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Zapraszamy do przeczytania przemówienia Ambasadora Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej w Australii Pana Michała Kołodziejskiego, które wygłosił podczas inauguracji wystawy „Walka i cierpienia” w Parlamencie Wiktoriańskim 29 sierpnia br.
Speech by the Ambassador of Poland H.E. Michał Kołodziejski – official launch of the exhibition “Fighting and Suffering. Polish citizens during World War II” Queen’s Hall, Victorian Parliament (Melbourne, 29 August 2019).
The Honourable Robin Scott MP, Minister for Veterans,
The Honourable Colin Brooks MP, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly,
The Honourable Nick Wakeling MP, representing the Leader of the Opposition,
The Honourable Bruce Atkinson MLC, parliamentary sponsor of the exhibition,
Ms. Natalie Suleyman MP, co-chairmen of the Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Poland,
The Honourable Members of both Houses of Parliament,
Dr George Łuk-Kozika OAM, Honorary Consul-General of Poland and Members of the Consular Corps in Victoria,
Mr. Marian Pawlik OAM, President of the Polish Community Council of Victoria,
And all distinguished Members of Polish community,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great honour to welcome you at the official launch of the exhibition “Fighting and Suffering. Polish citizens during World War II”. I am pleased that we can inaugurate the events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War in such an iconic venue in Melbourne.
The exhibition we are launching today is part of a wide campaign – it will be simultaneously presented on all 6 inhabited continents, in over 80 locations, in 60 countries all around the world. We are glad to have Australia on this list, first Melbourne, then Sydney and Canberra.
Today’s event wouldn’t be possible without our friends and partners. Thus, I would like to express my thanks to all who contributed to it, especially The Hon. MPs: Bruce Atkinson and Nick Wakeling.
Special words of appreciation go to the Polish Community Council of Victoria and its President Marian Pawlik. Thank you for your support in promoting Polish history in Australia.
The aim of this project is to build historical awareness about tragic Polish war experiences at the same time warning future generations about the calamities of war.
It must be remembered that both Nazi and Soviet occupiers sought to wipe out our country from the map. We had to fight two totalitarian regimes. It may be stating the obvious for you, but regrettably not for everyone, especially not for the younger generation.
That is why we want to remind, also here in Australia, that the world that WWII started in Poland. Not when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, nor when Pearl Harbour was bombed but when Nazi Germany attacked Poland on the 1st of September 1939.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The exhibition shows how Poland was for six years trapped between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union. But it also tells extraordinary stories of resistance, courage and brotherhood, with a special panel dedicated to Polish-Australian links entitled “Brothers in arms”.
Let me remind you that just a year ago Polish President Andrzej Duda during his state visit to Australia participated in the service at the Shrine of Remembrance here in Melbourne to mark the 77th anniversary of the relief of the Australian 9th Division by the Polish Carpathian Brigade during the siege of Tobruk of 1941.
Today, we once again wish to commemorate the comradeship and enduring friendships instilled by many veterans who earned themselves the famous nickname of the Rats of Tobruk.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Anniversaries serve to commemorate and pay respects to those who fought for our freedom and sovereignty. But the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII also makes us realize that much has changed since then.
Therefore, I would also like to mention three other, more recent, and optimistic anniversaries that Poland celebrates this year. Namely:
- the fall of communism 30 years ago, in 1989;
- the accession of Poland to NATO 20 years ago,
- as well as the 15th anniversary our entry into the European Union.
These three important events symbolically crowned our long journey since regaining our independence one hundred and one years ago. WWII was by far the most painful chapter of this journey. It now belongs to the past but we have a duty to keep the memory alive. And we will continue working with our partners in Europe, Australia and around the world so that the horrors of the past never re-emerge.
Honour and glory to the heroes!
Thank you all, once again, for your presence here today.
And now it is my pleasure to declare the exhibition open.
Przemówienie Ambasadora RP udostępniamy za przyzwoleniem Ambasady Polskiej w Canberze.