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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Conference in tribute to Polish WWII military leader Anders

08.09.2020 11:11
A conference in tribute to General Władysław Anders, a prominent Polish military leader in WWII, is being held in Warsaw on Tuesday to mark the 50th anniversary of his death.
Anna Maria Anders, daughter of General Władysław Anders, at a mass in the Field Cathedral of the Polish Army in Warsaw on Tuesday.
Anna Maria Anders, daughter of General Władysław Anders, at a mass in the Field Cathedral of the Polish Army in Warsaw on Tuesday. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Papers presented at the conference focus on various aspects of General Anders’ activities in both world wars, including the formation of the Second Polish Corps which fought in the battle of Monte Cassino in Italy in May 1944, as well as his role in the Polish émigré community in Britain after World War II.

Among those taking part in the conference are Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau; the Polish ambassador to Italy, Anna Maria Anders - the daughter of General Anders; the Italian ambassador to Poland, Aldo Amati; and a group of Italian parliamentarians.

The conference is organized by the Historical Research Bureau of Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance.

Born in 1892, General Anders was captured by the Soviets in February 1940 and imprisoned in Moscow. When Hitler turned on Stalin in June 1941, he was released from the Lubyanka prison and was given the task of forming an army from the survivors among the one and a half million Poles who had been captured by the Soviets in 1939 or later deported to the Soviet Union.

General Anders led some 77,000 soldiers, accompanied by over 43,000 civilians who had suffered starvation in labour camps and gulags out of the Soviet Union into Persia. In 1943, the Second Polish Corps under General Anders’ command landed in Italy.

After the war, the communist government in Poland deprived Anders of Polish citizenship and military rank. These were posthumously reinstated after the collapse of communism in 1989.

General Anders died in London on May 12, 1970, the 26th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino, and was buried, in accordance with his will, at the Polish War Cemetery at Monte Cassino in Italy.

(mk/pk)