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Poland tears down four communist-era monuments to Red Army amid decommunization of public space

Glybczyce, Poland. Source: IPN
Poland tears down four communist-era monuments to Red Army amid decommunization of public space
On 27 October, Poland dismantled four monuments glorifying the soviet-era Red Army in four different towns, Glubczyce and Byczyna (Opole region), Bobolice (West Pomerania region), and Staszow (Świętokrzyskie region), Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) reported. The dismantling of monuments was carried out under the law that prohibits the propagation of communism or any other totalitarian system amid the decommunisation of the public space ongoing in Poland.

For years, Poland has been removing from the public space the symbols of Moscow’s past occupation, taking away monuments and plaques, although the drive does not include cemeteries.

IPN President Karol Nawrocki stressed that the Soviet monuments dismantled on 27 October are a symbol of enslavement, not liberation:

“Symbol of the system which, after 1945, subjected half of Europe, including Poland. Symbol of the system that murdered Polish workers and anti-communist opposition activists. Finally, a symbol of the system that inspires today’s leaders of the Russian Federation, that are responsible for the war in Ukraine.”

Russia argues that it liberated Poland when its forces drove out German Nazis at the end of the war, while most Poles believe that the Soviet Union replaced Nazi occupation with another form of repression.

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