• June 8, 2017
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Following the Traces of Marshal Józef Piłsudzki in Druskieniki

On Vilnius Radar, we have received the message from the students of class 10A from Szymon Konarski School in Vilnius.

Last week students of class 10A from Szymon Konarski School in Vilnius with their teacher and parents visited Druskieniki on the way for the school trip to Grodno. The route was not expected to be the traditional one; the participants were supposed to follow the traces of Marshal Józef Piłsudzki.

The first time when Józef Piłsudzki spent his holidays in the resort was in June 1924. He lived in Jasna Street, then in the house “Na Pogance” on the Neman River. In both cases the buildings were very modest with few pieces of furniture as he did not care about comfort at all. Unfortunately, the house “Na Pogance” was demolished in 1964, but the nearby places where Józef Piłsudzki liked having a rest have been been preserved. We saw paths on both riversides of the Ratniczanka River, which drains into the Nemen River. He liked walking along the Ratniczanka River so much. We saw that place where he was sitting on the bench in the park and admired the Nemen River.

During his stay in Druskienniki, the Marshall fell ill. Dr Eugenia Lewicka became his personal doctor and he was in close relations with her during the following years. It was rumoured that they had long love affair. They liked meeting near the oak, not far from the place where the Ratniczanka drained into the Nemen. Of course, we took a picture there. Unfortunately, the historic oak which remembers Józef Piłsudzki has a lot of defects. A week ago, a devastating windstorm broken other knots of the oak. The area was cleaned up a day before our arrival, but the new defects on the tree were noticeable.

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

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