The 76th anniversary of the death of General Władysław Sikorski - 4 July 2019

On 4 July 2019, a ceremony commemorating the 76th anniversary of the tragic death of General Władysław Sikorski took place in Warsaw. Deputy President of the Institute of National Remembrance laid flowers at his monument on 3 Turecka str in Warsaw. He also read a letter written by the President of the IPN, Dr Jarosław Szarek addressed to the participants of the ceremony.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

76 years ago, one of the most mysterious disasters of the Second World War took place. On 4 July 1943, the Prime Minister of the Polish Government in Exile and the Supreme Commander of the Polish Armed Forces Gen. Władysław Sikorski died in an air accident, the   circumstances and course of which were unclear from the beginning. There are many unknown facts surrounding the accident. Unfortunately, many documents in the British archives which would shed some light on the incident are still classified.

We know, beyond any doubt, that the death of General Sikorski meant the weakening of Poland's position on the international arena. It was even more grave because the Soviet Union was increasingly putting forward its territorial claims in its strive for international isolation of the authorities of the Republic of Poland.

General Sikorski, in one of his last speeches to the Polish nation, two months before his death, on 4 May, said: We are facing issues of a historic scale. Thus, we ought to solve them on the same scale. Not from the point of view of our own ambitions or passing moods, but from the point of view of the Polish raison d'état.

As the Prime Minister and the Supreme Commander, General Władysław Sikorski was able to mobilize Poles to continually resist the enemy, which aimed at the destruction of the Polish nation. He understood the scale of hardship and bloodshed this would entail, but saw no other alternative. He was convinced that this struggle would eventually lead Poles to a free, just and independent Poland. He was right as to the outcome, although it took a few decades to come true. A lot of Polish blood had been shed by that time. The General's tragic death terminated plans thanks to which, perhaps, this freedom would have come to us much sooner.

Hail to his memory!

The ceremony was organized by the Office for War Veterans and Victims of Oppression, together with the National Union of Former Soldiers of the Polish Armed Forces in the West and the authorities of the Mokotów District of Warsaw.

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