The extraordinary story of the women who fought for Polish Independence told in moving outdoor exhibition

The exhibition which runs until October 22nd contains illustrations and copies of documents primarily from the collection of the Archives of New Files in Warsaw. Kalbar/TFN

The world knows the role male soldiers played in Poland's fight for independence 100 years ago.

But most have little to no idea about the vital role women played in gaining independence.

A new exhibition to give voice and educate the public on the women who fought to liberate Poland has now gone on display in the Polish capital, Warsaw. 

The exhibition entitled ‘Women in the Fight for Polish Independence’ showcases photos which depict the brave efforts of the League of Women of Galicia and Cieszyn Silesia. 

Combined, these ranks totaled around 16,000 women who all supported the Polish resistance.

The collection was put together by the Polish Women's League in cooperation with the Archives of Modern Records in a bid to shed light on these unsung heroes. 

Deputy Speaker of the Senate Maria Koc said: “The role of Polish women in the work of regaining independence was enormous, and it is not exposed.”

The exhibit consists of 26 boards portraying Polish women who lived and worked to help Poland in both war and peace.

Women helped the war effort by stepping out of their traditional roles and taking up arms in institutions such as air defence and anti-gas defence. 

Women helped the war effort by stepping out of their traditional roles and taking up arms in institutions such as air defence and anti-gas defence. Kalbar/TFN

Photos can be seen of various young women training at camps, lined up in uniforms with their feet planted in determination as they learn how to fire rifles and complete training exercises to help protect citizens during the war.

The pictures shows the fight for independence was not only won on the battlefield. 

Koc added that while some women took up arms to help their country “[women] were active in political organizations, they were leaders in education, teaching the Polish language and patriotism. 

“They were social activists, and above all, most importantly, they were mothers who taught Polish generations to be patriot."

They aimed to help war orphans by building homes, shelters and medical centres.

These women worked without praise or recognition to protect the home front and educated citizens to ensure the goal of polish independence was not forgotten.

The chairwoman of the Polish Women's League,  Aldona Michalak, told PAP that the exhibition had "huge moral significance" for the League. 

She said: "The Polish Women's League was founded in 1913 thanks to the support of Józef Piłsudski, whose main task was to fight for independence. 

“We wanted to show how much contribution was made by women both on the civilian front and with arms in the fight for Poland's independence."

The exhibition is located outside of Polonii house on Krakowskie Przedmieście and will run until 22nd October.