Grunwald, the Great Belarusian Victory

Poland and the Republic of Lithuania today officially celebrate the 600th anniversary of the battle of Grunwald.

On July 15, 1410, the united army of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania have defeated the Order of the Teutonic Knights in the well-known battle.

From 40 Lithuanian units at the battle 28, the overwhelming majority, were from the lands of modern Belarus and only 4 were from the territory of what is now the Republic of Lithuania.

For obvious reasons, the Belarusian president Aliaksandr Lukashenka has not been invited to the celebration. However, several hundred members of Belarusian history clubs have taken part in reconstruction of the battle.

Belarusian TV is this week broadcasting several historical documentaries about the battle. Belarus has today issued postage stamps commemorating the Battle of Grunwald. Interestingly, it is probably the first time since 1995 that the stamps feature Pahonia, the historical coat of arms of Belarus. Pahonia is a version of the emblem of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania that has been replaced by the quasi-Soviet modern state emblem following a controversial referendum.

Polish and foreign heads of state have arrived at Grunwald, in northern Poland, to mark the 600th anniversary of the Polish-Lithuanian victory over the German order of Teutonic knights on July 15, in 1410.

After hearing an address by Polish President-elect BronisÅ‚aw Komorowski, participants will lay wreaths at the battlefield and later visit the Teutonic Knight’s castle in Malbork.

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