Every year on 1st March Poles celebrate the National Day of Memory of Cursed Soldiers who stood against communism and formed resistance to protect Polish independence and freedom after World War II. This is also a day on which an execution of seven members of a Polish resistance organization “Freedom and Independence,” who were the last coordinators of the fight against soviet occupation, was carried out in 1951.
The cursed soldiers, also known as damned soldiers, or in Polish, “Żołnierze wyklęci,” is a term applied to an anti-communist Polish resistance movements formed in the later stages of World War II by members of the Polish Underground State. These organizations continued their armed struggle against the Stalinist government of Poland into the 1950s. The best-known Polish anti-communist resistance organizations in Stalinist Poland included Freedom and Independence (Wolność i Niezawisłość, WIN), National Armed Forces (Narodowe Siły Zbrojne), National Military Union (Narodowe Zjednoczenie Wojskowe), Underground Polish Army (Konspiracyjne Wojsko Polskie), Home Army Resistance (Ruch Oporu Armii Krajowej), Citizens’ Home Army (Armia Krajowa Obywatelska), NO (NIE , short for Niepodległość). Similar anti-communist resistant organizations fought on in other Eastern European countries that were occupied by the Soviet Union.
Polish National Day of Memory of Cursed Soldiers was announced and observed for the first time in 2010. However the idea of the holiday was proposed a year before by the combatants of World War II and their descendants. It was established in honor of those who weren’t afraid to seek freedom, fight for it, and sacrifice themselves for the sake of their compatriots.
Click here to receive help from an expert with your Polish genealogy research.