The monument dedicated to the Red Army soldiers erected in Chrzowice (Opolskie) after World War II was dismantled at the request of the local government. – There is no place for symbols with a red star in free, independent and democratic Poland – said Dr. Karol Nawrocki, President of the Institute of National Remembrance, who was present on the site.
The approximately five-meter obelisk was erected in 1949 on the site of the former cemetery of the 620 dead soldiers of the Red Army from the 1st Ukrainian Front. The remains of the fallen were previously transferred to the war cemetery of the Red Army in Kędzierzyn-Koźle.
There was a red star on the monument and an inscription in Polish and Russian: “Eternal glory to the heroes of the Soviet Army who died for the freedom of nations in 1945”.
President of the Institute of National Remembrance: in Poland there is no place for symbols with a red star
On Wednesday, a conference was organized on site, attended by, among others, the president of the Institute of National Remembrance Karol Nawrocki, the voivode of Opole Sławomir Kłosowski, or the mayor of Prószków, Krzysztof Cebula, who asked the Institute of National Remembrance to demolish the monument. At the beginning of the conference, the workers tucked a red star from the obelisk, the symbol of the Red Army.
– There is no place for such monuments, for symbols with a red star in the public space of free, independent and democratic Poland. There is no place for red stars in the public space of a free Europe. It is not there because behind this symbol there are crimes of the communist system from the interwar period. Behind this symbol are the victims of the methodical genocide of the Soviets in Kazakhstan, against the Ukrainians, who were starved. There are victims of the Russian people murdered by communists – said Nawrocki.
– The red star symbol, like the German swastika, is responsible for the outbreak of the Second World War. In the symbol of the red star you can see the criminals from Katyn. And finally, this symbol after 1945 spoke of the enslavement and colonization of Poland and Central and Eastern Europe by the Soviets. Unfortunately, to this day the symbol of the red star: Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin dominate in the brains and hearts of the rulers of the Russian Federation, who are barbarously trying to demolish independent Ukraine – added the President of the Institute of National Remembrance.
You have to come to terms with the past
The President of the Institute of National Remembrance emphasized that the removal of monuments glorifying the totalitarian systems, to which he included communism, is important both for dealing with the past and crimes committed on their behalf, as well as for the future.
– Such symbols embolden evil and escalate evil because they show that the crimes have not been judged. (…) I hope that the signal sent today from the Opolskie Voivodeship will go to all local government officials who have a similar problem in their commune – said the president of the Institute of National Remembrance, while appealing to local governments to remove all names and symbols from the public space that still commemorate people, organizations , events or dates that symbolize communism.
– Many thanks for this great decision, which is extremely important for every corner of our country. There is no place in the Polish public space for any commemoration of the totalitarian communist regime and the people serving it – emphasizes Sławomir Kłosowski, voivode of Opole.
The monument will be replaced by another one
Mayor Cebula recalled that in 1945 the villages of Podo-Poland witnessed unimaginable crimes against the civilian population, perpetrated by Red Army soldiers.
– The villages of Folwark, Chrzowice, Zimnice Małe and Boguszyce were badly affected during the so-called liberation in 1945 by the Soviet army. It is here that there are places that commemorate those killed by the Soviets who entered our area to “liberate” our inhabitants. There are monuments in every village, and we count hundreds of these innocent, killed civilians. Old men, women, children, brutally murdered and raped, dying in suffering. Therefore, there is no license to propagate the hammer and sickle and to be thankful for the liberation of the Red Army. We know what is happening in Ukraine and it is a document of my right decision – said Cebula.
Adam Siwek, director of the Office for Commemorating the Struggle and Martyrdom of the Institute of National Remembrance, recalled that the law prohibiting the promotion of communism and other totalitarian regimes entered into force in 2016, and the administrators and administrators of the areas where such objects were located had until March 2018 to remove the symbols totalitarian. According to Siwek, the Institute of National Remembrance currently knows about 60 objects, which still contain symbols forbidden by law, related to a false historical narrative and indoctrination.
Siwek informed that the Institute of National Remembrance proposes places of commemoration that meet the expectations of local communities in the places from which the relics of communism are removed. In Chrzowice, the obelisk in honor of the Red Army soldiers is to be replaced by a monument commemorating the victims of the two greatest totalitarian regimes. At the same time, the director assured that the action of the Institute of National Remembrance did not concern the graves of soldiers, contrary to official Russian propaganda. – Our action is directed only at symbolic objects, not related to burials, which are elements of totalitarian indoctrination – he said.
Main photo source: PAP / Krzysztof Świderski