Tanks on Monuments, Monument Tanks
On Trench Art and “Gratitude Memorials”
Keywords:trench art, monuments, “monuments of gratitude”, Red Army, armored weapons, tanks, World War II
The purpose of this outline was to introduce the topic of using armored weapons elements in the erection of monuments. The text discusses the issue of “monuments of gratitude” to the Red Army, which often drew on the motif of the tank monument, using a tank of the liberator of a particular locality. Monuments to the brotherhood of arms between the Red Army and the People’s Polish Army are also discussed. Two unique works that were not created by state order and were not propaganda manifestations are discussed next: the monument in Kasina Wielka and the now demolished one in Zyndranowa. In Kasina Wielka, a local artist designed a monument commemorating Polish soldiers who fell in September 1939. The work uses the turret of a Vickers tank, a real rarity since not a single Vickers tank taking part in the operations of the 1939 campaign has survived to this day. Moreover, it shows the grassroots initiative of citizens who wanted to commemorate the clashes in Kasina Wielka. The second monument was erected in Zyndranowa to commemorate the casualties of the 1944 Dukla operation. Importantly, it was again a grassroots initiative. The text discusses the stages of its creation, along with the actions taken by the authorities to dismantle it. The article is supplemented by a table listing “monuments of gratitude” that used elements of World War II military equipment.
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