May 7, 2018




The Proclamation of Połaniec was issued on May 7, 1794 by Tadeusz Kościuszko near the town of Połanic. It was one of the most notable events of Poland's Kościuszko Uprising, and the most famous legal act of the Uprising. It partially abolished serfdom as well as permitted substantial civil liberties to all the peasants. Kosciuszko was a liberal and a reformer and believed that serfdom should be abolished.  By freeing the peasants, the Uprising was able to encourage many new recruits, which it desperately needed. Tadeusz Kosciuszko was a statesman,  military engineer and leader, who became a national hero in Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, and the United States. He fought in the Uprisings against  Russia and Prussia, and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to fight on the American side in the American Revolutionary War. As Supreme Commander of the Polish National Armed Forces, he led the 1794 Kościuszko Uprising. Today his memory and name are honored in numerous tributes and memorials in Poland and around the world.


The Battle of Kuryłówka was fought in southeastern Poland between anti-communists and Soviet NKVD units. The battle ended in a victory for the underground Polish forces. Even after Victory Day, the Soviet NKVD were hunting political opponents and freedom fighters. Soviets continued their rampage to persecute any members of the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa) who were loyal to the legitimate Polish Government in Exile in London. The Soviet crackdown resulted in a resurgence of fierce Polish resistance. General Leopold Okulicki, General of the Polish underground army, formally disbanded the Home Army on January 19, 1945 but several members continued to fight for a free Poland. The Soviets were not seen as "liberators", but as occupiers.  New Polish resistance groups were formed, such as Wolność i Niezawisłość, Narodowe Siły Zbrojne, NIE or Narodowe Zjednoczenie Wojskowe.

German general Alfred Jodl and admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg signed unconditional surrender documents at 2:41 a.m. at General Dwight D. Eisenhower's headquarters in Reims.

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