army committed the Wola massacre. (wystawa.tablicepamieci.pl)
PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna, in partnership with the Institute of National Remembrance, has marked a significant milestone in its Memorial Plaques project, celebrating five years of dedicated efforts to honor the memory of World War II victims in Warsaw. Professor Piotr Gliński, Minister of Culture and National Heritage, and the Ministry of National Defense have endorsed this initiative.
The project, initiated in 2018 on the 80th anniversary of WWII, aims to disseminate information about the experiences of Warsaw’s residents during the German occupation. It also focuses on revitalizing Tchorek Plaques, which serve as memorials to wartime events, by adding new Polish and English-language plaques with QR codes linking to educational materials.
PGE, with the support of the Institute of National Remembrance and historians, conducted historical research on all 165 Tchorek Plaques in Warsaw. Over 130 informational plaques were installed, and more than 100 plaques were cleaned and preserved. Additionally, an electronic database with over 3,100 names of victims commemorated by the Tchorek Plaques was created and made accessible through the Tablice Pamięci (Memorial Plaques) website and app.
The project signifies the commitment to preserve historical memory and educate the public about the sacrifices made during WWII. It serves as a reminder of the city’s resilience and the importance of acknowledging and preserving history for future generations. The Memorial Plaques project has not only enriched Warsaw’s cultural heritage but also provided a valuable resource for both locals and international tourists to learn about historical facts.
As part of its educational outreach, PGE organized the “City of Memory” concert and the exhibition “Civilian Victims of Warsaw during the German Occupation 1939-1945,” displayed at various locations, including Warsaw Central Station, the Polish Army Museum, and PGE’s headquarters. The project also included educational programs for schools, exhibitions, and concerts to raise awareness about the historical significance of these plaques and the sacrifices of those who fought for Poland’s freedom.
In a world where historical relativism and amnesia threaten to obscure the past, the Memorial Plaques project stands as a testament to the enduring importance of preserving the memory of those who gave their lives for freedom. It ensures that these plaques are not merely geographic markers in Warsaw but serve as a tribute to the heroes who sacrificed for a free Poland.