It is not just that the Polish forces were not allowed to participate in the VE Day Parade, but there was NO representation of any British delegation at any Polish celebration of WW2 for decades! Even at the height of the Cold War. Each year, the Poles would have their celebration at the Polish War Memorial outside RAF Northolt (home of 303 Squadron during Battle of Britain) and at the various cemeteries and centres from Newark, Gunnersbury, to Brompton Oratory (a church adopted for many Polish occasions), Westminster Cathedral etc. and no-one from British Government or Royalty was allowed to act in an official capacity at any Polish WW2 commemoration (or anything to do with the Government-in-Exile).
A big turning point came in the 90s and their first inclusion at the 50th anniversary celebration of the D-Day landings (the Poles were also snubbed for the massive 40th anniversary, and all the smaller ones after that) and only once the Communist block had fallen were members of the Polish Exile forces allowed to march past the Cenetaph on Remembrance Sunday.
Britain is a country of politicians, and are careful to fight their own battles for their own gains. Many times to very shameful results: what about the time a journalist caught John Major (UK Prime Minister in 1990) on the steps of 10 Downing Street and when asked about Katyn he said that it was a Nazi crime?... just hours after Gorbachev finally spilled the beans officially informing the world that Stalin was responsible! (Clearly a poorly-briefed John Major being let outside after a full day of meetings to face the usual barrage of journalist questions)
Polish involvement on the eastern front is also whitewashed to suit the mood. The liberating "Polish army" as they entered Warsaw in early 1945 could not speak Polish -- they were not Poles. And the photographs of the Polish soldiers having taken the Brandenburg Gate with a Polish flag flying on top can be found... where? In fact try looking up any of this stuff on the Internet and it is really difficult to find these facts. Sometimes in true 1984 style I even wonder myself if I am mis-remembering things.
But these are the things that drive me to remind my children (and their teachers and friends) about Kresy and what the Soviets did to our family, about the GULag, Tockoje, Iran, the Holy Land, Monte Cassino and beating the Americans into Bologna. As well as what the Germans did to the other side of my family.
I will leave with a final saying that the Arabs used to say to members of the 2 Korpus when stationed in British Palestine as it was called then: "It is better to be an enemy of the British and for them to buy your support, then to be a friend of theirs and to be sold out'
<messages below cut down>
--- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com, "Zbigniew Bob Styrna" <styrna@...> wrote:
> You make some excellent points !! And I appreciate your information, and
> facts. But, I hope I'm not the only one that is a little confused.
> Why were the Polish servicemen not " ALLOWED" to march in the
> British/English Parade ? After all, we saved their Island.
> Who made this decision?
> Did the Russians participate in this parade?
> Did Stalin/Russians/CCP/USSR/KGB/RED Army have their own Victory Parade in
> Russia and were other Allies invited to participate in "their" parade ?
> Since now Poland was part of this Russian Empire, were Polish soldiers
> forced to march in their parade ?
> Sadly I think, that after WWII and Britain/England won, it was a case of "
> I'm All Right Jack ".
> After WWII, British leaders had to do what was BEST for Britain. Which was ,
> get rid of what was a burden on their society and get in bed with the
> Victors, namely Stalin's Russia. Since Poland had no country or power
> anymore, there was no percentage to align with them.
> At that time, it must have been very unpleasant for our Polish servicemen
> over there. Unappreciated, so unbelievably one of my uncles decided to
> return to Communist Poland, and another one left for Canada, more went to
> I guess, the fantastic thing about all this sad history is that I/we have
> relatives all over the world to visit. And some of them in really nice warm
> places like Florida, California, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, South
> Africa, etc..
> From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com]
> On Behalf Of michael.matulewicz
> Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2009 1:18 PM
> To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] new memorial old memories??
> From earlier related posts: 'the famous Whitehall memorial'
> This is the Cenotaph built in 1920 to comemorate the war dead of WW1 but now
> the centre for national mourning every year on armistice day for all
> subsequent wars as well. This is not to be confused with the tomb of the
> unknown soldier which is in Westminster Abbey.
> The unveiling of this memorial has in some posts got tied in to the VE
> parade in 1946. This undoubtedly will be an everlasting scar on the british
> government. But remember it was churchill who agreed the 'sphere of
> influednce' notion with Stalin at Yalta. however the end of the war
> coincided with an election year and despite his performance in the war
> churchill - Conservative [similar to US republican] was ouseted for Clement
> Atlee - Labour [similar to US democrat]. On 14 feb 1946 (four months before
> the parade) the communist government in poland notified the british
> government that it no longer recognised the existance of a polish army
> outside poland. So it's not a question of weither they could be seen or not
> - of course they would. it is a question of which camp Atlee would choose -
> recgonition of the Polish forces or, as a socialist, try to gain influence
> with Stalin. I veremently disagee with his choice but I can see why he made
> Mike Matulewicz
> Chorley UK