Freedom Arrived from Podgórze

Temporary exhibitions

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  • Wednesday, October 31, 2018, 3:00 PM - Sunday, March 24, 2019

Although we celebrate Independence Day on 11 November – the date of the Armistice that marked the end of the First World War – the truth is that Poland was liberated gradually throughout the autumn of 1918. In the early morning of 31 October in Kraków, soldiers stationed at the barracks at Kalwaryjska Street in Podgórze were ordered by Lieutenant Antoni Stawarz to disarm the Austrian garrison, with similar orders being carried out at the barracks at Wielicka Street. Wearing white-and-red ribbons pinned to their uniforms, the soldiers then marched towards the centre of Kraków. As they liberated government and military buildings along the way, they were joined by rejoicing Cracovians. When it turned out that the police officers summoned to quell the unrest had actually declared themselves subordinate to the Polish Liquidation Committee, founded just days earlier on 28 October, the Austrians were forced to surrender any authority over the city. At the same time, the division seconded by Lt. Stawarz took over the main garrison guard stationed at the Town Hall Tower in the Main Market Square. A white-and-red flag was raised over the guardroom next to the main building. Kraków was free! We will learn more about those electrifying moments at the exhibitions Freedom Arrived from Podgórze at the Podgórze Museum and the Tower of Remembrance at the Town Hall Tower, organised by the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków. The latter also recalls the day of the Unification of the Armed Forces on 19 October 1919, marked by a parade received at the Main Market Square by Józef Piłsudski and marking the symbolic culmination of the formation of the new Polish Army. (dd)

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