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30 Oct, 2016 22:24

Polish volunteers restore vandalized Soviet WW2 memorials for sake of ‘shared history & world peace’

Outraged by the rise of vandalism against memorials to Soviet soldiers in Poland, a group of volunteers has pledged to restore any damaged monuments. Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman thanked the Polish patriots for preserving the common history of the two states.

Polish activist Jerzy Tyc, who heads a movement restoring and preserving memorials to Soviet soldiers in the Eastern European country, has visited Russia and met with Foreign Ministry representative Maria Zakharova.

Having thanked the Polish enthusiasts on behalf of the Russian people, Zakharova said that the members of the movement are people who know and respect the history of the two nations, “and preserve it for the future generations.”

“These are unique people, not just our Polish friends, but brothers, who know and love our common history and cherish it for us in Poland,” Zakharova said.

For four years Tyc and his associates have been taking care of memorials to Soviet soldiers who fought against the Nazis during World War Two in Poland. The movement also restores monuments that have been vandalized.

“There are some young people who consider themselves as Polish 'underground resistance,' who these days, in the 21st century, fight against Russia by destroying the Soviet memorials,” Tyc told RT, adding that the authorities turn a blind eye to such crimes and the perpetrators go unpunished.

“Never has the Polish government condemned these events, never said stop. This can't go on. Never, you understand? This all happens with impunity,” the activist said.

“I think that attacks on the monuments to Soviet soldiers should be considered in a wider context. It's a threat to world peace, and a threat to our relations with Russia,” Tyc said. He explained that any nationality would be deeply hurt and even develop animosity should the memory of their heroes be wrecked in front of their eyes.

“The destruction of a monument cannot be forgiven – this, I tell you, is a very dangerous action,” the Polish volunteer said. “Everything that is going on in Poland and Western Europe – it all starts with the destruction of monuments to Soviet soldiers… I tell everyone: if the Polish government destroys the monuments to the soldiers in front of Russia, what should they feel, especially the Russian youth?”

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The efforts of Tyc's movement also contribute to other people’s historical education, Zakharova said, adding that the Polish volunteers preserve “real artifacts that cannot be falsified.”