'Fighting for others, dying for Poland', by Bart Verstockt
The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Belgium holds a screening of the Belgian filmmaker Bart Verstockt's film Vechten voor geen Vaderland (Fighting for others, dying for Poland). This documentary tells the story of Polish veterans from General Maczek’s First Armoured Division fighting in Flanders in 1944. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director Bart Verstockt, moderated byprof. Pieter LAGROU (ULB).
>>> Old Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Brussels (Rue des Gaulois 29, 1040 Brussels) – see map
>>> Tuesday 25 April 2017 – 19:00
>>> free of charge – RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vechten voor geen Vaderland (Fighting for others, dying for Poland, 2014, 47')
Ten of the Polish veterans from General Maczek’s First Armoured Division still live in Flanders. They are the survivors of a proud army of volunteers which helped the allied troops to liberate Europe during the Second World War. From the beaches of Normandy, they covered 1800 km, crossing France, Belgium and the Netherlands until 5 May 1945, when the Nazis surrendered in the German port of Wilhelmshaven.
After the war, these Polish soldiers understood that their homeland had not been liberated. At the Yalta Conference, the negotiating parties took the view that there was no space in Europe for a free and independent Poland. Churchill and Roosevelt filed it away under those countries which were under the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union.
Cut adrift and bitter, the majority of veterans refused to return home. They had fought in the war because their country was occupied, and now that they had helped bring the war to an end, their country was once again under occupation. And yet it was impossible to fight against this. They became stateless and scattered to the four winds. Around 300 returned to Belgium.
In Vechten voor geen Vaderland, ten veterans who chose to ask for asylum in Belgium of their own free will look back on the dramatic events of the war and its consequences. There are ten of them, and yet their voices speak for thousands.