• July 13, 2014
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Homage to the Home Army soldiers who died in fight against Nazis

On Sunday 13th July in Krawczuny near Vilnius took place an event commemorating 70th anniversary of Vilnius liberation from the German occupation during the operation “Ostra Brama” (lit. Gate of Dawn). It was organized by the Vilnius regional branch of Association of Poles in Lithuania.

Krawczuny is one of the most important national memorial places for Poles from the Vilnius region. Exactly 70 years ago in this village near Vilnius units of the Home Army (Armia Krajowa) from the Vilnius Circle engaged in their last and grandest combat against the Nazis.

The people of the Vilnius region meet each year by the monument in Krawczuny to pay homage to the Home Army soldiers who fought for Vilnius liberation from German occupation in 1944.

Today, on the 70th anniversary of the operation “Ostra Brama”, to Krawczuny came many people of the Vilnius region, guests from Poland and veterans, who together with scouts provided a guard of honour by the monument. A solemn Mass was celebrated.

The leader of Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania and Member of European Parliament Waldemar Tomaszewski, president of the Vilnius regional branch of the Association of Poles in Lithuania and member of the Semias Michał Mackiewicz, member of the Seimas Jarosław Narkiewicz, representatives of local government in Vilnius District Municipality with the mayor Maria Rekść came to put flowers and light candles at the monument to casualties of the Home Army soldiers. In celebrations participated also the ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Vilnius Jarosław Czubiński and the Consul General of the Republic of Poland Stasisław Cygnarowski.

A lot of people came to Krawczuny with children and grandchildren to tell them stories about the heroic deeds of their ancestors.

The battle under Krawczuny on 13 June 1944 was the grandest direct clash between the Home Army and Nazis. A thousand out of three thousands German soldiers were eliminated from further fights by Poles, despite quantitative advantage of Germans. Poles also disrupted the crossing over Neris of Nazis withdrawing from Vilnius. During the battle 80 Home Army soldiers were killed, including the commander of the Home Army 1st Vilnius Brigade Czesław Grombczewski, alias “Jurand”

During the operation “Ostra Brama” (6-13 June 1944) about 500 Home Army soldiers were killed. Over 1000 were wounded.

Some information will be added.

Translated by Maciej Jóźwiak within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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