The "We are Poles" exhibition prepared by the IPN Branch in Gdańsk was oficcially unveiled in Kwidzyń, Poland, at St. John Paul II Square. The event took place with the participation of the President of the Institute of National Remembrance Karol Nawrocki, Ph.D.
The ceremony is related to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Union of Poles in Germany and the 85th anniversary of the Polish grammar school in Kwidzyń.
The Union of Poles in Germany is an organization of the Polish minority in Germany, founded in 1922. In the years 1939—1945 the Union was outlawed in Germany. The Union activists were sent to concentration camps and prisons. They were tortured and murdered and their property was confiscated by the German government. In 1950 the Union of Poles in Germany split into two organizations: the Union of Poles in Germany, which refused to recognize the communist government in Poland, and the "Zgoda" Union of Poles , which accepted the new government in Warsaw. The organization was reunified in 1991. To this day Poles have not regained the national minority status in Germany nor have any war reparations been paid to Poland.
The opening of the exhibition was followed by a popular science session at the local auditorium. The High School in Kwidzyń is the former Polish grammar school established in 1937 on the territory which at that time belonged to German East Prussia. The school was subjected to harassment by German authorities and German residents. A few days before the outbreak of World War II, German security forces arrested all school personnel and students including Władysław Gębik, the first headmaster who spent the rest of the war years in German concentration camps.
The outdoor “We Are Poles. The Union of Poles in Germany” exhibition was prepared by the IPN branch in Gdańsk. The author of the part of the exhibition presented in Kwidzyń is Pawel Warot, Ph.D., Director of the IPN Branch in Gdansk. The exhibition will be on display until 29 November 2022.