• August 1, 2014
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Cyclists can travel following the Operation Ostra Brama now

The Białystok Branch Office of the Institute of National Remembrance published a map Operacja Ostra Brama. Trasy rowerowe szlakami walk oddziałów Armii Krajowej o Wilno w lipcu 1944 r. (Operation Ostra Brama. The Cycling Tracks Following the Battles of the Polish Home Army). It will be presented today, on August 1, in the Polish Cultural Centre in Vilnius, at the ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Operation Tempest and the beginning of the Warsaw Uprising.

The historical content of the map was prepared by dr Paweł Rokicki of the Warsaw Branch Office of the Institute of National Remembrance, while the cartographic one was prepared by a famous cartographer from Białystok, Tomasz Popławski.

“We wanted to present the history of the operation in that, perhaps unusual, way, in order to get attention not only of lovers of Vilnius and the Vilnius Region, but also of people interested in the history of the Polish resistance movement in Kresy, and of many people who enjoy bicycle touring. I think that visiting Kresy according to the ‘patriotic’ key, meaning places related to battles with the German occupant and the Soviet persecution of the Polish Home Army, may be not only of enormous educational value, but also of educational one,” said Barbara Bojaryn-Kazberuk, the head of the Białystok Branch Office of the Institute of National Remembrance. “I hope that ‘the Vilnius Uprising’ will find its place in common memory, as the Warsaw Uprising did.”

The map contains three cycle trails. The “purple trail” shows the trail of battles conducted by the 2nd Group of the Polish Home Army Vilnius Unit. It begins at the Gate of Dawn (Ostra Brama), and leads through Lipuvka, Rudamina, Bogušė, Turgieliai, Endriejavas, Wołkorabiszki, Lavoriškės Forest, concluding at the Rasos Cemetery.

The red trail shows the march of the Polish Home Army units to Vilnius (July 5 and 6). It begins at the Vilnius Calvary, and leads through the Green Lakes, Powidaki, Maišiagala, Dūkštos, Sudervė, Krawczuny, Saltoniškė, concluding at the Ofiarna Street in Vilnius, where the Gestapo and NKVD prisons were located.

The “blue” trail is supposed to remind of the battles conducted by the Polish Home Army units during the night from July 6 to July 7, 1944. It begins at the Gate of Dawn, and leads through Góry, Žemasis Pavilnys, the French Mill, Belmontas, concluding at the Rasos Cemetery.

The map includes information on historical events related to particular stops, and the back of the books contains photographs of the Vilnius resistance movement. 1,000 copies of the map were printed.

Based on info provided by the Institute of National Remembrance

Translated by Michał M. Kowalski within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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