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Lest We Forget

Memorial plaques in Siedlce

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Galeria Siedlce Shopping Mall

Galeria Siedlce Shopping Mall

Memorial, or commemorative plaques adorn many buildings in Siedlce. They seem to be everywhere you go. These memorial plaques complement the facades of the buildings and are always informational for us. They often stand out from the rest of the exterior, therefore you can’t fail to notice them as you pass by. These plaques mosty celebrate significant people, who used to live in this place or the Polish national heroes revered by the entire country or the historic events connected with them.
We were impressed by two memorial plaques attached to the walls of the buildings next to Galeria Siedlce Shopping Mall:

  • Józef Piłsudski memorial plaque;
  • the Battle of Warsaw of 1920 memorial plaque.

The memorial plaque to Józef Piłsudski is in the street bearing his name. We read the inscription on it.

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There is an impressive memorial plaque, which you can see entering the front entrance to Galeria Shopping Mall. It is dedicated to the centenary of the Battle of Warsaw of 1920. That battle became known as “The Miracle on the Vistula".

Battle of Warsaw memorial plaque, Siedlce

Battle of Warsaw memorial plaque, Siedlce


Albert Chmeliowski memorial, Siedlce

Albert Chmeliowski memorial, Siedlce

Albert Chmeliowski, aka Saint Albert Chmielowski and Saint Brother Albert; of Jastrzębiec. (1845 – 1916) was a Polish Franciscan monk, the founder of the Albertine and Albertine Congregation. He is known for his dedicated work for the poor and homeless.

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There is a memorial plaque dedicated to the visit of John Paul II to Siedlce on June 10, 1999. It is at the entrance to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary.
This cathedral commemorates the fallen war heroes as well. We saw a memorial plaque commemorating the fallen soldiers and officers of the Polish Army, who fell during the WWII.

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The inscription on the memorial plaque that is attached to the wall of the cathedral lobby reads,

To the soldiers of the 9th Podlasie Division of the Polish Army
who fell in the fight for Poland's Independence in 1939-1944

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Other memorial plaques in the cathedral lobby are dedicated to:

  • Prelate Józef Scipio del Campo, the first president of the Siedlce branch of the Polish Society of Monuments, on the 100th anniversary of its establishment, 2008;
  • Priest Alfred Hoffmann (1923-1994), for 39 years of his divine service at Siedlce Cathedral;
  • Julian Toczyski, a sworn lawyer, the president of the Charity Society, the vice president of the Church Construction Committee in Siedlce;
  • Stefanja Cizmajer (born on August 30, 1896, died on February 14, 1919 in Woronez). Almighty God, keep a candle for her angelic soul.

We saw that local churches contained numerous memorial plaque dedicted to outstanding parishioners, priests and war heroes. We noticed two memorial plaques in the lobby of the Garrison Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The Siberians' memorial plaque inside the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Siedlce

The Siberians' memorial plaque inside the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Siedlce

The impressive Siberians memorial plaque contains an image of Our Lady from the Borowicze camp with the date 22.01.1946. In addition, there is an image of the observation tower of concentration camp with barbed wire, a piece of a railway line and a handmade wooden cross. The inscription reads,

To commemorate those, who died defending their homeland, who were murdered in prisons, tortured on the way to Siberia, died in the taiga and in concentration camps. They offered their suffering to God and to their homeland.
Grateful to God for the miracle of salvation and return to the homeland -
soldiers of the Home Army and of the People’s Army – the Siberians
from the Borowice camps.

Siedlce, Anno Domini 2003
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Władysław Kaminski memorial plaque, Siedlce
RIP
Lieutenant Colonel Władysław Kaminski
1897-1944,
a soldier of the 5th Infantry Division of the Army of General Władysław Anders,
who died in the field of glory in the battle of Monte Cassino on May 17, 1944.

On the anniversary of his death
Grateful residents of Siedlce
May 2006

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A memorial plaque opposite the monument to John Paul II, Siedlce

A memorial plaque opposite the monument to John Paul II, Siedlce

We saw this memorial plaque in John Paul II Square. It is located opposite the monument to Pope John Paul II and explains us a lot about the place. The thing is there are many stained steel circle attached to the pavement around the statue of John Paul II. Those steel circles contain the names of villages or towns of the region. Now we know that those names are not accidental. They represent the places, where Christian martyrs lived and the circles are placed above the containers with pieces of soil from those places. The inscription on the enlightening memorial plaque reads,
The martyrs’ land was sealed here solemnly in the year of the Great Jubilee of Christianity to commemorate the People of God living in Podlasie, who throughout the history had to defend their faith in front of Christ's Cross and suffered the greatest sacrifices for their loyalty to the Church and to the Father.

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You can see many other memorials and monuments commemorating the martyrs of this land. We saw such memorial plaques in the entrance lobby of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary. We liked this cathedral and frequent it for prayers, sometimes attending the liturgy.
The memorial plaque located to the left of the cross is dedicated to the Defenders of Faith, and the right one is dedicated to the faithful, who became the Martyrs of Podlasie. The former memorial plaque reads,
On the centenary of the martyrdom of the Uniates of Podlasie, 1874-1974
To the defenders of faith, the heroic bishops of the Roman Catholic diocese of Podlasie and the Uniate diocese of Chełm, sacrificial and brave Podlasie priests providing, despite heavy penalties, religious assistance to the Uniates. They were full of dedication, fearless missionaries of the Society of Jesus.

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The latter memorial plaque reads,
Eternal memory to the Servants of God's murdered on January 24, 1874, at the church gate in Pratulin, as well as to all Martyrs of Podlasie, both priests and the faithful, who during the attempt to detach their church with lawlessness and violence from the unity with the Holy See, endured suffering and sacrificed their lives making a testimony to Christ's truth, becoming the glory of the Church, the pride of the nation, an example for their descendants.

The heirs of their faith and beliefs placed these boards.
The clergy and the faithful of the Diocese of Siedlce .

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Wincent Witos memorial plaque, Siedlce

We saw this amazing memorial plaque on the wall of the old city prison. The iscription reads,

In tribute to Wincent Witos, peasants’ and people’s leader, co-creator of independent Poland.
He was convicted in the political Trial of Brest.
After returning to the country from political emigration, he was imprisoned in Siedlce in April 1939.

Museum of the Polish History
Marshal of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship
Siedlce Land Society
October 17, 2021

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The Freedom Fighters memorial plaque containes the names of the soldiers, who perished during the WWII.
The inscription on the memorial plaque reads,

To the soldiers of the Polish People’s Army, who perished in the battle for the liberation of Siedlce 24.07 – 31.07.1944:
Roman “The Merry One” Gostkowski,
Karol “Miner” Lewandowski
Lucjan “Fierce” Lugowski
Jan “Possible” Oldakowski
Zbigniew “Raven” Pliszka
Josef “Yog” Wolosz

For posterity
Siedlce community and comrades-in-arms

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Foresters war memorial/Wacław Rogiński memorial plaque in Boleslaw Prus Street
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Confederation of Independent Poland memorial plaque
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Memorial plaque at the building that was used by the Nazi Gestapo during WWII.
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The memorial plaque attached to the wall of Wiadukt Łukowski (Łukow Bridge) reads,

This object was mined by the German troops. The Home Army of the Siedlce region fought for it from July 24 until Jule 31, 1944.
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This memorial plaque stands in Pilsudski Street in fromt of Siedlce Counry Administration.
The inscription on the memorial plaque is in Polish, Hebrew and Polish. It reads,
The ghetto in Siedlce was established in November 1940. On October 1, 1941 it was sealed with a barbed-wire barrier. The liquidation of the ghetto took place on August 22-24, 1942. There was an old Jewish cemeter beside the synagogue, where the oldest headstones (matzevah) dated back to 1630. Here the Germans set up the Umshlagsplatz - the place where all local Jews were gathered before their deportation to the death camp in Treblinka. The gathered Jews were ordered not to raise their heads, so they had to lie or sit hunched on the ground; anyone who did not comply was shot. At least a few dozen Jews were killed this way. Within the Siedlce County, barely 200 Jews survived in hiding until the end of the war with the help of the local population.
In 1953, a monument was erected commemorating the holocaust of the Jews from Siedlce and the surrounding communities.
The inscription on the memorial reads in Polish and Hebrew,
The place sanctified by the blood of 17,000 Jews, the victims of the Nazi genocide”.

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We saw this memorial plaque attached to a building in Pilsudski Street. The inscription reads,
At this place, the soldiers of Siedlce District of the Home Army
Marian "Wildcat" Bulik,
Zygmunt Ludwik "Zygmunt" Koczkodai

on December 15, 1943, performed the verdict that was made by the people
and killed the head of the Gestapo security police in Siedlce, Radzyń and Łuków.
Glory to the heroes of the Home Army.

According to the local historians, the liquidation was carried out by the Corporal Zygmunt Koczkodaj "Zygmunt " and Marian Bulik "Wildcat". Julius Dubbe, the head of the Gestapo for the districts and cities of Siedlce, Łuków and Radzyń, was sentenced to death by the Warsaw Special Military Court. This attack was pure improvisation. Zygmunt Koczkodaj "Zygmunt", one of the members of the group that was appointed to liquidate Dubbe, met Dubbe at a hairdresser in Siedlce. He quickly got out of there and ran for his colleague, who was also assigned to this task – Marian Bulik "Wildcat". When they returned to the barber shop with their guns, Dubbe was no longer there. However, they saw his car at the bookstore. They waited for a while, and when Dubbe left, they shot him and then fled unmolested.
We found out that the actions of the Polish underground army against the police and auxiliary formations of the invaders took place throughout the country were retaliatory in nature. They were the so-called liquidation actions, carried out on the basis of the verdicts of the Special Military Courts. They primarily targeted the security police agency, its network of confidants and espionage, that were recruited from the people, who, for many reasons, collaborated with the invaders. Actions of this type also directly targeted officers of the Nazi security police, and other police formations.

Solidarity memorial plaque in Kokhanovski Street, Siedlce

Solidarity memorial plaque in Kokhanovski Street, Siedlce

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Several memorial plaques are dedicated to the Polish independence movement called "Solidarity" that was active during the Cold War period in the Communist times, or, as locals say, "during the Commune".
One of these memorial plaques is attached to the building that housed the local headquarters of Solidarity.
The inscription reads,

Nations that lose their memory, lose their freedom.
In this house, the headquarters of the nationwide anti-occupation strike was located.
The strike took place from November 5 until December 14, 1981.
Installed on the 10th anniversary of the Solidarity Movement.
Refurbished thanks to the efforts of NSZZ Solidarność,
November 2012

We saw another memorial plaque dedicated to the activities of Solidarity Movement in the city, this time in Kazimier Pulaski Street. It is dedicated to Siedlce Underground Radio. The coat-of-arms of Siedlce, the emblem of Siedlce Underground Radio and the emblem of the Mazovian branch of Solidarity are above the inscription.

Siedlce Underground Radio memorial plaque at 47 Kazimier Pulaski Street, Siedlce

Siedlce Underground Radio memorial plaque at 47 Kazimier Pulaski Street, Siedlce


The inscription reads,
“From this building at 47 Kazimier Pulaski Street, on June 16, 1984 at 19.45 on TVP program, the first broadcast of the Solidarity underground radio in Siedlce took place. This underground radio was broadcast in the years 1984-89. The radio team prepared 46 broadcasts, and they were broadcast over 100 times from transmitters located in various areas of Siedlce.
The Underground Radio Society
Solidarity
Siedlce
Siedlce, June 16, 2015»
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We saw the Polish Independence Centenary memorial plaque in the courtyard of St.Joseph's Church.
Colonel Ryszard  Kukliński memorial plaque at 13 Priest Jan Niedzielek Street, Siedlce

Colonel Ryszard Kukliński memorial plaque at 13 Priest Jan Niedzielek Street, Siedlce

Ryszard Kukliński, whose pseudonyms were "Jack Strong"and "Mewa" (1930 - 2004) was a colonel of the Polish People's Army, deputy head of the Operational Board of the General Staff of the Polish Army. He was an intelligence agent of the CIA, who is known to have provided the US with secret documents concerning actions and strategic decisions.

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There is a memorial cross at the intersection of Sienkiewicz Street and Świętojańska Street.

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Pantaleon Potocki memorial cross, 1919

It was dedicated on May 3, 1919 to commemorate Pantaleon Potocki (1817-1846), a Polish nobleman, who fought against the Russian oppression.

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The memorial plaque at the foot of the cross reads,
On this place on 17.03.1846,
Pantaleon Potocki , born in 1818 in the village of Cisie,
the commander of the insurgent group,
was hanged by the Russians.

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The memorial plaque at the building of the State Archives in Siedlce
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The memorial plaque at the wall of the Oginski Palace, Siedlce

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There is a memorial plaque on the wall of an old school that is now St. Queen Jadwiga High School with Bilingual Classes in Siedlce.
The plaque contains sketches, made by a graduate of II LO Lyceum in Siedlce Marta Świderska.
The sketches represent the school building the way it looked in 1934.
The inscription on the memorial plaque reads,

From 1916, at Konarskiego Street,
Jadwiga Barszczewska's girls’ school was located.
From May 1919, it was called
Queen Jadwiga State Junior High School in Siedlce.
The school buildings were destroyed during World War II.

Dedicated to the centenary of the nationalization
of Jadwiga Barszczewska’s school.

The commemorative plaque
was funded by the Królówka Community.

Siedlce
2019

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In addition, we noticed three memorial plaques at the building of the old city post-office. They are dedicated to freedom fighters, who fell in the battles of World War II.

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On the tragic night of April 12/13, 1945, from this building that served as the headquarters of the Security Office and from the family houses, 16 Poles were taken out — the soldiers of the People’s Army, fighters from partisan detachments and other independence organizations. They were shot on the city outskirts, and their bodies were left at the crime scene.

1. - Zbigniew Szczuka
2. - Roman Krystosiak
3. - Mieczyslaw Pilarczyk
4. - Zigmunt Pilarczyk
5. - Henryk Popek
6. - N.N.
7. - N.N.
8. - N.N.
9. - Waclaw Chacinski
10. - Stanislaw Chacinski
11. - Zbigniew Byczyński
12. - Aleksander Wierzejski
13. - N.N.
14. - N.N.
15. - N.N.
16. - N.N.

Honor their memory.

The memorial plaque was funded by the society on the initiative of the Veterans’ Union and the Siberians’ Union in Siedlce as the eternal remembrance for the living and as a warning to the butchers. The Polish security officers in Siedlce guided by an NKVD officer were guilty of this murder.
Siedlce, 1998

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Memorial plaques at the building of the old city post-office.

There is the National Forests memorial plaque in Alexandria Park. It is attached to a granite stone that lies next to a young oak.

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The monument to the centenary of the Regional Directorate of State Forests, Siedlce. The memorial plaque reads,
The Europen oak
Planted by foresters to commemorate the centenary of the history of the Regional Directorate of State Forests in Warsaw

Siedlce June 2022.
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Posted by Vic_IV 21:38 Archived in Poland Tagged the on army miracle masovia mazovia siedlce oginski hme pilsudski vistula

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Comments

On the one hand it is not good that we see all those plaques because of what happened, but it is indeed so we don't forget all the tragedies that went on! Thanks for sharing!

by Ils1976

Thanks for reading an commenting, ils! I agree with you. We can't get rid of those tragedies and we remember our fallen heroes...

by Vic_IV

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