A QUESTION OF HONOUR:
In 1940 Hugh Dalton (former Chancellor of the Exchequer) said "On the day of Victory Poland, as the first nation to
stand up to Hitler, while others have been grovelling on their bellies, should ride in the van of the victory march".
ONE OF THE MOST SHAMEFUL ACTS OF THE COLD WAR
TO BE FINALLY LAID TO REST ON JULY 10TH
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - LONDON 9TH JULY 2005
Winston Churchill added: “Her Majesty’s government will never forget the debt they owe to the Polish troops who have
served them so valiantly and for all those who have fought under our command”
Yet only six years later the Poles, who were so instrumental to the allied war effort (including The Battle of Britain;
Monte Casino; Falaise Gap, Normandy; Warsaw Uprising), were forgotten. Those brave Polish servicemen, unlike every other
nation fighting under Allied Command, were not invited to participate in the Victory Parade due to pressure from Stalin
on the British Labour Government. An act the historian Sir John Keegan described as "one of the most shameful acts of
the Cold War"
Three years ago the son of a Polish Veteran, Michael Moszynski, heard about this for the first time. Moved by the
injustice of it all, he determined to put things right and wrote to the Prime Minister. As a private citizen he managed
to secure an apology from Tony Blair regarding the British Government's failure to invite the Polish armed forces to the
1946 Victory Parade (covered in the FT on 5th September 2003: "UK finally makes amends for Poland's 60 years of hurt").
However for Michael words were not enough as he felt Blair's "expression of regret" needed to be translated into a
meaningful act: he wanted the Poles to lead the 60th Anniversary Parade. After two more years of personal lobbying
(involving, amongst others; Lord Lichfield; Frederick Forsyth; The Duke of Edinburgh; Sir John Keegan; Michael Howard) it
has just been confirmed that “the Polish Standards will now be in the vanguard of the 60th Anniversary March up the Mall
on July 10th”.
Michael has been invited by the Polish Home Army Veterans to join their ranks at the event in Horse Guards - one out of 10
precious places - where he will represent his late father who had to watch the original parade in 1946 from the street in
Captain Stefan Moszynski, had spent 6 years fighting to end Nazi domination of Europe, only to see his homeland occupied
by the Soviets (who had put his family in the Siberian Gulags and shot his peers at Katyn). For him the Poles absence
from the Victory Parade in 1946 was the final betrayal.
Michael commented “Hundreds of thousands of Polish servicemen continued the fight against Hitler after their homeland
was defeated and never gave up. For them it was a Question of Honour. The issue of the 1946 Victory Parade has remained
like a burning spear in the hearts of the survivors. The 60th Anniversary will be the last formal commemorative event
of the war and the last opportunity for the British Government to assuage their pain. As a Briton of Polish decent I am
proud my Government has now been able to answer its own Question of Honour”.
For further information: please contact Michael Moszynski 07968 063 155