New project aims at breathing new life into histories of WWII underground leaders
The leaders of Poland's WWII Home Army resistance organization are being brought back to life in a new project that aims to add flesh to the dry pages of history books.
Called Voices of the Home Army, the animation use actors and modern animation techniques to create a comic-book style that breathes life into the commanders of the largest underground army in World War Two.
The project is the result of a collaboration between Polish energy giant PGE and Fundacja na rzecz Wielkich Historii (Foundation for Great Histories).
PGE chief Wojciech Dąbrowski said the aim of the project is to “introduce young people to the leaders of the underground state, as authentic figures, not just found in history textbooks.
“In this way we want to pay tribute to them and bring them closer to the next generation.”
The series of four films starts with the Home Army commander-in-chief during the Warsaw Uprising, Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski.
The original audio recording was made by Radio Free Europe in 1954. The general explains how he made the most difficult decision of his life – to launch the Warsaw Uprising in 1944.
In the film, Bór-Komorowski, played by the actor Mirosław Rygielski, is seen in London at a typewriter and speaking into a microphone.
The general says that he has no intention of shirking responsibility for the controversial decision that has divided Poles ever since.
He goes on to say that “armed resistance and armed struggle against the invaders was not imposed on society by some order from the top. The Home Army represented the nation united.”
He asks: “Could I have stopped the battle at the deciding and peak moment when our fate was being decided?”
In answer, he says: “If underground struggle is considered necessary despite all the losses associated with it, then the uprising was the final consequence of this.”
On relations with the Soviets, he says that “the Home Army could have played a similar role to Russia like the French underground did with the Western allies.
“Of course, that would only have been possible if the Russians had really wanted to liberate Poland.”
The project was launched to coincide with the recent 80th anniversary of the creation of the Home Army in 1942, when it emerged from the reorganised Union of Armed Struggle.
The stars of the next three films will be General Michał Tokarzewski-Karaszewicz - commander of the Polish Victory Service, the first underground organisation in occupied Poland; General Stefan Rowecki 'Grot', the commander-in-chief of the Union for Armed Struggle and later commander of the Home Army; and General Leopold Okulicki, the last commander of the Home Army.
The remaining films will be launched throughout 2022 and can be viewed on the social media channels of PGE and the Foundation for Great Histories.
Ultimately, the films will form part of the Virtual Museum of the Underground State, the first digital museum to tell the story of the Polish underground during World War II.