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A rare book of war poetry in Polish language, printed during WWII in Tel-Aviv, commemorates the Siege of Tobruk in 1941.


A rare book of poetry, printed in Tel-Aviv in 1943, was written by a Polish soldier Jerzy Laskowsky and commemorates the Siege of Tobruk, on the Libyan coast, which lasted for 241 days in 1941.

In this collection of poems the author collected tragedies, with photographic accuracy describing the places where the Poles fought, because – as he wrote – I would like to give a picture of life marvelously true and howling jackals and tons of sandy fear (Chciałbym dać obraz życia przedziwnie prawdziwy I wycie szakali i ton piasku lękliwy) (Załęczny 2017, p. 181).

The author was a part of a large group of Polish soldiers, who joined the Allies in the Middle East and North Africa, and in 1943 formed the Polish II Corps.

The Polish II Corps (Drugi Korpus Wojska Polskiego) was formed in 1943, from various units fighting alongside the Allies in all theatres of war, one of them being located in British-held Iraq. The corps consisted not only of Polish soldiers, but also of Jews, Belorussian and Ukrainians. Many Polish soldiers were imprisoned in Gulags by the Soviets from 1939 on and were released in 1941, after the Polish-Russian Military Agreement on 14 August, which allowed for the creation of a Polish Army on Soviet soil.

The Polish II Corps played a major role in the North African and the Italian Campaigns (1941–1945) as part of the British Eighth Army. After the war the devision was was housed at various locations in England, where they maintained a presence until 1962.

References: Jolanta Załęczny, Życie kulturalne w Samodzielnej Brygadzie Strzelców Karpackich. In: Niepodległość i Pamięć 24/2, (58), 2017, pp. 175-202

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