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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • CULTURAL COOPERATION

  • 18 September 2019

    Polish defense attaché captain (Navy) Zbigniew Romanowski, Consul Dobrosława Siemianowska, British defense attaché, as well as representatives of the Polish-Danish community of Næstved and Polish diaspora in Denmark gathered on 15 September 2019 in Slaglille to pay their respects to the fallen airmen. The commemoration of the 76th anniversary of the RAF Halifax 309 aircraft crash over Slaglille began with the wreath-laying ceremony held in the presence of Danish National Guard’s ceremonial unit.

    Five Polish crewmembers of Halifax 309 of the 138 Royal Air Force Squadron died on 15 September 1943, while flying back from Poland after delivering two undercover paratroopers in an airlift mission. All airmen are buried at the local Slaglille cemetery. We owe the preservation of this unique place of remembrance to the local inhabitants who buried the pilots breaking the orders of German occupiers. Five members of Lauritz Christensen’s family, who died after the burning aircraft had crashed into their household, have also been buried at the cemetery. An ecumenical service to commemorate the victims of World War II was held by the pastor of Slaglille Anders Frederiksen, along with Roman-catholic priests – Julian Bodnar of Næstved and Michał Bieńkowski of Slagelse.

     

    Consul Siemianowska thanked the Næstved Polish-Danish community for organizing the event, stating that “over the years, the Community became the guardian of memory about the crash and the fallen airmen, as well as about the local Danes who had taken care of a decent burial for the Poles and had helped one survivor to escape. Certainly one cannot compare what Poland and Denmark had gone through during WWII in terms of casualties, the extent of damages, or number of soldiers on the front lines, nevertheless at places like Slaglille, the fates of Poles and Danes are visibly intertwined. The gestures of solidarity, fairness and devotion will be remembered. They are a valuable lesson for future generations.”

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