On Friday 19 October 2018 the second theme evening of this year, organized by the  VVAM, in community center ít Huukske te Arnhem bijgewoond. The theme this evening was the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade. We discussed the creation of the brigade, the creation of an deployable unit and the deployment during Operation Market Garden. Of course there was also attention for the role and significance of the brigade commander, general Sosabowski. After the presentation there was room for questions and discussion.
In September 1939, the Second World War began with the invasion of Poland by German and Russian troops. After the battle for Poland was lost many Polish soldiers fled abroad. The government also fled, first to France and then to London, where the Polish army was formed again. Polish soldiers fight under the slogan "For your freedom and ours" on the western front on the side of Americans, British and Canadians against the German aggressor. On June 6, 1944, the D-Day takes place which heralds the invasion of allied troops in Western Europe, known under the code name Operation Overlord. On the same day, the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade, which was set up in Scotland under the leadership of Colonel Stanisław Sosabowski to liberate Poland, officially came under British command.
The speaker for this evening was Dr. Florian Huiskamp. Florian is a historian and has worked as an officer in the Royal Netherlands Army since 2002. In addition to his work at the Ministry of Defence, as an external doctoral student at the RU Groningen, he wrote a dissertation on the Polish contribution to the liberation of Western Europe. He obtained his doctorate on this subject in 2015.On this evening was also present the stichting Driel-Polen.
My conclusion is that the Poles, as well as the other countries that took part in the war on the British side, which also belonged to the British Commonwealth, such as Canada, were regarded by the British as inferior. Poland and Canada took a lot of irons out of the fire for the British during the Second World War. Think of Monte Cassino, Falaise, Battle of Arnhem and Battle of the Scheldt. The share of the Poles in the war was greatly undervalued until 2006, when finally came recognition for the role of General Sosabowski and the Polish soldiers during the Second World War.
My wife in an animated conversation with Poles living in the Arnhem area. It reminded us of our meeting with Polish residents in 1991, shortly after 'the Wende'.

 

 

General Sosabowski

Huiskamp, F. (2015). Zonder vrees en zonder verwijt: Polish soldiers in Western Europe during the Second World War

 

 

Website : http://www.polishsoldier.nl