The National Day of Cursed Soldiers is observed on the 1st of March. However, students and teachers from the school number 8 in Wrocław are celebrating it today – with a solemn assembly including an artistic part: execution scenes and flares usually used by hooligans at football matches. An anti-Semitic poem was also supposed to be recited but after parents’ intervention, the headmaster changed the line-up.Senior students and their class teacher, an English teacher, were the initiators of this idea. They proposed it to the headmaster, representatives of the Odra-Niemen Association, AK (Armia Krajowa – National Army) combatants and IPN’s representatives (Instytut Pamięci Narodowej – Institute of National Memory) were invited, as well as some representatives of the Ministry of Education.
During the celebrations at the school, students were supposed to recite a fragment of Leszek Czajkowski’s poem titled “To the Cursed Soldiers”. Czajkowski is an employee of the Office for Combatants and Victimised People, ex-member of the Republican League and Man of the Year of “Gazeta Polska”. He’s called – a bit exaggeratedly – the right-wing bard.
Students were told to learn the lyrics of the poem by heart. When their parents heard the poem, they informed the Wyborcza newspaper.
Asked about the lyrics, the headmaster Krystyna Socha replied in an e-mail: ‘The cited poem was considered by the teachers as inadequate for public recitation at school and will not be used during the celebrations.’
Other elements of the assembly were left unchanged. Its main point are Cursed Soldiers’ execution scenes, including Danuta Śledzikówna “Inka” – AK paramedic from the 5th Brigade from Vilnius, sentenced to death, shot by the UB (Urząd Bezpieczeństwa – Security Office) at the prison on Kurkowa street in Gdańsk. Scenes are to be played by the students.
The headmaster, when asked about the inappropriate scenes, said that attending the assembly was voluntary, and obscenic scenes would be seen by the volunteers only.
Socha also explains: Nowadays young people are used to gaining knowledge through images. The organisers wanted to influence students’ imagination by showing the number of oppressions and executions which the Cursed Soldiers experienced. Bare-bone statistic data will not reflect the tragedy of these people and times.
Preparations for the celebrations have been going on for a week. According to one of the parents, last Thursday teenangers were hanging a giant transparent with a symbol of “Polska Walcząca” (Poland fighting) and “Pamiętamy” (We remember) from the school roof.
For an extra effect, flares were fired around them. They are also supposed to be fired today. However, the headmaster states that she doesn’t see a problem in using pyrotechnics.
The fire show rehearsal which took place in the school area, was a part of preparations and was fully secured according to safety standards – wrote Krystyna Socha, answering the questions of Wyborcza – I, as the school headmaster and manager took care of the children’s safety. The canvas with “Polska Walcząca” symbols was hanged not from the roof (it’s not safe) but from the first floor.
It is yet to be seen if the so called “volunteers”, who will be the spectators of these celebrations, will find the showappropriate and to their liking.