HISTORY AUGUST

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15/08/1920 Bitwa  pod Radzyminem The battle for Radzymin, which is close to Warsaw is also known as the "Miracle on the Vistula" in which the Polish army stopped the Bolshevik Red army entering the city and chased them deep into the newly created land of the Soviets. This way the Polish forces stopped the expansion of communism into Europe. Having broken the Russian’s communication codes as early as 1919, the Polish counteroffensive was well planned and executed. The Battle of Warsaw is recognized as one of the 18 breakthrough battles of the world.

 

31/08/1939 Gliwice - An attack on the radio station mast was used as a pretext for the German invasion of Poland. At 20:00 German troops dressed in Polish uniforms pretending to be Silesian insurgents attacked the German Broadcasting Tower in Gliwice then a town on the German side of the border. This was one of Nazi Germany’s many propaganda activities aimed at convincing England and France that Poles themselves started the war and therefore justifying a German invasion. It was meant to have stopped France and England from any immediate intervention.  

 

 

 

01/08/1944 outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising - Zero Hour ‘W’ 17:00

 

The Warsaw Uprising was targeted militarily against the German occupants and politically against the Soviet Union. It was organised by the Home Army (Armia Krajowa, AK) and initiated by the action called "Storm". At the same time the highest AK command was exposed as the structure of the Underground State.

 

In the autumn of 1943, it became obvious that Poland will not be liberated by the Allies but instead by Hitler’s earlier collaborators, the Soviet Red Army. Stalin broke off diplomatic relations with the Polish Government in exile and when in the summer of 1944 the front was located near Warsaw the Red Army stayed outside of the city waiting. On the 21st of July the commander of the AK gave the preliminary consent to start the Uprising. At the same time communist backed Polish Committee of National Liberation was established and usurped the right to represent Polish affairs. The Uprising was targeted at ridding Warsaw of German troops but also at making it possible to re-establish Polish independence. The failure of the Uprising can squarely be placed on the Soviet Red Army who just waited on the right bank of the Vistula while the city struggled heroically for 63 days without any support.

 

 

 

31/08/1980 Signing of the August Agreements in Gdańsk, Szczecin, Jastrzębie Zdrój and Huta Katowice with 21 demands submitted by the shipyards in 17.08.1980. Representatives of workers and the communist government signed the Agreement in Gdansk. The most important strike in recent Polish history, the strike that changed history and led to the independence of Poland and to the fall of the communist hold on Central and Eastern Europe began in Gdansk. The shipyard workers demanded the reinstatement of Andrzej Kołodziej, Anna Walentynowicz and Lech Wałesa, to build a monument commemorating the victims of the massacre of workers in December 1970, and a wage increase with a family allowance which soldiers and policemen already received. The strike turned into the Solidarity strike on Walesa's decision on August 16 and ended with the signing of agreements with the 21 demands on 31 August 1980.

 

For the first time in world history a totalitarian regime was overthrown by a workers union without a war. While dialogue was the major force we need to remember that later many paid the highest price, sacrificing their lives for the freedom of others. These included the miners killed at the ‘Wujek’ Mine (16.12.1981), young Grzegorz Przemyk (14.05.1983) and Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko (19.10.1984). Others whose names are less known also died tortured by the forces of the totalitarian state and in defence of the idea of ​​Solidarność in which many Poles deeply believed at that time.

 
 
 
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