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    The story of German plaque on Nicolaus Copernicus Monument and Alek from the Gray Ranks

    On February 11, 1942, Maciej Aleksy Dawidowski Alek removed the German plaque from the Warsaw monument of Nicolaus Copernicus. It is probably the best-known action of the Gray Ranks.

    A clear sign of the Germanization of the astronomer

    The plaque was attached by Germans to the Nicolaus Copernicus Monument in Warsaw, claiming the astronomer for the German nation. They covered the Polish inscription “Mikołaj Kopernikowi- Rodacy” on the monument to the great astronomer, placing a plaque with the statement “Dem Grossen Astronomen Nikolaus Kopernikus” (English: “To the great astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus”).

    Alek got rid of the plaque and hid it.

    A photo of Maciej Aleksy Dawidowski Aleki at the Warsaw University of Technology:

    Gray Ranks (Polish: Szare Szeregi) was a codename for the underground paramilitary Polish Scouting Association (Związek Harcerstwa Polskiego) during World War II.
     The wartime organisation was created on 27 September 1939, actively resisted and fought German occupation in Warsaw until 18 January 1945, and contributed to the resistance operations of the Polish Underground State. Some of its members (Grupy Szturmowe – Assault Groups) were among the Home Army's best-trained troops.

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