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Disturbed memory. What happened to Reduta Ordona (Ordon’s Redoubt)?

Since it’s an unexamined area, under the garbage and excrement there are probably more graves of soldiers from 1831. So far, mainly two types of graves have been discovered: a mass grave, i.e. bones thrown in loosely after an illegal looting of Ordon’s Redoubt in 2008, and the most common case: bones in wolf pits, says Robert Wyrostkiewicz, an archeologist who has been working on Ordon’s Redoubt for years.

TVP WEEKLY: The true symbol of the indomitable struggle of the Poles is in Warsaw, only today few people know where it is. What happened in Ordon’s Redoubt on September 6, 1931 in Ordon’s Redoubt ?

ROBERT WYROSTKIEWICZ: As most of us remember from our history lessons: the storming of Warsaw by Tsarist troops, ending the Polish-Russian war that became known as the November Uprising. The most bitter fighting took place around position No. 54, later known as Ordon’s Redoubt. The earthen rampart was only one-third manned and survived constant attacks not only by infantry, but especially by artillery. It did not surrender. An archaeologically proven fact is the explosion of a powder magazine, which was located on the maypole of the fortress. However, the powder magazine was blown up not by the legendary Julian Ordon, but most likely by another soldier, probably the infantry captain Feliks Nowosielski, who, by the way, sent several dozen Russians to their deaths in this way. So Adam Mickiewicz bent history a bit when he wrote his famous patriotic poem.

Reportedly, Lieutenant Ordon held a grudge against the poet because of this.

In the well-known explosion of the powder magazine, Ordon was burned, but survived. It was Mickiewicz who put him to literary death, which Ordon resented for the rest of his life. Nevertheless, the poem can hardly be called fiction, although it contains obvious inaccuracies. The course of the battle and even elements such as the reconciliation tomb have been largely confirmed by archaeologists. I participated in the documentation of the Wolf Pits, which contained the intertwined remains of Polish and Russian soldiers who were thrown there post mortem.

Everything like a dream has disappeared. – Only a black solid body

Of earth unformed lies – the reconciliation grave.

There together those who defended, – and those who broke in,

For the first time sincere and eternal peace they made

This is not just a literary description. It is a fact that can be read in the ground between Jerozolimskie Avenue and Na Bateryjce Street in the Ochota district of Warsaw, where Ordon’s Redoubt is located. So not in the nearby Wola, as we thought all the time.

Read the full story.

By Cezary Korycki

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