An article by Jarosław Szarek, the head of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), was published on the blog of the independent Russian radio, Echo of Moscow, ahead of the upcoming 230th anniversary of the first constitution in Europe, the Constitution of 3rd May.
In an extensive text, published on Thursday, Mr Szarek pointed out that even under the partitions, “the idea of the authors of the first constitution in Europe persisted in literary works and songs.”
“The cry May 3rd! has been accompanying patriotic demonstrations of Poles all over the world for over 200 years,” he added.
However, as the head of IPN stated, “it was only in 1916 that this anniversary was freely celebrated in Warsaw, abandoned by the Russians.”
“On the threshold of regained freedom, the [Second] Republic of Poland made May 3 a national holiday,” and a few years later the anniversary of the adoption of the constitution also became a church holiday.
In his article, Mr Szarek described how during the Nazi occupation “every May 3, churches were filled with the faithful, and the underground organisations would carry out occasional actions.”
“Although the capture of Berlin put and end to the genocidal German occupation of Poland, it was the beginning of the communist slavery imposed by the Soviet Union at the same time,” the IPN head said.
The author pointed out that the communist authorities banned the celebration on May 3 and brutally suppressed the gatherings of people who wanted to celebrate the anniversary.
On the occasion of the 230th anniversary of the Constitution of May 3rd, over 50 media outlets around the world will publish texts written by Polish politicians, historians and intellectuals this weekend. This is the next edition of the project "We tell Poland to the world", conducted by the Institute of New Media (INM). This edition takes place with the support of the Institute of National Remembrance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, KGHM Polska Miedź SA and the Polish Press Agency.