The centennial of the restoration of independence is an exceptional anniversary for Poles. On November 11, 1918 the Polish state returned to the map of Europe from which it was erased by three annexationist monarchies: Austria, Prussia, and Russia. For 123 years Poles did not renounce their dream of independence and waged the unprecedented struggle for freedom and preservation of their identity. Despite the loss of yet another uprising, Poles managed to protect the most precious thing, the dream of their own state. The fall of the three annexationist states and joint efforts of Poles allowed them to revive the independent Poland.
“Calendar of Independence” takes us closer to that extraordinary time of struggle which was waged not only on battlefields and in the quietness of diplomatic cabinets, but also in the everyday life of common people who manifested their belonging to Poland without thinking of persecution and tried to preserve their own culture at all cost. These efforts lasted much longer than the warfare of the First World War (1914–1918), so the calendar tells about the events starting from the beginning of the war up to 1921, when Polish borders were finalized.
In order to represent this exceptional for Poles time in its entirety, we selected 365 dates that tell about military, social, cultural or moral and ethical events and together depict the complex and eventful road to independence. These events will be linked to specific days but will not be represented in chronological order.
The “Calendar of Independence” project is a part of the celebrations of the “Centennial of the restoration of Polish independence.” It is a result of the collaboration between the Polish Institute in Kyiv and the Polish History Museum. The authors of the selection of dates, pictures and comments that accompany them are two Polish historians, Dr. Hab. Piotr Szlanta and Jan Błachnio.