September 1 and 17, 1939 are the dates that mark the beginning of the 20th-century ordeal of Poles.
September 1 and 17, 1939 are the dates that mark the beginning of the 20th-century ordeal of Poles. 81 years ago, two criminal totalitarianisms – German and Soviet, began their expansion for good, ultimately aiming to invide the whole world. Poland became the first victim of their criminal plans. In order to commemorate these tragic events, the Sybir Memorial Museum prepared a series of events under the name "17.09 We Remember". Below we present the schedule.
"17.09 We Remember"
In 1939, after twenty years of independence, the Republic of Poland once again disappeared from the world map. For the inhabitants of the Eastern Borderlands, the Soviet aggression which launched on 17 September under the pretext of defending national minorities marked the end of the world known to them.
One of the elements of the celebration of the 81st anniversary of the Soviet aggression against Poland was the temporary installation "09/17 We Remember", which was placed at Kościuszko Square in Białystok. It coud have be viewd until the end of September this year.
Alarm sirens sounded on 17 September at midday. We stopped for a moment in order to pay tribute to the victims of Soviet repressions.
On the 81st anniversary of the Soviet aggression against Poland, prof. Wojciech Śleszyński – the director of the Sybir Memorial Museum together with representatives of the Association of Sybiraks (Białystok Branch), laid flowers at the Katyn Monument in Białystok. Ceremonies at the Monument are one of the elements of the anniversary celebrations.
Peloton of Memory 17.09
It was the fourth edition of the bicycle route. In 2020, due to the celebration of the 80th anniversary of the deportation of Polish citizens into the USSR and the 100th anniversary of the Polish-Bolshevik war and the Battle of Białystok, were visited places related to deportations, as well as connected with legionnaires and volunteers who had taken part in the 1920 war in Białystok and region.
Four stops were planned along the route. The event began in front of the Sybir Memorial Museum at ul. Węglowa 1 in Białystok, then through the headquarters of the Podlasie Border Guard Unit and the Military Cemetery, reached the Monument-Tomb of the Unknown Sybirak. This year's edition, due to the prevailing epidemic situation, was unusual. Person willing could ride the previously shared route on their own, and with the help of photos showed that they had joined the action commemorating this important date. At two stops – at the Sybir Memorial Museum and the Monument-Tomb of the Unknown Sybirak, the participants were met by representatives of the Sybir Memorial Museum, who told about the institution being built and the events from years ago that had changed the Poland's fate forever. The meeting at the Monument-Tomb of the Unknown Sybirak was an occasion to pay tribute together.
The bicycle route of this year's Peloton