For our freedom and yours

For our freedom and yours

For our freedom and yours ( _pl. Za naszą i waszą wolność) is one of the unofficial mottos of Poland. It is commonly associated with the times when Polish soldiers, exiled from the partitioned Poland, fought in various independence movements all over the world.Lonnie R. Johnson, "Central Europe: Enemies, Neighbors, Friends", Oxford University Press, 1996, ISBN 0195100719, [,M1 Google Print, p.127-128] ] Hubert Zawadzki, Jerzy Lukowski, "A Concise History of Poland", Cambridge University Press, 2001, ISBN 0521559170, [ Google Print, p.145] ] First seen during a patriotic demonstration to commemorate the Decembrists, held in Warsaw on January 25, 18311, it was most probably authored by Joachim Lelewel. [ [] ] [ [] ] The initial banner has the inscription in both Polish and Russian, and was meant to underline that the victory of Decembrists would also have meant liberty for Poland. The slogan got shorter with time; the original had the form 'In the name of God, for our freedom and yours' ('W imię Boga za Naszą i Waszą Wolność'). The original banner has been preserved in the collection of Muzeum Wojska Polskiego in Warsaw.


The slogan soon became very popular and became among the most commonly seen on military standards during the November Uprising (1830-1831). [ [] ] During the war against Russia, the slogan was to signify that the Polish victory would also mean liberty for the peoples of Russia and that the uprising was aimed not at the Russian nation but at the despotic tsarist regime. [ [] ] Following the failure of the uprising the slogan was used by a variety of Polish military units formed abroad out of refugees. Among them was the unit of Józef Bem, which featured the text in both Polish and Hungarian during the Hungarian revolution of 1848 and wherever Poles fought during the Spring of Nations. [ Gods, Heroes, & Legends] ] Dieter Dowe, "Europe in 1848: revolution and reform", Berghahn Books, 2001, ISBN 1571811648, [ Google Print, p.180]
"While it is often and quite justifiably remarked that there was hardly a barricade or battlefield in Europe between 1830 and 1870 where no Poles were fighting, this is especially true for the revolution of 1848/1849."] Bismarck and the Foundation of the German Empire. James Wycliffe Headlam 1899.
"In those days the Poles were to be found in every country in Europe, foremost in fighting on the barricades; they helped the Germans to fight for their liberty, and the Germans were to help them to recover independence. In 1848, Mierosławski had been carried like a triumphant hero through the streets of Berlin; the Baden rebels put themselves under the leadership of a Pole, and it was a Pole who commanded the Viennese in their resistance to the Austrian army; a Pole led the Italians to disaster on the field of Novara"]

Polish-Soviet war

During the Polish-Soviet War, the motto was appropriated by the Soviet government, which considered itself to be fighting for the rights of Polish workers and peasants against what it saw as the Polish government of landowners and capitalists.

The motto was also used by the Polish Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. [ [] ]


In 1936 the government of the Republic of Poland established an award 'Za wolność waszą i naszą' for the members of the Polish Brigade in Spain ('Dąbrowszczacy'), part of the International Brigades, supporting the Republican military units in the Spanish Civil War. The Dabrowszczacy's brigade motto was 'Za wolność waszą i naszą'.

Motto in the USSR and Russia

thumb|right|200px|Banner of the Red Square demonstrators, 25 August of 1968. The slogan ( _ru. За вашу и нашу свободу) was very popular among the Soviet dissident movement after the historic
demonstration on Red Square in support of the Prague Spring on August 25 1968. [ [] ] [ [] ] [ [] ]

The same slogan was used at
the demonstration at the Red Square 24 August of 2008I.Vasunin, E.Kostuchenko, A.Kondrawheva. Civil activists celebrated the jubilee of the protest against occuation of Czechozolvakia by Soviet troops. Novaya Gaseta, N63, 28 August 2008. (in Russian);] [Documentary film of the demonstration at the Red Square of 25 August 2008:] [Youth Human Right News, 24 Aug 2008: "again they try to convince us, that we are surrounded by enemies". (in Russian),] brutally suppressed by the Russian police. [For your freedom and ours. (in Russian) NewTimes, 30 August 2008,]


It is still often invoked in official speeches, including those of US President George W. Bush regarding Poland's help in the war against Saddam Hussein's regime. [ [] ] [ [] ]


The slogan has also been used as a title of various books in the Polish and English languages, for example "For your freedom and ours: The Polish Armed Forces in the Second World War" (2003), "For Your Freedom and Ours: The Kosciuszko Squadron - Forgotten Heroes of World War II" (2003) or "For Your Freedom and Ours: Casimir Pulaski, 1745-1779" (2004).

To this day, Polish foreign policy and diplomacy are guided by a belief that it is Poland's mission to support rights for self-determination, democratic government and a respect for human rights in other countries.Marcin Zaborowski, David H Dunn, "Poland: A New Power in Transatlantic Security", Routledge, 2003, ISBN 071465552X, [ Google Print, p.25] ]


#It should be noted that several sources (for example, [] , [] , [] ) state that the slogan dates from the late 18th century and was used by Tadeusz Kościuszko, presumably during the Kościuszko Uprising. This is most likely an error based on associating the 1831 motto which became popular with Polish revolutionaries with one of the earliest and most famous of them all. Karma Nabulusi offers a possible explanation: Kościuszko has used the words "For [both] our freedom and yours" ("Za naszą wolność i waszą"), Lelewel reworded them into "For your freedom and ours", a variant which became more popular and is often mixed up with its predecessor. [ [] ]


See also

* Polish legions
* Pro Fide, Lege et Rege
* Bóg, Honor, Ojczyzna

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