WARSAW, MY WARSAW…
I always watch archive films, photos, documents of pre-war Warsaw with great pleasure and joy in my heart. I love Warsaw like somebody who is my close person, valuable to me and this love has lasted in our family for many generations. In my childhood I used to listen to my grandpa’s memories, stories about his Warsaw, reminding the atmosphere of ‘Lalka’ by Bolesław Prus, and my father, strict pre-war soldier, was wiping his tears away when he was speaking about the helplessness of the National Army, which was walking to help insurgent Warsaw. Stopped by the siege in Modlin, they saw the glow of the burning capital city. – Boys knelt down, we were praying and it was the first time we were crying during the Nazis occupation. Our Warsaw was burning, our friends were fighting for death and life – he mentioned on August anniversaries. January is a sad anniversary for Warsaw, the so-called, liberation by the Red Army. They were waiting behind the Vistula still for 100 days after the defeat of the Uprising, they were looking at how the Germans were blowing up everything, destroying historical buildings, works of many generations. Then after the capitulation of the Uprising, expulsion of inhabitants, the invader took a revenge on the heroic city, was destroying the heritage of the worldly culture with impunity! Warsaw, which used to be called ‘Paris of the North’, was paying the highest price - destruction for its steadfast attitude, loving freedom. With the consent of the West and the East! One can only to look at the fate of the square of Józef Piłsudski in the heart of Warsaw, to see the scale of barbarism of powerful neighbouring countries. The square-symbol impressed with its pre-war look, beauty, greatness, style and aroused the noblest patriotic feelings. For, in 1925 in the middle columns of the Saxon Palace the Grave of an Unknown Soldier was organized. Ashes of a soldier from the Graveyard of Orlęta Lwowskie (Lvov eaglets) were deposited there. A chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, gen. Stanisław Haller asked the youngest cavalier of the Virtuti Militari Order – fire-master Józef Buczkowski from the 14th Regiment of Field Artillery to make drawing of lots. Lvov was chosen. On 29 October 1925 a Polish woman of Armenian-origin Jadwiga Zarugiewiczowa, a mother of a soldier killed in the defense of Lvov and buried in an unknown place, chose one of coffins unburied on the graveyard of Orlęta. When it was opened, it turned out that there was a soldier inside without a bayonet and with an old soldier’s cap aside. His shot head and legs proved that he had been killed on a field of glory, giving his life for Homeland. He had 14 years old. On 2 November 1925 in the morning, the coffin with the unknown soldier was transported to the Main Railway in Warsaw from Lvov. On a cannon tow truck drawn by six horses, the funeral procession went to the cathedral of St. Jan for a solemn Holy Mass, and later to the Saxon Square. ‘On the way the procession was accompanied by thousands of Warsaw inhabitants, squadrons of airplanes were flying above and in the churches bells were ringing’ – write a chronicler. ON photos of the ceremony one can see faces of veterans of the January Uprising, generalization, commanders, a Marshal, President – beautiful, proud Poland! Frontages of the Saxon Palace around, whose beginnings reach back to the XVI century, the palace of the Morsztyn family. The whole was surrounded by the palaces: Bruhl, Kronenberg, ‘Blue’ with an impressive monument of the prince Józef Poniatowski near colonnades. The testimony of the beauty of long Polish culture of the capital city, Warsaw! That was the reason why enemies were taking such a revenge. On 28 December 1944, 3 months after the defeat of the Warsaw Uprising, after many attempts, finally the Germans managed to pull down the Saxon Palace and destroy partly neighbouring palaces. The colonnades over the grave did not collapse but remained in whole. The rest was done by the people’s government under the dictation of Moscow. ‘Inconvenient’ signs disappeared, as well as distinctions, dates, the eagle in the crown….We must read about it today, watch documentaries, archive photos, return to the beauty past, learn anew the pride of our national heritage. On behalf of the Polish raison d’etat we must demand the state of redress for barbaric destructions of the national culture, being a significant part of the worldly heritage.