This 1.75 zl (A) stamp portrays the late Mjr Zygmunt Szendzielarz, one of Poland’s accursed soldiers (Zolnierzy Wykletych), in recognition of the National Day of Remembrance (Narodowy Dzien Pamieci), celebrated on March 1 each year since 2011. The accursed soldiers, also known as cursed soldiers, damned soldiers, or disavowed soldiers, once part of the old Home Army, continued clandestine anti-communist activities against Poland’s Stalinist government well into the1950’s. Their guerrilla warfare included an array of military attacks against the communist regime’s prisons, state security offices, detention centers for political prisoners, and concentration camps set up across Poland. Portrayed by the communist government as terrorists, most of the accursed soldiers were hunted down by agents of the Ministry of Public Security and Soviet NKVD assassination squads. In 1989, after the fall of communism, the convictions of these soldiers were declared invalid and annulled by Polish law. Mjr Szendzielarz was one such accursed soldier who was captured and executed in 1951, together with several other accursed soldiers; his nom de guerre was Lupaszka. In 1988 he was awarded the Viruti Militari, Poland’s highest military decoration by Kazimierz Sabbat, the President of Poland in exile. And in 2007, he was officially awarded the order of Polonia Restituta. During a 2013 exhumation, his remains were recovered and identified as one of about 250 bodies buried in a mass grave at the Meadow in Warsaw’s Powazki Military Cemetery. The cemetery was the site of this year’s March 1 ceremony presided over by President Bronislaw Komorowski.
Date of Issue February 28, 2016
Sheet Format Single in Pane of 12
Printing Method Photogravure
Designer Marzanna Dabrowska