"Controversial monument!" Top 5 Page for this destination Gdansk Off The Beaten Path Tip by matcrazy1
Gdansk Off The Beaten Path: 118 reviews and 390 photos
This monumental stone structure in a shape of battleaxe digged into the ground was ceremonially unveiled by Polish communist authorities in 1969 (Podwale Staromiejskie, close to the Swan Gate). It's the monument for those who fighted Gdansk to be a Polish city. There are dates of the battles and fights between Poles and Germans from 1308 till 1945. I've found it a bit controversial.
Let me explain that Soviets and communists always regarded and publicized that Gdansk and the western part of Poland had always been Polish, never German. The key purpose of this propaganda was to false true history still living in human memory and minds. That's why they used to put up a lot of monuments about "coming back of a city/town X to its roots that was Poland" and about "liberation from hands of German occupants" never mind the city/town belonged to Poland or Germany and had German or Polish majority before WWII. The fact that Gdansk had Polish minority of only about 10% in 1934 could never been published on the eastern side of the Iron Wall. Not to mention the fact that "liberation" of Gdansk in 1945 meant burning the city out to the ground, house by house, by new, Soviet occupants following by cruel persecutions of their citizens who didn't want to accept new, communist rule, and 44 years of totalitarian communism.
Some (many?) Gdansk citizens would like to see this monument ended up on the waste heap. I'd rather put some explanations for visitors by the monument. Each year, a few tenths Gdansk old communists (called now post-communists) gather at this monument and put flowers on the 1st May (Labour Day regarded by many as the only post-communist holiday in Poland now). At the same time, young post-communists (they call themselves socialdemocrats) march around Gdansk to protest against neo-liberalism of the government. Well, freedom of speech came back to Gdansk in 1989, now doubts :-).
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