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President to award Order of White Eagle to Silesian Uprisings’ commander

President Andrzej Duda decided to award the Order of the White Eagle to Alfons Zgrzebniok, commander of two Silesian Uprisings. He made the announcement during Sunday’s interview with TVP conducted on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the third Silesian Uprising.

“He is a well-deserved figure, a soldier of the Republic of Poland and at the same time a boy from here, who was born here, near Koźle, in a small town, in a very Silesian and at the same time Polish family”, emphasised the president. He recalled that Alfons Zgrzebniok, “in order to be able to attend a German gymnasium, he had to learn German in addition, because he simply did not speak this language at home”.

“He was brought up in Poland, in Polishness, in Silesia, and he fought unwaveringly for Poland in all three uprisings. His award with the Order of the White Eagle, the highest Polish award, is, on the one hand, respect for his heroism, his extraordinary attitude and his great merits for his deed. On the other hand, just as I awarded the commanders of the Greater Poland Uprising, this important commander of the Silesian uprisings will also receive this Order of the White Eagle,” said Andrzej Duda.

“This uprising was so important for Poland and Poles, because it was a victorious uprising,” he evaluated, adding that it was one of the few victorious uprisings in Polish history after the Greater Poland Uprising. He also assessed that the Silesian Uprising “determined that a large part of Upper Silesia, industrialised Upper Silesia, an important part, of extraordinary economic and economic value, found itself within the borders of the Second Polish Republic”.

“Thanks to the great military deed of Poles in Silesia, Silesians, their heroism, their devotion and thanks to the fact that they stood steadfastly in the fight three times. This economically extremely important region became part of the reviving Poland and one can boldly say that it was a condition of Poland’s development. If this part of Upper Silesia was not part of Poland, who knows if the Second Polish Republic would have survived at all, taking into account all the turmoil of the time, all the turbulence and danger from the East, which was still relevant at that time,” the president said.

“This victory was of great importance then. It happened in front of the Allies. Because the Allied forces were present here, they were watching the plebiscite and later also tried to separate the fighting parties here, so it was a very important moment in our history,” he added.

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