The SPPW 1944 Association's anniversary
On Saturday, December 9, 2006 in the 21 Długa street in Warsaw we met on the occasion of the third anniversary of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising Remembrance Association's coming into being.
The invited insurgents, combatants, representatives of culture organizations in Warsaw, teachers and representatives of the media participated in the meeting.
Also, members of the fans' society of Legia Warsaw football club who co-operate with the Association came by.
The meeting started at 11.15 a.m. sharp by playing a Warsaw bugle call which is based on the theme of "Warszawianka". At the very same time the bugle call was to be heard at the Royal Castle tower.
The fact that the bugle call has been player etery day for some time is thanks to stubbornness of the Warsaw Insurgents and the SPPW 1944 Associations' members, including Henryk Łagodzki, the member of our management, the insurgent of the "Chrobry II" unit.
After the meeting had been started by the Chairman of the Association Mrs. Jolanta Kolczyńska, the member of the management of the Warsaw Insurgents' Association, the initiator of coming the SPPW 1944 into existence and its honorary chairman Mr. Zdzisław Troński took the floor.
The guests and the media were provided with the following information material.
"Three years is not much...
To this group the following people belong: the participants of the Warsaw Uprising and the members of scouting that used to be dominant in the insurgent assault units. That is why we had an idea to pass these issues to the youth. If so, young people are our main addressees. We wish they preserve those heroic days. On December 8, 2003 The 1944 Warsaw Uprising Remembrance" Association was instituted. Students of both secondary schools and universities joined us. We were really surprised to see elderly people participate, as well. They were mostly relatives of the Warsaw insurgents. What should be emphasized is that their suggestions given during our meetings confirmed our hope for our members' commitment. After the registration procedure on May 24, 2004 the Association's management was chosen.
A serious obstacle of our activity was lack of funds. The Association did not have its own Money; it could only make use of minor funds from our main sponsor, i.e. the Association of the Warsaw Insurgents. Consequently, we had to face problems with realization of several plans. We decided to use our own possibilities and started being active.
Three years is not much... Yet, we have decided to remind these very first steps. There were the issues which we acquired from the Association of the Warsaw Insurgents.
The exhibition that has been existing since the year 199 1has always been both the showcase of the above-mentioned Association and the testament of those times. We re-arranged and updated it. The exhibition was highly estimated by its visitors, the evidence of which is a big number of inscriptions in the memorial book, in all languages and probably all alphabets. In the period of less than three years there were 1400 inscriptions of people coming from 34 countries. The majority of them were Englishmen: 123, Americans: 66, Germans: 45and Canadians: 32.
Due to the fact that the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising is closed on Tuesdays, all the tours that arrive in Warsaw at that time visit our Exhibition.
The second main task for us is keeping in touch with schools. That is why, we are systematically invited to many schools as guests of combatant or school ceremonies.
Our contacts have reached the outside of Warsaw. These schools include: the Primary School named after Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński in Wyszogród and in Jedlnia- Letnisko near Radom, where we were asked for our auspices by giving the Primary School the name "the Columbus Generation". Despite a long distance we have been invited by them several times so far and ca. 500 young pupils have visited our Exhibition. We visited the Insurgents' graves together.
Our representatives are godparents of the banner founded on the occasion of giving the Primary School number 32 in Warsaw in the Lewartowski street a patron name "The Little Insurgent".
For the sixtieth anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising we produced a circumstantial leaflet and a news-sheet.
In August 2004 the Association's website was created. So far more than 150 thousand people have visited it. The website is edited in eight languages: Polish, English, German, French, Russian, Italian, Spanish and Czech. The foreign versions are prepared with co-operation of more than thirty voluntary interpreters who translate the Polish texts more or less often depending on their time capabilities.
A very broad spectrum of issues is to be found on the website: elaborations concerning the Uprising, the fate of both insurgents and civilians after the Uprising demise. The reports of the Uprising participants, mostly published for the first time, are authentic. What is more, biographies of interesting people as well as interview are being still added.
The website presents the variety of issues connected with the occupation and the Uprising as well as numerous keepsakes such as: banners, medals, military decorations, the unit badges, coins, stamps and several hundred Memory Places on the interactive map.
The website is being systematically developed, broadening the existing themes and introducing the new ones. The website address is: http://www.sppw1944.org
Since December 2004 once a month, on the third Saturday of each month we have been organizing meetings with the Warsaw insurgents. We are worried that these meetings take place in our exhibition room where only 40 persons can come in. So far we have had meetings with: Zbigniew ¦cibor Rylski a.k.a. "Motyl", Bronisław Troński a.k.a. "Jastrz±b", Maria Wi¶niewska a.k.a. "Malina", Janusz Tyman a.k.a. "Dzigan", Edmund Baranowski a.k.a. "Jur", Halina Jędrzejewska a.k.a. "Sławka", Stanisław Sieradzki a.k.a. "¦wist", Wojciech Militz a.k.a. "Bystry", Adam Nogaj, Wodzimierz Markowski and Zygmunt Seliga, the originators of the replication of the radio station "Lightning", Tadeusz Gołębiewski a.k.a. "Sosna", Henryk Łagodzki a.k.a. "Hrabia" as well as Włodzimierz Bernhardt, the pilot of the Division 301.
This year the fans of Legia Warsaw football club offered us co-operation with organizing the ceremonies connected with the Warsaw Uprising. In order to show our contacts they invited Jerzy Wilgat from the "Bartkiewicz" unit and Andrzej Rumianek from the "Róg" unit. In a nice café in Nowy ¦wiat our friends were sharing their memories from fights during the Demence war in the year 1939 and the Warsaw Uprising.
We also gave foreign journalists several interviews. One article was especially for the Spanish news paper, ordered by "Organizacion Turistica Polaca" from Madrid. Another one was prepared for the English company "Duetpictures", which was going to make a film about the Warsaw Uprising.
We organized exhibitions about the Uprising: twice in Berlin and in several republics of the former Soviet Union.
The organization "Deutsch - Polnische Gesellschaft Bundesrepublik Deutschland" that deals with organizing exhibitions and meetings at the area of Germany started contacts with us.
A few-day-long meeting with representatives of the Institute of the Bulgarian Culture that is situated in Warsaw resulted in making a film with reports of our friends who told about their insurgent fights against a background of the Old Town.
The "Trwam" television asked us to record a meeting with the participants of the Warsaw Uprising and we did so.
We supported the intervention about the fact of not having respected the monument "Tędy przeszła Warszawa" ("That way Warsaw had passed") and its completion at the area of the former transitional camp "Durchgangslager Dulag 121" in Pruszków.
The Association together with former inhabitants of the Żelazna street appealed in the matter of the reconstruction of a bunker in so-called "Nordwache".
We took part in a discussion about the change of the name of the Wilanowska street. As a result of the support of the society and combatants a middle-ground solution was agreed upon.
We were not supported, though, in the issue of a statement by Prof. Paweł Wieczorkiewicz, who Gould sapek of our commanders during the Warsaw Uprising in a newspaper in an abusive way, which deserved, tenderly speaking, a a firm indictment.
We also indicated a problem of using the square in front of the Monument of the Warsaw Uprising as a car parking. It happens more and more of ten (and is being raised by the inhabitants, as well).
In our Association there are friends who are concerned with the subject of the Uprising in their literary output."
The SPPW 1994 members who are responsible for respective areas of activity eagerly shared with the assembled certain details of their work.
Informal chatting about different aspects of the Association's activity followed.
During the discussion new topics were being touched upon. New contacts relating the editing of our website were established, too.
compiled by: Maciej Janaszek-Seydlitz
translation: Monika Ałasa
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