The Poles of Driel

The Poles of Driel

When I read the history of the Poles of Driel, I was ashamed of my government;

“In 1939, at the outbreak of World War II, Sosabowski fought in Warsaw against invaded German troops. He managed to escape as a prisoner of war. After a journey through Europe he ended up in England. There Sosabowski founded the Polish paratroopers brigade with fellow countrymen and fellow sufferers, with which he took part in the Battle of Arnhem.”

The Polish paratroopers were dropped over Driel, where they swam across the Rhine to support weakened English in Oosterbeek. Eventually the Poles withdrew, Market Garden failed. The English wrongly called Sosabowski a scapegoat and relieved him of his duties. That his men protested on a hunger strike said everything about Sosabowski. He literally led the way, leading from the front. To his men, Sosabowski said, “This is about me, not about you. Not eating doesn’t solve anything.”

“Because Poland fell into communist hands, Sosabowski lived the rest of his life in exile in England. He worked in hotels and factories and died in 1967. He received rehabilitation after his death. In the Netherlands, Sosabowski was posthumously awarded the Bronze Lion in 2006.”

(Read in the Gelderlander)





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