• July 9, 2017
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Celebrations in Bogušiai: The military operation “Ostra brama” was finished there

“In this place, we need to imagine what they felt,” said Artur Kondrat, the president of the Association of Home Army Soldiers being the prisoners of Soviet camps, (Stowarzyszenie Łagierników Żołnierzy Armii Krajowej) during the celebrations of the 73rd anniversary of the military operation “Ostra brama” in Bogušiai near Vilnius. On Sunday, the 9th of July, the members of the Association paid tribute to the soldiers of Home Army in Bogušiai and Piktakonys.

In the village of Bogušiai, in 1944, the Soviets started arrests and disarming of the units of Vilnius Home Army.
A few years ago, a stone commemorating these tragic events was put there.

“It can be said that the military operation” Ostra Brama “, which was aimed at liberating Vilnius, introducing the Polish administration and thus stressing the integrity of these lands with the Republic of Poland was really finished here. The words of Zbigniew Herbert: ‘They were betrayed at dawn’ are appropriate in this place, like nowhere else, ” stated Artur Kondrat, the president of the Association of Home Army Soldiers being the prisoners of Soviet camps.

Honour and homeland

For the celebration in Bogušiai came, among others, Col. Weronika Sebastianowicz, Col. Stanisława Kociołowicz, Magdalena Merta and Jan Sroka from the Office for War Veterans and Victims of Oppression of the Republic of Poland and the Polish Defence Attaché in Lithuania Col. Mirosław Wójcik. There were also the representatives of Polish community and local residents.  The head of the district authority from Marijampolė Andrzej Żabiełowicz assured the guests from Poland that the authorities and the local community “take care of this place, the grass is always cut and candles lit”.

“One has to be able to imagine what they felt in this place. Many times, I listened to stories, memories given by the participants of the military operation “Ostra Brama” who had tears in their eyes. For what could be more tragic than the deceitful taking arms away and thus preventing the fight for their homeland, ” said Mr Kondrat to those taking part in the celebration.

The statue in Bogušiai was built on the private land belonging to Mirosław Andruszkiewicz. “It is a great honour that this beautiful, large stone commemorating these events is on my land. I am very glad that you do not forget and come every year. Because the honour and homeland are the most important for the Pole,” said Mr Andruszkiewicz.

The graves of Home Army Soldiers in Piktakonys

After the ceremony in Bogušiai, the participants went to the nearby Piktakonys, where two soldiers of the Home Army Stanislaw Grekin and Jan Iwaszko were buried on the local cemetery. Thanks to the local authorities and community the monument to them has been built recently. The blessing of the monument will take place next Tuesday.

“These two soldiers were mortally wounded in the operation “Ostra Brama” and were transported to the village of Piktakonys. According to the elderly, they died under the apple tree in the orchard. They were buried here,” said the head of the district authority.

“We give thanks to Mr Żabiełowicz, the head of the district authority that our two soldiers returned back. We know their names. They are again with us. Probably these forests and fields are enriched with the Home Army soldiers’ blood who often rest unknown somewhere there,” said Jan Sroka.

As part of the celebration the Association of Home Army Soldiers being the prisoners of Soviet camps is going to visit Vilnius Calvary and Pavilnys today. The celebrations of the Association will end on Monday in Paneriai.

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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