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  • 25 July 2017

    The celebrations of Ostra Brama took place on 13 July in Kriaučiūnai, at the battlefield of the Home Army with the Nazi invaders. A traditional memory appeal was organized by the Vilnius Regional Department of the Union of Poles in Lithuania. Representatives of the Polish diplomatic mission, Vilnius local authorities, combatants and scouts participated in the ceremony.

    The Chargé d' Affaires of the Embassy of Poland to Lithuania Maria Ślebioda read a letter from Adam Kwiatkowski, Secretary of State in the Chancellery of President Andrzej Duda. "We pay tribute to the heroic soldiers of the Home Army, the residents of Vilnius, who, on 6-7 July 1944 guided by the most noble patriotic motives, faced an unequal fight against the overwhelming forces of the enemy in defense of their homeland. Although the victory over the German occupier in the battle for Vilnius was short, it strengthened the faith and awakened inner strength. Even the Soviet terror, which soon followed  –  as a result of which many Poles paid the highest price – was not able to wipe out polishness "– Adam Kwiatkowski said in the letter on his own behalf and on behalf of the President of the Republic of Poland.

    The ceremony was preceded by Mass in remembrance of the heroic battle of the soldiers of the Home Army for the freedom of Vilnius Soil. “Kriaučiūnai is Vilnius’ Monte Cassino. The soldiers who fell here, fought and died for us, for our better tomorrow, for our homeland- Vilnius, Poland. Let their example strengthen us every day of our life. Let us all be proud that we are Poles, that we have such a beautiful story, and draw strength from it for our future lives ," Fr Józef Aszkiełowicz  said during the Mass.

    Waldemar Tomaszewski, member of the European Parliament and chairman of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania and Union of Christian Families, pointed out in his speech that the heroic battle of Home Army soldiers for Vilnius had and still has a lot of meaning and serves as an example to us. 

    "Today also we have to work very hard, remembering their heroic deeds, and guard our own area. So as hard as it was, fight for your fatherland. In the future we will have our homeland, in as much as we will have patrimony, " said Mr Tomaszewski .

    He pointed out that the defense of Polish education in Vilnius was another task for residents of this land. "This appeal and similar events should be used not only to preserve but strengthen the Polishness that we inherited from our fathers and grandfathers," he added.

    Zygmunt Krzymowski from the 1st Vilnius Brigade and Major Ireneusz Hurynowicz from the 6th Vilnius Home Army Brigade also participated in the celebrations.

    "I would like to thank the residents of Vilnius for taking care of the graves of our colleagues who remained here for eternity. I always say if you want to learn patriotism, you should go to Vilnius,"– Zygmunt Krzymowski said.

    Participants of the 3rd Nasielski Motorcycle Memorial Rally dedicated to Czesław Grombczewski, the commander of the 1st Vilnius Brigade of the Home Army under the pseudonym "Jurand", who died in Kriaučiūnai, also participated in these celebrations.

    They read a letter from the mayor of Nasielsk, the city of "Jurand", addressed to Waldemar Tomaszewski.

    "I would like to express my heartfelt thanks and deep respect to the Polish community in Lithuania for their constant care of so many places of remembrance and trace of Polishness in Lithuania. Your daily efforts fully reflect the truth that you cannot look to the future without remembering the past "- the mayor, Bogdan Ruszkowski, wrote.

    Once again, the Uhlans from the Joker Horse Riding Club came to Kriaučiūnai; this club  cherishes the tradition of the 8th Cavalry Regiment in Chełmno, headed by Kazimierz Deron.

     

     

     

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