On the 29th of October 1944, Breda was liberated by a Polish division commanded by General Maczek. After the Normandy landing and many bloody battles, Maczek arrived at the town border with his division and liberated Breda from house to house rather than using the full power of his tanks. Many Polish soldiers died in this fierce battle for Breda. In the end, the town was liberated by the Poles with avoiding many civilian casualties.
Shortly after this it became apparent that the Poles would never be able to liberate their own country. Maczek reminded his troops that, despite having lost their country, they still had something to fight for. The Poles followed their Commander and continued into battle. From 2019 the Story of the Poles will be told in the General Maczek Memorial.
The General Maczek Memorial will be built at the Ettensebaan road, close to the Polish Honorary Cemetery. The Memorial combines an unique location with a unique building and will accommodate the permanent exhibition of the General Maczek Museum and offers commemorative space. This modern memorial will be built close to the General Stanislaw Maczek‘s grave and a large number of fallen companions. The exhibition will be more than a traditional war museum. The General Maczek Memorial combines stories from the past with lessons for the present.
• Maczek Life Story
General Maczek, who liberated Breda in 1944 with his 1st Polish Armoured division, led a noteworthy life.
• The Battle for Kapelsche Veer
In the winter of 1944-1945, a fierce battle was fought over the Kapelsche Veer, at the Maas River. This completely unnecessary battle lasted five weeks and cost the loss of about 1,200 casualties; Polish, British, Canadian, Norwegian, Belgian and German soldiers.
• Breda, Maczek memorial walk
A walk along the Polisch Monument and the Wilhelmina park. This park is an important location for commemorating General Maczek. You can also visit the liberation chapel and look at the woodcarving on the choir benches in “Onze Lieve Vrouwe Kerk“.
Two Polish cemeteries in Breda, the cemeteries in Oosterhout and Alphen, the Battle Field tour to Sprang Capelle and the Liberation Route Europe Brabant. For more info visit: www.liberationroute.com.
2018: 27 and 28 October: 74th anniversary of liberation
2019: 26 and 27 October: 75th anniversary of liberation