- Majora Henryka Sucharskiego 70, 80-601 Gdańsk, Pologne
After the Second World War the former deputy commander of the Military Transit Depot, captain Dąbrowski, initiated the building of a cemetery for the fallen during the German attack. At this cemetery the urn with the ashes of Major Sucharski was reburied in 1971.
The deputy commander of the depot, Captain Franciszek Dąbrowski, served after the war in Gdańsk-New Port as a Navy cadre commander in the rank of 2nd lieutenant. He had the idea of creating a cemetery for the fallen of Westerplatte. The cemetery was situated amid the ruins of Guardhouse nr. 5, where most of the defenders had died. Engineer Stefan Jelnicki designed the original cemetery, and Aleksander Kisielewicz took care of the construction. They placed a plaque with an incomplete list of the fallen and a reinforced concrete cross on its grounds. Small pillars connected by chains marked the perimeter. The opening ceremony took place on 29 July 1946, attended by high military officials.
In 1957 the initial plaque was replaced by a new one, with a complete list of names of the defenders. In 1962 the authorities removed the cross and added a Soviet T-34 tank. The veterans moved the cross to the cemetery in the New Port. In 1971 an urn with Major Henryk Sucharski’s ashes was brought here. The original cross was returned to its original location on 30 August 1981 by the ‘Solidarity’ movement. In 1989 the tank was transferred to a location near the fort outpost, and smaller crosses were placed in the cemetery, symbolising the fallen defenders of Westerplatte.
Kapitan Franciszek Dąbrowski
Captain Franciszek Dąbrowski was major Sucharski right-hand man during the defence of the Military Depot at Westerplatte. After the war Dabrowski made a great effort commemorating the fallen of Westerplatte. He also wrote two books about the events at Westerplatte peninsula in September 1939.
Captain Mieczysław Słaby
During the German assault on the Westerplatte, Mieczysław Słaby was responsible for treating the wounded. In spite of the desperate conditions he managed to keep all injured men alive until the moment of surrender. After the war Słaby became a victim of the communist persecutions, and died in prison.
Major Henryk Sucharski
Major Henryk Sucharski, the commander of the small garrison at Westerplatte, was under orders to thwart the German advance for 12 hours. He managed to hold out an amazing seven days. After the war he became a national hero and was posthumously awarded an important military decoration.
On 1 September 1939 the Germans attacked the Westerplatte peninsula in the port of Gdańsk. This assault marks the beginning of the Second World War. A small Polish garrison held out for seven days, bolstering the morale of the Polish people. After the war Westerplatte became a symbol of Polish resistance against the German invasion.
Gdańsk during the 20th century
For the people of Gdańsk the end of the Second World War was not necessarily a liberation. The arrival of the Soviet Army meant first defeat and then factually a new occupation. The Poles who settled in Gdańsk after the war were not in favor of the Soviet domination. For many Poles the political consequences of the war lasted until 1989 when Poland became an independent and democratic state again.
Stella Czajkowska is one of the relatively few Jews who survived the war, despite the ghetto, the gas chambers in Auschwitz, hunger and disease in Stutthof and a gruesome death march. Her story is symbolic of the horror in which the victims of Nazi regime had landed.