FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION
I visited the grave of Fr. Ignacy Skorupka on the cementary Stare Powązki in Warsaw. A simple, a slightly old and rotten sandstone. Inscriptions, photos, a white-red flag on the top next to the cross. It is worth quoting the text placed on the front and side board, signed by parents of the heroic priest: ‘The Cavalier of the Cross Virtuti Militari, a defender of Warsaw, graduated from Clerics Academy, a prefect of schools, a caretaker of orphans, the youth and refugees, a scout, a chaplain of the 236th regiment of infantry. Leading a regiment to a fight in defence of the capital city, he was killed on the field of the fight by the Bolsheviks on 14 August 1920 in Ossow near Radzymin, having lived for 27 years.
Dying as a hero, he saved Poland and Europe against the wave of eastern barbarism. He was a real disciple of Christ, pride of the nation and lived with truth. Let Him rest in peace. Parents to their dearest Ignaś’. And, on the side, on a small board there is information about the brother of Ignacy, also buried in this grave: ‘Kazimierz Skorupka, born in Warsaw, a scoutmaster and a voluntary soldier of the 236th regiment of infantry in 1920. A lieutenant of the National Army, an instructor of scout troop and a commander of Gray Ranks Warszawa Praga. At the age of 42 he was murdered in a concentration camp on Majdanek on 24 December 1943’. There is also a board dedicated to their father, buried in the same grave. They worked for Poland and when ‘Homeland in need’ – they went to fight.
We got accustomed to such family biographies by history, literature, and we know that it used to be so in Poland. Some basic imponderables were passed from generation to generation like a prayer. Only communist traitors managed to break this national code and we have got people without any principles or a strong spiritual backbone, not saying about honour. ‘Like those Samisiercy crazy people/Like those from Racławice years ago/Fight for honour, as usually’. Such examples can be found nearly in every Polish family, when looking back at generations. They were perfect in distinguishing the truth from a lie, there were not any attempts of making friendship with an enemy for profit. So, there was only a fight for death or life till the very end. A Pole never was aggressive – wrote Norwid – but he never agreed to dishonor, to letting an enemy trample Homeland. Therefore, in 1920, they went to fight in order to stop the Bolsheviks, ‘all kinds of evil without God or the Spirit’.
The Polish Army created recently, after 123 years of captivity, army members, shooters, young boys with their Commander set off from Orleands of Cracow to the Congress Kingdom, bringing the longed independence to Poland.
However, they had to fight with a big army of their enemy soon – and they won! They won, defended Europe and the world! But as it usually happens in the case of Poland, the world did not thank them, and wanted to forget about it quickly and in the so-called People’s Poland, this glory, as well as its authors were removed from school books and memory of next generations.
Now, when we can speak about those events and heroes, we cannot take pride in telling the world about great Polish achievements, instead, we are willing to let others accuse us, and, taking on a humble attitude, we allow others for unjust slandering us. Not only is it done by enemies of Poland, but also by popular native historians and journalists omnipresent in mass media, who pretend to be leading experts of our national history and character. Today we lack these pearls more and more, Poles from graves in Katyń and those similar to them. Having experienced the day of taking an oath by the president Andrzej Duda, there is hope that ‘a generation of new people will come’ and ‘Poland will be great and rich’.