By Zbigniew Tyburski

Although Polish independence was announced in 1918, Polish| soldiers continued to fight the Ukrainian army, which attempted to occupy the eastern part of Poland. The Ukrainians were finally defeated by General Rydz—Śmigły who pushed them behind the Włodzimerz -Kowel line in January 1919. But hardly had the Ukrainian army been driven out, when the Bolshevik army entered.

Marshal zef Piłsudski knew from the statement of Moscow (dated December 25, 1918) that Russia Would not permit the Baltic countries to be independent. The Polish army under Piłsudski’s leadership began the fight against the Bolsheviks on Polish territory on August 12, 1920.

Piłsudski decided that the basic line of defense would be on the Orzyc, Narew, and Vistula Rivers.

The decisive battle was on August 16, 1920, after the rapid Polish attack around the cities of Deblin and Puławy at the Wieprz River. However, it is the date of August 15, 1920, that is symbolic for Poland, and day’s battle that is called “The Miracle of the Vistula River.”

„The Miracle of the Vistula River”, painted by Jerzy Kossak 

(Many Poles belive that the great Polish victory against the Bolshevik army, the latter being many times the size of the Polish, was won with the Blessed Virgin Mary’s help, on the feast of the Assumption). The Red Army was repulsed. Poland and Europe were saved from the communistic „flood„.

When the National Socialist Party’s leader, Adolf Hitler, became chancellor of Germany in 1933, the Polish people turned their attention toward the West with great anxiety. After Germany’s announcement in March, 1939, that Hitler intended to “smite” Poland, the Nazi propagandist Goebbels spread false information about the persecution of German minorities in Poland. Hitler demanded from Poland free admission, not only to Gdansk and to the “corridor,” but also to upper Śląsk and the district of Poznan.

(A territory of the northern part of Poland was called by German. anti-Polish propaganda “corridor” between Germany and Russia. That region, located on the left bank of the lower Vistula River between East Prussia and Western German, was incorporated by Poland before the year 1000.

Although that territory was conquered by Teutonic Knights at the beginning of XIV century, it was taken from them by Poland in the second half of XV century and remained within its borders until the First Partition. of 1772). Hitler decided that Poland would be the first object of German aggression.

Skeches in Human Dignity

Zbigniew Tyburski 1997

Published by Franciscan Publishers @ Printers, Inc. Pulaski, WI