Pictures and texts about Monte Cassino battle exhibited in Warsaw

The exhibition “Monte Cassino. On the 75th anniversary of the battle” was opened in the Open-Air Gallery of the Łazienki Królewskie Museum in Warsaw.

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The exhibition concerns the role played by the soldiers of the 2nd Polish Corps during the battle for the Monte Cassino during the Italian campaign of the Allies during WWII in 1944.

The photographs and texts included in the exhibition come from numerous world collections, including from London's Imperial War Museum, The Bundeswehr Military History Museum in Dresden, The Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum in London, New Zealand's National Library, the archives of the town of Cassino, the archives of the French Ministry of Defence, as well as photographs from a number of Polish collections and institutions.

Piotr Gliński, the deputy PM and Culture and National Heritage Minister said that this exhibition is a tribute to “exceptional heroes.”

“75 years ago Polish soldiers fought for the freedom of Poland, but also for their honour, because a few months before the battle, the political decisions ‘which were decisive to the fate of WWII's outcome were made, but they did not look at them. They fulfilled their obligations for the homeland to the end,” Mr Gliński said.

Zbigniew Wawer, the director of the Łazienki Królewskie Museum, said that the photographs and texts presented in the exhibition show the heroism of Polish and Allied soldiers, especially from New Zealand.

Mary Thurston, the ambassador of New Zealand to Poland, thanked the organisers of the exhibition for the commemoration of the soldiers from her country. She highlighted the attack of the 28th Maori Battalion on Monte Cassino railway station, which was “one of the bravest, but unsuccessful attempts to gain control over Monte Cassino, the Liri valley and the road to Rome.”

The New Zealand troops also supported the Polish and British soldiers on May 18, 1944, when the monastery on Monte Cassino hill was finally captured by the 12th Podolian Uhlan Regiment.

The Polish battles for this objective lasted for 13 days and were very intense. The siege claimed the lives of 923 soldiers and 2,931 were injured.