"For Your and Our Freedom" - international conference in Cracow, 23-24 May 2018

The international conference is taking place in Cracow. Researchers and former opposition activists from Poland, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Chechnya, Estonia, Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine and Russia gather in the Great Hall of the Ignatianum Academy (26 Kopernika St.).


On 23 May 2018, the two-day meeting was opened by the Chancellor of the Ignatianum Academy Prof. Dr Józef Bremer SJ, President of the Institute of National Remembrance Dr Jarosław Szarek and Co-Chairman of the Fighting Solidarity Autonomous Eastern Division Piotr Hlebowicz.

"<<For Your and Our Freedom>> - for two centuries, the best sons of the Polish nation have been gathering under this slogan.  The slogan  under which you, people of Fighting Solidarity, have also gathered today,” said President Szarek to the participants. “When we fought for freedom we knew that we would not be able to regain it ourselves. That we must fight for it in a community of free nations. Hand in hand. That is why, when the great Solidarity movement was born on Polish soil, today I think that its most important document was "A Message to the Working People of Eastern Europe." We wanted to share solidarity and freedom, and the people of the Fighting Solidarity hit the core of the communist system to build a community of free nations. And we finally witnessed the collapse of the Soviet system.

The Director of the IPN Branch in Cracow Dr Filip Musiał read the letter addressed to the conference participants by the Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. "I am pleased to know that this fascinating story about the contemporary realization of the ideal of the struggle <<For Your and Our Freedom>> has become the subject of reflection of the researchers in the field our most recent history. Today, it is impossible to involve in a reliable, historical discussion about our part of Europe without indicating the role of the Fighting Solidarity "- wrote, among others, the Prime Minister Morawiecki, whose father - Kornel Morawiecki - was the founder and chairman of the Fighting Solidarity.

The Turashvili square
At the end of the first day of the conference the ceremony of giving the square at the Zwierzyniecka Street in Cracow the name of the Captain Jerzy Turashvili Polish-Georgian Friendship took place. The event was attended by, among others, Georgian Ambassador Ilia Darchiashvili, President of Cracow Prof. Jacek Majchrowski, President of the Institute of National Remembrance Dr Jarosław Szarek, Senior Marshal of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland Kornel Morawiecki, and the daughter of Colonel Turashvili.

Jerzy Turashvili (1901-1977) was a Georgian contract officer of the Polish Army, who did not hesitate to defend his new homeland. After graduating from the Officer Artillery School in 1924, he was assigned to the 6th Field Artillery Regiment in Cracow. He served there until 1939. In the September campaign, as the commander of the 8th battery of the 25th Regiment of Light Artillery, he took part in the battles of Kutno, Łęczyca and the Bzura, for which he was awarded the Virtuti Militari Cross. From July 1944 he was involved in the activities of the 106th Infantry Division of the Home Army.

After the war, Turashvili remained in Krakow. He worked at Przedsiębiorstwo Energoprzem, he sang amateurly in the Hejnał male choir. He was also one of the founding members of the Krakow Horse Riding Club. In his free time, he voluntarily trained successive generations of people who wanted to learn horse riding. From 1955 he was a judge of the Polish Equestrian Federation.


Exhibition "Georgians - Contract Officers of the Polish Army"

At the Educational Center "History Stop" of the Institute of National Remembrance in Cracow (8 Dunajewskiego Street), you can see the exhibition "Georgians - Contract Officers of the Polish Army". On 23 May it was visited by, among others, President of the Institute of National Remembrance Dr Jaroslaw Szarek, as well as the Georgian ambassador Ilia Darchiashvili and the daughter of  Colonel Jerzy Turashvili.
The exhibition commemorates the brave people who served in the Polish Army. The photographs and documents found in the archives, describing the relations between Poles and Georgians, document the little-known history of cooperation between the two nations in the turbulent interwar period and in the years of World War II.

At the Rakowicki Cemetery in Krakow, Georgian Ambassador Ilia Darchiashvili, Dr. Jaroslaw Szarek and the daughter of  Colonel Jerzy Turashvili, Tamara, laid flowers and lit candles on the graves of two Georgian contract officers who served in the Polish Army: Miko Agniashvili and Jerzy Turashvili.

Exhibition "The Fall of the Empire. Time of Polish-Lithuanian Cooperation"
On the occasion of the conference, in the courtyard of the Ignatianum Academy, the exhibition "The Fall of the Empire. The Time of Polish-Lithuanian Cooperation is presented. " It was prepared seven years ago on the 20th anniversary of the tragic events in Vilnius of 13  January 1991, when the Soviet army stormed the Lithuanian television tower. The exhibition, however, recounts not only those tragic moments, but all the road of the Lithuanians to an independent state and Polish-Lithuanian cooperation in the fight against the Soviet empire. The authors of the exhibition are Piotr Hlebowicz and Piotr Warisch, in cooperation with Joanna Dutka-Kącka.






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