The 17th November in Poland sees cities and towns across the country commemorate the day the Soviet Union army invaded from the East, in 1939.
On the 17th September 1939, Stalin’s Red Army invaded Poland from the East, just sixteen days after the Nazis invaded from the West. The two dictatorships had earlier agreed to divide the territory of Poland into two halves, and what followed was a period in history that not only shaped Poland as we see it today, but also the rest of the world.
The 82nd anniversary of the Soviet invasion was remembered on Bydgoszcz’s Old Market Square, with the Polish Army, city authorities and Siberian representatives turning out for the occasion. Speeches were given by the President of Bydgoszcz among others, before the military band marched through the Old Town streets.
A ceremonial flag raising and laying of flowers at the city’s war memorial made for a sombre atmosphere, as people reflected on the vast amount of lives lost during the Second World War.
The Polish Army could be seen marching through the Old Market Square, with coloured neckerchiefs, green berets and bayonetted weapons on display.
The occasion was concluded by a three-gun salute, which echoed around the acoustic square startlingly, resulting in a silence only disturbed by a flock of pigeons fleeing the scene of the noise.