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History of cemetery

The Polish War Cemetery in Bologna (San Lazzaro di Savena) is the biggest of four
Polish necropolises that are to be found in Italy. The cemetery has 1,432 interred soldiers of the 2nd Polish Corps
who fought with the British 8th Army around the Gothic Line, Emilian Apennines, Senio River
and Bologna. Most burials took place in 1946, when a decision was made to create a common necropolis for
the graves of over 1400 soldiers that perished in the battles of Emiglia Romagna.
Before that, the graves were spread throughout the war paths.
The idea to establish the cemetery was proposed by the commander of those whose memory it commemorates, Gen. Władysław Anders. It was built in the period of July 1st to December 15th according to a project created by 2nd Lt. Eng. Arch. Zygmunt Majerski through the work of the 10th Sapper Battalion, with the support of Italian specialists. Eng. Roman Wajda supervised the work, while the architect and sculptor Michał Paszyna designed and created the decorative elements.
The necropolis was consecrated on the 12th of October 1946, during an ecumenical mass,  which was lead by field bishop of the Polish Armed Forces in the West, Rev. Józef Gawlin. Gen. Władysław Anders was present as a guest of honour.

Following 1946, the cemetery was cared for, in turn, by the local clergy and Gen. Anders' soldiers who remained in Italy, Polish Combatants' Association, Branch in Turin, General Commissariat for the Memory of Soldiers Killed at War (Commissariato Generale per le Onoranze ai Caduti in Guerra). The Association of Families of Polish Combatants in Italy (Associazione delle Famiglie dei Combattenti Polacchi in Italia) also partakes in taking care of the cemetery.
The first renovations were carried out in the 1960's. For years the necropolis also remains under the care of the Council for the Protection of Memory of Combat and Martyrdom that conducted a ground renovation in 2014. Every year celebrations take place in the cemetery that mark the liberation of Bologna (April 21st) as well as Zaduszki.
This exceptional for the memory of Polish history place,  has been visited numerous times by important Poles. Karol Wojtyła visited the cemetery as a Cardinal in 1969 and 1971, and then as pope John Paul II in 1982. The Cemetery in Bologna was, furthermore also visited by the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński.

Address of the cemetery: Via Giuseppe Dozza, Bologna - San Lazzaro di Savena, 40139 Bologna (BO)
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