The exhibition presents the tumultuous times of the World War I. After the 3rd division of Poland between Russia, Austria, and Prussia in 1795, Poland disappeared from geographical maps for 123 years. Because of this, more than 4 million Poles fought in the armies of all belligerent parties. The majority, 2 million, fought in the Russian Army, about 1.5 million in the Austro-Hungarian and 800 thousand in the German one. More than 30 thousand volunteers came through Polish legions. 17 thousand Poles wore blue uniforms of general Haller’s army in the autumn of 1918. More than 450 thousand of Poles died in all battles of the World War I.
Historians think that the great devastation in Polish lands during the war were caused by direct military actions only in 10% of cases, and in 90% were the consequences of a purposeful policy of invaders. In general, the economic harm amounted to 10 billion francs, which was equal to one annual national income.
The price of independence was high. However the joy of achieving the independence in November of 1918 after the 123 years of division overcomes the losses suffered by Polish lands and Poles in the World War I.
The opening of the exhibition, which will work until December 3, 2017, will be conducted with the participation of the deputy director of the Museum of history of Poland Anna Piekarska and a co-author of the exhibition, Michał Szukala.