Jablonski achieved revenge on the Soviets, by raising the flag over Berlin.http://www.poranny.pl/apps/pbcs.dll/art ... /546098197
September 2, 2008
Antoni Jablonski - a Man from the Textbooks
Julita Januszkiewicz, firstname.lastname@example.org
, tel 085 715 45 45
It was a historic moment. For the first time, the City Council in Suraż awarded the title of honorary citizen of that city. Friday's meeting in Suraż was very solemn, with speeches, flowers and tears of emotion. The city wished Mr Antoni good health and many years of life. The distinguished city council chairman, Zygmunt Jarmoc, (privately - nephew of Mr. Jablonski) handed him a certificate of honoured resident of Suraż. The mayor of Suraż, Sławomir Galicia, on behalf of the authorities, gave him a memento
Mr. Antoni was modest, as always. Only specially for this occasion he put on his dress uniform, with military decorations and medals hung. “In my life I never thought I would live to see such a sublime moment. Even more so, since I recently reached 90 years " he said with pleasure, through tears.
The War took His Youth
Jablonski is the most famous resident of Suraż. He was born in 1918. During nearly his entire adult life he was active in the city. However, historical storms caused him to survive many tragic moments, in very remote places. The Second World War found the current honorary citizen residing in Brańsk. In 1939, Mr. Anthoni was only 21 years old.
Soon the Soviets forced him into the Red Army. In 1942, during fighting with Germans, Jablonski was wounded. Shot in the leg. he laided for nearly two months in a hospital on the Volga.
Mr Antoni also did not miss the hell of Siberia, along with others deported to the Soviet Union. He worked there in a detail operating in the construction of a factory. To this day, he remembers being a forced labourer, using only his strength to work, in great cold and hunger.In 1943 the Tadeusz Kościuszko 1st Division was formed.. Mr. Antoni was conscripted into it, and there got a Polish uniform, and above all, food. “We heard that we will liberate the Polish lands, fighting the Germans. What great joy it was for us” Mr. Jablonski remembers after all these years.
Along with the other "Kościuszkowians" he went through the entire course of the war. He had an important role, operating a military radio. He passed on orders to other soldiers, as where to attack. This heroic soldier from Suraż was in the Battle of Lenino. And in the spring of 1944, Mr. Antoni with the Army crossed the Polish border. “Finally, we were on our native land, now it was up to us tear it out of the hands of the Nazis. I remember greeting and hugging our fellow countrymen” he remembers after all these years.
Liberated were Lublin, Warsaw ... Finally he arrived at Berlin. He was one of five Polish soldiers who, on May 2, 1945, hung the Polish flag on the Victory Column in Berlin. This historic day he will not forget to the end of his days. He was selected by the commander, together with colleagues, to enter the 70-metre column. “The wooden flag pole was from a tree cut in the forest. White and red material of the German cable from the phone was sewn together. It was a touching moment” he admits. He says that the Russians did not like that it was Poles, not they, that were first at the top of the Victory Column ...
The second time Mr. Antoni relived this moment occurred twenty years later, when, in 1965, he was invited to a ceremony in Berlin. But the most unique was a meeting in May 2005 after 60 years. But the modest hero of Suraż was glad, that he could see everything again, for his colleagues did not live to see that event. Only the little Prussian Column has grown older.
After the war he worked as a salesman, and then as a postman. For many years he was retired. Jablonski received further military promotions. Honoured with theCross of Valour, the Officer's Cross, the Knight's Cross, Grunwald, etc., he has also medals for the heroic Battles of Warsaw and Berlin. And for many years the picture of the flag raised in Berlin can be found in all school history textbooks.
“No one asked us whether we wanted to fight. We walked from front to front, risking our lives” he says.
Edit on 2010/02/22 was inserting "pole" in "The wooden flag was"