IPN’s “History Point" in London is now officially open! 21- 22 September 2018

At the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in London, with the participation of the Polish Ambassador to Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Dr. hab. Arkady Rzegocki and the President of the Institute of National Remembrance, Dr. Jarosław Szarek. The inauguration of a series of “History Point” meetings in London.

Arkady Rzegocki was the first to welcome the guests. The Ambassador of the Republic of Poland emphasized that he was delighted that this great event – IPN’s “History Point” has reached London.

It is difficult to imagine Poland without London, it is difficult to imagine the regaining of Independence without the Enduring Soldiers - we are the heirs to this great tradition. The History Point is a way of reminding Poles of their heritage and presenting our great history to the British audience  - he said.

- We have recently opened our "History Point " in Lviv - a city which has always been faithful, a city whose numerous inhabitants found their home in London. In London, Polish London - a city which has always been faithful to Independence. The history of Polish airmen, soldiers being well known, yet the post-war history of the Polish Government in Exile, a great center of culture and the nurturing of Polish heritage - the second Great Emigration – still needs to be emphasized, Dr Szarek pointed out.

- The opening of an exhibition prepared by the Institute of National Remembrance regarding the collections of the Józef Piłsudski Institute in New York proved to be very successful. One should also show the achievements of Polish London, show the achievements of the Sikorski Institute and other Polish institutions in London. On the eve of the opening of the “History Point “in London ", an exhibition devoted to Cpt. Tadeusz Starzyński, whose family donated personal effects to the Institute, it is worth appealing for the donation of memorabilia to the IPN’s Archive full of Remembrance - he added.

At the end, the President of the Institute of National Remembrance emphasized the fact of the three-year cooperation of the IPN Branch Office in Gdańsk with Polish community organizations in London.

- The London History Point is going to connect the so-called old emigration, one of the most important representatives of which is the The Polish Hearth Club, and the youngest - represented by the Polish Association in Great Britain - the partners of the History Point which is the result of the three-year cooperation between the Institute of National Remembrance in Gdańsk and the Association - he concluded.

Dr Jan Falkowski, the President of the Polish Hearth Club, expressed his great satisfaction that the Polish Hearth Club, founded in 1939 by Poles in order to preserve Polish tradition and culture, will cooperate with the Institute of National Remembrance.

Sergiusz Papliński aka "Kawka also participated in the ceremony. He is the last Accursed soldier currently living in Great Britain. Papliński fought as a partisan in the grouping of Antoni Heda "Szary" and Zygmunt Kiepas "Krzyk".

Before the official inauguration of the "History Point” in London, the IPN delegation headed by President Dr. Jarosław Szarek met with the President of the Polish Institute and the Museum of gen. Sikorski and placed wreaths under the plaque commemorating Polish airmen at the Battle of Britain Monument.

On 22 September, the employees of the Institute of National Remembrance, together with Dr Jarosław Szarek, met with Polish youth at the Helena Modrzejewska Polish School in London. The meeting with the schoolchildren began with a symbolic first bell before educational activities for the pupils, led by employees of the IPN Branch in Gdańsk, began.

The moment of handing out IPN’s notebooks entitled "My first notebook" portraying the images of the Fathers of Independence was an unforgettable moment for the pupils. Dr. J. Szarek drew attention to the figure of the school's patron, referring to the great heroes of Polish history, including the Fathers of Independence. He also encouraged the use of IPN’s educational materials presented during the opening of the History Point in London.

The management of the Polish Association in the United Kingdom, Dr Marek Laskiewicz and Sylwia Kosiec, expressed their hope for further fruitful cooperation with the Institute of National Remembrance, which has been developing for three years and now has adopted a formal framework under the IPN”s “History Point” in London.

During his stay in London, the President of the Institute of National Remembrance laid flowers at the Gunnersbury Cemetery at the Katyn Monument (the first monument commemorating the victims of the Katyn Massacre in Western Europe) and at the grave of Kazimierz Sabbat, the Polish President-in-Exile (1986-1989), who died of a heart attack on 19 July 1989 after finding out that Wojciech Jaruzelski had been chosen as President.

The last point of the visit of the President of the Institute of National Remembrance in London was a meeting with Eugenia Maresch, President of Studium Polski Podziemnej [Polish Underground State Studies], the holder of the IPN Custodian of National Remembrance prize, and the archivist of the SPP, Krzysztof Bożejewicz.

In the afternoon, at the The Polish Hearth Club, the headquarters of one of the partners of the IPN’s History Point the Head of the IPN Branch Office in Gdańsk, Krzysztof Drażba delivered a lecture on  the phenomenon of the Polish Underground State in occupied Europe. He touched upon the most important facts related to the creation and functioning of the Polish Underground State, an institution and a phenomenon which was unprecedented throughout occupied Europe.

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