• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

  • 25 March 2015

    Permanent Representation of Poland to the OPCW joined the commemorations, taking part in preparation of an exhibition at the OPCW headquarters and of a film devoted to the first use of chemical weapons on the Eastern Front – in Bolimów.

    On the 22nd of April 1915 at Ypres, Belgium mankind experienced the first mass use of poison gas on the Western Front. Along with this event, a new kind of war was born – chemical warfare. The use of poisonous chlorine caused that many people died, lost their eyesight or suffered serious damage to the lungs.


    The Chlorine gas on the Eastern Front was released for the first time on 31st of May 1915 near Bolimów (50 kilometers west of Warsaw ) about a month after similar gas assault in Ypres.  This fact is mostly unknown both internationally and locally.


    To commemorate victims and revive the memory of the fallen soldiers on the Eastern front, the Permanent Representation of Poland to the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons joined actively the centennial celebrations of use of chemical weapons. It produced a set of 13 banners describing the history of first large scale use of chemical weapons during the World War One on the Eastern Front. The Polish contribution was a part of exhibition on chemical weapons during the World War One. The exhibition was launched at the OPCW Headquarters on Tuesday 17th of March 2015 by the permanent representatives to the OPCW of Belgium, Latvia, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Poland together with Director-General of the OPCW Ahmet Üzümcü. The exhibition is to remind us the genesis and impact of chemical weapons at the history of mankind and to remind us of the historical significance of the Convention for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The exhibition will run till 16 April 2015 at the OPCW Headquarters. Co-authors of the polish section of the exposition are: Dr Anna Zalewska – archeologist Polish Academy of Sciences; Stanisław Kaliński – historian and Piotr Moskwa – Association of Bolimów Soil. Preview of the exhibition can be accessed HERE.


    The Permanent Representative of Poland to the OPCW Ambassador Jan Borkowski said in the statement at the opening of the OPCW exhibition, “Polish part of exposition commemorates the first attempt to use poisonous gas on the Eastern Front in Bolimów and displays initiatives aimed at preservation of memory of those who passed away in the Battle over Rawka. Among them many Poles and soldiers of Polish origin, who enrolled mostly by force to the armies of partitioning powers, fought against each other and died on their mother soil in foreign uniforms”.


    Within the commemorations of centenary of use of chemical weapons, the Permanent Representation of Poland to the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, realized with the participation of the OPCW a documentary entitled:  ‘Buried Memories’. The film tells the story of the fight for the memory of the fallen soldiers at Bolimów and goes back to gas attacks that took place in the Battle of Rawka.


    The link to the film will follow soon.


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