The details of the ceremony, which is planned for November 12, a day after Polish Independence Day, were outlined at a press conference at Warsaw’s Royal Castle on Monday.
The remains of Władysław Raczkiewicz (Poland’s president-in-exile in 1939-47), August Zaleski (1947-72), and Stanisław Ostrowski (1972-79), all of whom were buried at the Cemetery of Polish Airmen at Newark, are set to be interred at a newly-created mausoleum in the Temple of Divine Providence in the Polish capital.
In addition, the mausoleum will host the remains of Ryszard Kaczorowski, the last Polish president-in-exile, who was among the victims killed in the April 2010 Smolensk air disaster. He is buried in the Pantheon of Great Poles of the Temple of Divine Providence.
Meanwhile, Poland's remaining presidents-in-exile: Edward Raczyński (1979-86) and Kazimierz Sabbat (1986-89), will have their symbolic tombs in the new mausoleum. Raczyński, who died in 1993, is buried in Rogalin, his family’s former estate, while Sabbat, who passed away in 1989, is buried in London.
Mission: Free Poland
At Monday’s news conference, the government’s commissioner for Polish communities abroad, Jan Dziedziczak, told reporters that the November 12 reburial ceremony was part of a wide-ranging educational campaign, entitled Mission: Free Poland.
The initiative aims to demonstrate that the Government of the Republic of Poland in exile (1939-1990) was a legitimate authority, whereas the government installed in Poland in the aftermath of World War II was an element of the Soviet occupation of the country.
Mission: Free Poland was set to kick off with a concert at Warsaw’s National Philharmonic Hall on Monday night.
The event was scheduled to feature a youth orchestra performing pieces by noted Polish composers, including Mieczysław Karłowicz, Stanisław Moniuszko, Karol Szymanowski, and Ignacy Jan Paderewski, as well as Edward Elgar’s Polonia.
Written in 1915 at the request of Polish conductor and composer Emil Młynarski, this latter work is dedicated to Paderewski.
Combining quotations from the Polish patriotic song La Varsovienne, Paderewski’s Polish Fantasy and a Fryderyk Chopin nocturne, Polonia ends with the Dąbrowski’s Mazurka, the Polish national anthem.
Click on the audio player above for a report by Radio Poland's Agnieszka Bielawska.