Seventy-six years ago Polish soldiers under the command of General Władysław Anders spilt their blood for a free Europe storming and capturing the German-occupied abbey on top of Monte Cassino, Italy. Now their sacrifice will be commemorated with a memorial.
The monument will be completed by the 50th anniversary of Władysław Anders’ death, that is May 12, 2020, and unveiled on May 18 or 19, 2020. The construction is the initiative of the authorities of the Italian town of Cassino and the organisers of a run that commemorates Poles who fell during the battle for the abbey and the hill.
“We are convinced that we must show our gratitude to Poles, especially to the heroic soldiers who fought 76 years ago at Monte Cassino,” said Enzo Salera, the mayor of Cassino, adding “thus the construction of the memorial to General Anders and 1,057 soldiers under his command who fell fighting for freedom, will help preserve the memory of their deeds for future generations.”
Polish athlete Bogusław Mamiński is one of the initiators of the construction of the monument and the organiser of the “Monte Cassino Run”. He expressed his hope that it will broaden awareness about the Polish soldiers who fought in Italy.
“We managed to convince the town authorities that the tourist tour route should start not at the car park by the cemetery of the Polish soldiers but by the memorial in the town itself,” said Mr Mamiński, adding that the monument will also be the first stop on an educational path that will guide tourists, when they arrive, through the most important Monte Cassino sites.
Poland’s Ambassador to Italy and the daughter of General Anders Anna Maria Anders made no secret of her joy at the development. “The most important thing is that a monument will be raised in his and his soldiers’ name,” she said.
The monument will be designed by Giacomo Bianchi, who said that his design will be a very symbolic one. Golden letters forming the names of the fallen Polish soldiers will be engraved on a 19-metre-long black granite wall. Stones brought from Poland will be placed on a surface of 144 square metres to symbolise young people, who fell in the battle of Monte Cassino. The bronze statue of General Władysław Anders will be the only figurative representation within the entire design.