Torun – Home Army Monument

If I’ve understood this correctly, this is a monument to the organisers of the Pomeranian Home Army District during the Second World War. This was the Polish underground army during the period of German occupation, which caused significant disruption to Nazi rule.

The names on the memorial are:

Józef Ratajczak (1897 – 1942) was born in Poznan and in 1910 he travelled to Krakow to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald. He was drafted into the German army in 1917, but joined the Polish Army during the inter-war period. He was tortured at Powiak in Warsaw during the Second World War, but didn’t reveal anyone in the Home Army. Along with 230 others, he was taken to a forest near Warsaw and was executed.

Rudolf Ostrihansky (1895 – 1963) was involved in the First World War, fighting against the Bolsheviks and in defence of Lviv. He remained in the Polish Army in the inter-war period and was Commander of the Home Army in the district between 1940 and 1943. He was arrested in 1943, was sent to Stutthof concentration camp in 1944 and he survived the war, later becoming a farmer.

Jan Pałubicki (1897 – 1982) was involved in the First World War, fighting on the Russian front. He remained in the Polish army in the inter-war period, but was seriously injured early on during the war, on 23 September 1939. He worked in Torun during most of the Second World War and remained part of the Home Army, managing to avoid arrest, for a while he hid in nearby forests when the Gestapo were close to arresting him. He survived the war, but struggled with his life somewhat, dying in 1982 in Poznan.

Józef Chyliński (1904 – 1985) was too young to fight during the First World War, but he joined the Polish army and remained heavily involved in the resistance movement. His wife died in the Warsaw Uprising and he found himself imprisoned by the new communist authorities between 1945 and 1947. He emigrated to Toronto in Canada after his release from prison, remaining there until his death.

Franciszek Trojanowski (1899 – 1957) joined a young military group towards the end of the First World War and was involved in the defending of Lviv. He remained in the Polish army and fought in numerous areas of the country during the Second World War, fleeing to the coast at one point to avoid arrest. He died in Lublin in March 1957.