For ten years now in eastern Germany the first scout team in Leipzig named after prince Józef Poniatowski focusing on over thirty children from local polish, german and polish-german families. The team works within the framework of an organisation bringing together Polish scout teams world-wide outside the country border of Poland: in the polish scouting association called „ZHP Świat”.
In Leipzig, and overall in the state of Saxony, we’re not pioneers. The first scout teams were created here in the year 1932, and two years later in Leipzig in polish scout uniforms, you could see nearly fifty children. The team works under the polish scouting association in Germany (ZHPwN). From the landmark year, 1934 scouts and girl scouts have been very active in scouting. They took part in the Polish youth rally living outside the country in Warsaw (in 1934), they camped in the polish Silesia with polish scouts (in 1934 and 1935), they also took part in training and instructional courses. In 1935 in Leipzig there were four teams. Three male and one female. Additionally, a new group was created in Meuselwitz located in the north of Leipzig.
Today Scouts and Cub Scouts from Leipzig spend their time playing games, camping, hiking and gaining scouting ranks and badges. We’re mostly accompanied by a group of adult friends. We’re a connected and happy local organisation.
The presented exhibition about the participation of scouts in the Warsaw Uprising fits perfectly into the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the renewal of Polish Scouting in Saxony. This is a good sign of reconciliation, teamwork, good and normal relationships neighbouring young Poles and Germans. The exhibition proves the phenomenon of scouting that works in times of peace and misery. Values such as service, friendship, character building, building peaceful relationships between people, Citizens’ responsibility, activeness, being ready to act, that giving up isn’t a slow gun for us, whatever you can and even have to survive in person.
We thank our German friends from Pfadfinder-Förderkreis Nordbayern e.V.
for the initiative exhibitions, and all our patrons for the cooperation. We are pleased that the exhibition will help to better understand what scouting is, what the experience in 1939-1945 looked like for Poles, what an important and tragic event the Warsaw Uprising was and how we can and must take care of the peaceful relationship.
(translation: Maciek Czerwonka / Dresden)