Hundreds of thousands of Polish men and women fought against the German Reich and its allies from the very first to the last days of World War II. The German war of annihilation began with the invasion of Poland by the German Wehrmacht on 1 September 1939 and went on to claim the lives of six million Poles, including three million murdered Polish Jews.
Polish soldiers were among those fighting on the front line in spring 1945 to liberate Berlin from the National Socialists. Together with the Red Army, they advanced from Charlottenburg to the Siegessäule and ultimately on to the Reichstag itself, where they raised the Polish flag.
To mark the 81st anniversary of the German invasion of Poland and the start of World War II, the borough of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf unveiled a plaque to the Polish liberators on 1 September 2020 in front of TU Berlin (Straße des 17. Juni 145 / Ernst-Reuter-Platz, 10623 Berlin). Borough mayor Reinhard Naumann and His Excellence the Polish ambassador Professor Andrzej Przyłębski welcomed those participating.
The ceremony was attended by four Polish veterans of the 1st Tadeusz-Kościuszko infantry division of the 1st Polish Army (1st AWP), which liberated, among others, the boroughs of Charlottenburg and Tiergarten from National Socialism. Colonel Eugeniusz Skrzypek (born 26 August 1923) talked about this time in his speech.
This location in front of TU Berlin was chosen for the plaque as it had witnessed particularly intensive fighting during the fall of Berlin and also because the University’s AStA had campaigned particularly hard for the memorial.