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Monument to the Peasants’ Battalions and Peasant Association of Women unveiled

A commemorative monument dedicated to the Peasants’ Battalions and Peasant Association of Women was unveiled and consecrated on 8 October in Warsaw. The IPN’s President Dr Jarosław Szarek took part in the unveiling ceremony which followed a service in the Temple of Divine Providence. The monument was partially funded by the Institute of National Remembrance.

 

 

The event was also attended by the IPN’s Deputy President Dr Mateusz Szpytma and Deputy Director of the IPN’s Office for Commemorating the Struggle and Martyrdom Joanna Piskorz.

The Peasants’ Battalions was a Polish World War II resistance movement and became one of the pillars of the Polish Underground State. The armed forces of the peasants’ movement were established in August 1940. The name ‘Peasant Battalions’ was not formally adopted until 1944. The battalions were the second, after the Home Army, military force in occupied Poland. Some 170,000 soldiers engaged in the fight, carrying out around 3,000 various types of combat operations. The most important include fights in defence of Zamość region being pacified in the years of 1942–1943, especially the battles of Wojda and Zaboreczno, and fights in defence of the so-called Republic of Pińczów. The battalions also conducted their activities in the Eastern Borderlands, under Soviet and German occupation. When the communists seized power in the country, many soldiers of this formation were persecuted. In the Stalinist period the Peasants’ Battalions were doomed to oblivion.

Peansants’ Battalions’ Day is celebrated on 8 October, on the anniversary of the day when in 1940 Franciszek Kamiński, alias Zenon Trawiński, was appointed the Commander of a newly established military organisation of the peasants’ movement. In 1950, he was imprisoned by the communists on false charges related to particularly dangerous crimes in the post-war reconstruction period. After 1989, he was promoted to the rank of Major General of the Polish Army and awarded the Order of the White Eagle.

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