15th of August

15th of August

The Polish National Holiday 15th of August has two sources: one religious and one historical. From the religious point of view it is the holiday of St. Mary, celebrated in various countries of Europe – the feast of the Assumption of Mary. The date, however, coincided with one of the greatest victories of Poland – the so called Battle of Warsaw held in middle of August in 1920. And it became also the holiday of Polish Army. A big military parade is planned for this day in Warsaw on Wednesday. Mind that our hotels are located on Bitwy Warszawskiej Street – the name of the street is just the name of this battle.

The story of the battle can be found in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Warsaw_(1920). To make the long story short we should mention that the Polish Army defeated the Russian troops, despite the real danger that the victory would be on the other side, and the communism would spread around Europe. Not a pleasant scenario.

Interesting that the hero of this battle – marshall Józef Piłsudski, who was the main commander, later leader of Poland – was considered one of the most hated enemies during communist times. His name was erased from all history books and censorship forbid mentioning his name even in bad context. His name should just disappear, according to communist historians. Now, despite of his later controversial and antidemocratic activities, he is considered one of the greatest national heroes. And, undisputably, the Battle of Warsaw is shining in his biography as one of the turning moments in Polish, or even European history.

Piotr Chrząstowski-Wachtel

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