“Jan Gitas died at the labor station in the Lublin city council on 9 September 1939” – this is the inscription on the tombstone of a man who, 82 years ago, took an aerial bomb from the Lublin city hall. And although he is a local hero, the tablet on his grave is wrong. The man’s name was not Jan Gitas, but Jan Gilas. The error is finally to be corrected. The Lublin voivode stated that the change of the provision was justified.
On September 9, 1939, during a German air raid on Lublin, one of the bombs fell on the town hall. It pierced the edifice of the building, but did not explode. Jan Gilas, the janitor of the town hall, carried her outside with his bare hands, saving the people in the town hall. Moments later he died. Probably – as historians presume – he had a heart attack caused by stress.
The protagonist is buried in the Lublin cemetery at Unicka Street. As “Kurier Lubelski” wrote on Tuesday (September 14), there is a typo in his name on his tombstone.
The city notified the voivode
– The city mentions Mr. Gilas every year, gives him streets, and rightly so. It is a pity, however, that for several years, despite many e-mails and requests, no one has been able to install the correct plaque on his grave and “Gitas” still appears there – said Mr. Piotr, quoted by “Kurier Lubelski”, who said that already in In July 2019, he wrote about this matter to the magistrate.
As, in an interview with tvn24.pl, says Monika Głazik from the press office of the mayor of Lublin, the tombstone was created in 1939. – The municipal management department has two sources concerning war graves in Lublin. These are information cards and books of people buried. Both of these documents contain the content consistent with the current inscription on the tombstone, that is, Gitas – he emphasizes.
However, the municipality informed the voivode that there was probably a mistake on the tombstone. It is the voivodeship office that is the decision-making body here, because the state takes care of war graves.
Voivode’s services: change of the entry justified, a clerical error occurred
The spokesman of the Lublin voivode, Agnieszka Strzępka, says that after analyzing the documents and registers, it was found that the change of the inscription was justified.
– The name Jan Gitas appears on the tombstone due to a clerical error. The Lublin voivode issued a decision allowing the placement of a plate with a correctly sounding name, i.e. Jan Gilas, explains Strzępka.
The changed plaque will be attached to the cross later this year. The costs will be covered by a special-purpose subsidy granted to the Lublin municipality by the voivode.
Main photo source: Lublin Voivodship Office