On 4 February 2024, the Polish parish of St. Maximilian in the Diocese of Breda held a commemoration ceremony for the Polish Independent Highland Brigade on the 84th anniversary of its establishment.
After the mass, the celebration included the presentation of the IPN Trails of Hope. The Odyssey of Freedom exhibition dedicated to the Polish Armed Forces in the West. Flowers were laid at the Jewish cemetery in Den Hout, where Leon Czertok of the 9th Rifle Battalion – the first fallen soldier from the 1st Polish Armored Division – is buried.
The soldier's tombstone was co-funded by the Institute of National Remembrance. The organizers of the ceremony were the Polish Parish of St. M.M. Kolbe in the Diocese of Breda, the Polish Historical Memorial Group Association and the "Breda1944" Historical Reconstruction Group.
More about the IPN Trails of Hope. The Odyssey of Freedom project at: https://szlakinadziei.ipn.gov.pl/sne
In February 1940, based on an order from the Commander-in-Chief Władysław Sikorski, the Independent Highland Brigade was established and took part in the battles in Norway, France, Belgium and in the Netherlands.
General Stanislaw Maczek's Armored Division took part in the Normandy landings and fought in the victorious Battle of Falaise. In the battles against the Germans, Gen. Maczek led the division towards Belgium and the Netherlands until the capture of the port of Wilhelmshaven.