- July 15, 2013
The 69th anniversary of the Operation Ostra Brama in Krawczuny
The 69th anniversary of the battle waged between the German army and the troops of the Home Army (Armia Krajowa) was commemorated on Saturday in Krawczuny. The commemorative event gathered a large representation of the Polish community.
The most significant part of this commemoration event was the Holy Mass led by Priest Józef Aszkiełowicz, who in his sermon emphasized the services of the Home Army to the Polish identity. – Amongst all the honourable events in the Polish history, the activity of the Home Army deserves great recognition – exclaimed priest Aszkiełowicz – They did not hesitate, when it came to take an exam of proving the soldier duties. Intrepid, they followed the appointed posts in the Polish Operation “Tempest” (“Burza”) – reminded the clergyman.
– Every single year we participate alongside our family in all sorts of events, not only in the vicinity of Vilnius. Every Pole needs to cultivate the Polish tradition, he must not forget about it – remarked Krystyna and Henryk Nauszewicz from Vilnius. The youth constituted a large part among the participants.
– Remembering about those who spilt their blood for us is inevitable and has to be cherished – claimed Albert Jankowski, student from Vilnius.
The service was also attended by the veterans who arrived to pay homage to their 79 brothers in arms, who had been killed in fight with the German occupiers. Priest Aszkiełowicz highlighted the strength of that event, addressing the faithful with words: “If no one dies for the ideals, these ideals die by themselves”. The blessed John Paul II was also quoted: “I am begging you, do not cut off your roots”.
The importance of the event was emphasized for the Polish community by the presence of its major representatives. Amongst those who honoured the soldiers fighting in the battle of Krawczuny was Michał Mackewicz, the leader of the Association of Poles in Lithuania and the Lithuanian deputy, and Waldemar Tomaszewski, the leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania and the Member of the European Parliament. The latter invited the participants for the next commemoration event in the following year and extended his gratitude to the youth for their presence.
After the Holy Mass, the heroic deeds and the tragic fate of the soldiers of the Home Army were contemplated. The Gray Ranks (Szare Szeregi), the Union of Armed Struggle (Związek Walki Zbrojnej) the Home Army, then prisons and Soviet labour camps – numerous representatives of that generation faced these obstacles on their life path. As one of the veterans put it in words: “They sacrificed youth, smile, love and even their own lives”. One of the co-organizers of the Polish Resistance in the Vilnius Region, Antoni Burzyński vel. „Kmicic”, was also remembered and honoured. His fate – the guerrilla fight against the Germans and death brought by the Soviets – display the tragedy of the Vilnius Region in the times of the World War II in the conditions of terror of two occupiers.
The commemorative event was crowned by passing down the spiritual testament by the former prisoners of the Soviet labour camps to the youth of the Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn Scout Group in Vilnius (Wileński Hufiec Maryi im. Panny Ostrobramskiej). This symbolic act was supposed to accentuate the topicality of the ideals, for which the soldiers of the Home Army fought.
Tłumaczenie by Joanna Mirek w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Joanna Mirek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.