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Thursday, 4 July 2013

General Sikorski death anniversary commemorated

  |   General Sikorski death anniversary commemorated General Sikorski death anniversary commemorated General Sikorski death anniversary commemorated General Sikorski death anniversary commemorated General Sikorski death anniversary commemorated General Sikorski death anniversary commemorated General Sikorski death anniversary commemorated General Sikorski death anniversary commemorated General Sikorski death anniversary commemorated General Sikorski death anniversary commemorated General Sikorski death anniversary commemorated

 

A holy mass attended by President Bronisław Komorowski at the Wawel Cathedral on Thursday commemorated the 70th anniversary of death of General Wladyslaw Sikorski, commander-in-chief of Polish Army in exile.

 

Sikorski died in a plane crash on July 4, 1943 when a Liberator II AL523 plane taking the general back to London from the inspection of the Polish Army in the Middle East nose-dived into the sea 16 seconds after taking off from Gibraltar airport. The crash claimed the lives of the general's daughter Zofia Lesniewska, head of the general's staff Tadeusz Klimecki and seven other people. A Czech pilot survived the crash.

 

President Komorowski told reporters that he laid a wreath on behalf of the nation.

 

He added that this way he wanted to recall that after Sikorski's death obituary notices signed "the Nation" were seen all over the Nazi-Germany occupied Poland.

 

The president said that General Sikorski's death was a turning point in modern Poland's history causing a rift in support for Poland from the Western world and in Poland's dependence on the Soviet Union.

 

„(...) This sarcophagus here reminds us that the then lost battle (during WW2) became the foundation of freedom we enjoy nowadays," Komorowski stressed.

 

General Wladyslaw Sikorski was the co-author of the victory over the Red Army in 1920, Poland's prime minister in the inter-war period, and commander-in-chief of the Polish Armed Forces during WW2. The circumstances of his death still arouse controversy as reasons behind the crash have not been explained. According to the official version, presented by the British commission in 1943, the crash was caused by the aircraft's blocked elevator. Some believe it was a coup pointing out to the Soviet intelligence, England or Sikorski's Polish opponents as the perpetrators.

 

Sikorski was initially buried at the Polish pilots cemetery in Newark near Nottingham. On September 17, 1993 his ashes were transferred to the St. Leonard Crypt at the Wawel Cathedral. (PAP)

 

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