Memorial Day in Poland
Additionally, with commemorating events on the anniversary of the end of the Second World War, Polish authorities also commemorate the memory of the millions of Ukrainians killed in this war
One of those who observed the day was Yan Skovorn, a World War II veteran, who fought in the French army.
In 1945 he celebrated the Victory over the Nazis – in Paris. Afterwards, he was sent to Poland to reinforce local soldiers – and remained there to serve. On the 74th anniversary, like many before, Skovorn marked the occasion in Warsaw.
“I remember Victory Day very well. At the end of the war, I was in Paris as an officer, sent on business. In Nov. 1945, our unit was sent to Warsaw. The city was destroyed. I was glad the war was over. It was a tragic one. I think the most important thing is that the whole world should be happy,” he said.
Polish war veterans and military personnel gathered at the tomb of the unknown soldier to honor those killed in WW II.
In Warsaw, the memory of the millions of Ukrainians killed was honored with a prayer in the Orthodox Military Ordinariate church.
“Almost 10.5 million lives were the price of Ukraine’s contribution to the victory; the military personnel, the civilians, the children and the elderly, who gave their lives for peace in Europe – and for us in Ukraine, to preserve our independence and identity – and for today’s generation to have the opportunity to live, flourish and have a bright future,” Attache for Defence at the Ukrainian embassy in Poland Yuriy Pavlov said.
“We remember the Ukrainians, who suffered huge losses during the Second World War. Generally, we speak about the soldiers who went with Soviet troops from the east. But a lot of Ukrainians fought within the Polish II Corps (in Italy),” Polish defense Minister 1992-1993, 1997-2000 Janusz Onyszkiewicz said.
An exhibition about the role Ukrainians played in the Second World War was also presented. Photos and information describe the massacres at Babyn Yar, about how Ukrainians contributed to foreign troop deployments – as well as their contribution to the victory over Nazism.