Friday marked exactly 100 years since the first armed uprising against the Germans started in what is now Poland’s southern Upper Silesia region.
Ethnic Poles in the area fought a series of three armed insurgencies from 1919 to 1921 to break away from Germany and join newly independent Poland.
Speaking during a special session of the regional assembly in Katowice on Friday, President Andrzej Duda paid tribute to "all the heroic participants of the Silesian Uprisings on behalf of the Polish people."
Duda said: “I bow my head in honour of the generations of Silesians who, despite being separated from their homeland, resisted the pressure of Germanisation and preserved their native tongue and the faith of their fathers, while staying faithful to Poland and their Polish roots."
The lower house of the Polish parliament last July designated 2019 the Year of the Silesian Uprisings.
Public broadcaster Polish Radio has launched a special website to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First Silesian Uprising.
Poland regained independence on November 11, 1918, the day World War I ended, after 123 years of partition by Russia, Austria and Prussia.