AND DECORATIONS OF POLAND
Republic of Poland since 1990
(Click here to see updates)
(Krzyz za Wolnosc i Niepodleglosc
Medal za Wolnosc i Niepodleglosc)
Instituted by "Counter-president" in Exile in London, Juliusz Nowina-Sokolnicki in 1985, on the 40th anniversary of victory over nazi Germany. Meant as a continuation of the Independence Cross and Medal to be conferred to individuals who fought for the cause of freedom and indepencence of Poland, either during WWII in the Armed Forces in the West or in the occupied country in the Resistance, or after the war opposing Soviet and communist domination in an underground organization or in democratic opposition. Those who fought with the arms in hands are eligible to the cross with swords. In 1989 the right to confer the award was ceded to the Association of Underground Armed Forces 1944-56 in Lodz.
The cross, 42 x 42 mm is made in a silver metal and has rounded arm bases. In the middle of the obverse there is a crowned Polish eagle (there existed early copies without an eagle) surrounded by a ring of barbed wire; the arms bear the following inscription RP / ZA : WOLNOSC I : NIEPODLEGLOSC (Polish Republic for freedom and independence) : 1. IX / 1939. The reverse is blank. Crossed swords were initially attached to the ribbon; in the Polish made copies the swords are a link between the cross and ribbon.
The medal is made of silver metal and is 32 mm in diameter. The obverse shows a crowned Polish eagle surrounded by a ring of barbed wire and circumscribed RP / ZA : WOLNOSC I : NIEPODLEGLOSC : 1. IX / 1939. The reverse is blank.
Ribbon: 36 mm, originally white with claret-black-claret side stripes. In the ribbons to Polish made decorations claret stripes have been replaced by red ones.
2.Obverse (enameled with two stripes for imprisonment)
(Krzyz Walki o Niepodleglosc)
Instituted on November 11, 1995 by members of the Polish Home Combatants "ANTYK" Association, to honor soldiers of the Polish underground organizations in both their active or propaganda struggle for the cause of independence, as well as those who had opposed nazi or communist propaganda. It is conferred by the organization branch in the city of Lodz.
Badge: a Greek cross of oxydized silver metal, 44 x 44 mm, with a rand along the arm edges. The upper and lower arms bear the years 1939 and 1989 respectively. In the center there is a crowned eagle sitting on the Amazon shield, as worn on military headgears, surrounded by a barbed wire. The reverse is plain. There is a variant of the cross covered with black enamel. Crossed silver swords are worn above the cross.
Ribbon 38 mm, black with a red-white-red central stripe and wide red (inner) and white (outer) edges. Another type of the ribbon - red with white (inner) and black (outer) edges is also encountered. Silver stripes for being imprisoned are worn across the ribbon. A black ribbon with red-white-red central stripe and red-white edges is also encountered. Those who were wounded while fiting in an underground organization wear a strip of the ribbon in the colors of Virtuti Militari, with a silver fivepointed star in the middle. Those sentenced to death by communist courts for fighting for the cause of independence, are eligible for the black ribbon with golden side stripes.
(Krzyz Konspiracyjnego Wojska Polskiego)
Instituted on April 5, 1995. Conferred by the Board of the Underground Polish Army to former members of that organization fighting against the communist regime in Poland between 1945 and 1956.
Badge: a cross, 47 x 47 mm, of slightly concave arm sides and bases, slightly similar to the Cross of Valor. The obverse of the arms is white with a red stripe along each arm; the horitontal ones have the dated 1945 and 1956. In the center there is a red gothic shield with a silver crowned eagle; around the shield on the horizontal and upper arms there is the abbreviation K : W : P; the lower arm bears the "anchor". The reverse is plain.
Ribbon 35 mm, half white half red. Occassionally the cross can also be seen on the ribbon of the September Campaign Cross.
Instituted in 1998 by the combatants of the Conspirational Polish Army. Conferred to those members of the organization who had served under command of capt. Stanislaw Sojczynski "Warszyc" (1910-1947), between June 1945 and December 1946.
Badge: silver medal, 36 mm in diameter. Obverse: bust of Capt. Warszyc with the insctiption ZOLNIERZOWI WARSZYCA (to the soldier of Warszyc) below. Reverse: the anchor of Polish Resistance, circumscribed KONSPIRACYJNE WOJSKO POLSKIE : 1945-1956.
Ribbon: 37 mm, light green, with a black central stripe and white (inner) and red side stripes. Identical to that of the Peasant Battalions Cross.
(Krzyz Korpusu Wojska Polskiego)
Instituted on May 30, 1995, by the Polish Army Corps Assosiation in Czestochowa, to commamorate the underground struggle of the Corps for free and independent Poland between 1949 and 1956. It is conferred to forme soldiers of the Army Corps, as well to other people who rendered merit to the organization.
Badge: silver cross pattée, 40 x 40 mm, with concave arm sides and bases. On the horizontal arms there are the years 1949 : 1956. In the center there is a Gothic shield with a stylized crowned eagle on white and red background; around there is the inscription KORPUS : WOJSKA : POLSKIEGO: The reverse is plain.
Ribbon: 40 mm, gray with half white half red central stripe and black edge stripes.
(Krzyz Zaslugi WSGO "Warta")
Instituted on December 4, 1994 by the Board of Members of the Asociation as the organization's award of honor. It is conferred in three grades (gold, silver, bronze) to the former soldiers of the Independent "Warta" Group, who actively fought against the communist regime between 1945 and 1956, or actively opposed the communist propaganda before 1989.
Badge: gold, silver or bronze cross pattée, 45 x 45 mm, with green enameed arms and the following inscription on them: WSGO (upper), 19 / 45 (left), 19 / 89 (right), WARTA (lower). Medallion: crowned white eagle on red bacground, surrounded by a closed laurel wreath. The reverse is plain, except the award number.
Ribbon: 40 mm, dark green with white (outer) and red side stripes.
(Krzyz Zaslugi Stowarzyszenia Polskich Kombatantow)
Instituted in 1977 by the British branch of the Association to merit those members who had distinguished themselves in the work of the organization. Since 1990 it has been conferred also by the Warsaw branch of the organization.
Badge: oxidized silver cross with plain diminishing arms. Medallion: stylized letters SPK, with a sword below and a corn spike above. The reverse is plain, except the inscription W SLUZBIE SPK (in service of SPK) across the horizontal arms.
Ribbon 40 mm, red with narrow black side stripes.
(Krzyz Zaslugi Stowarzyszenia Polskich Kombatantow - Obroncow Ojczyzny)
Instituted in 1995 by the Main Board of the Association, to merit those members who had distinguished themselves in the work of the organization. It can be conferred to non-members of the association as well.
Badge: oxidized silver cross with plain diminishing arms, based on the . Cross of Merit of the Association of Polish Combattants. Medallion: red enameled, with a crowned silver eagle, sitting on a sword, with the years 1939-1945 above, and SPKOO below. The reverse is plain.
Ribbon: of five alternate stripes, three red and two white (identical with that of the Victory and Freedom Medal).
(Krzyz Sluzby Rzeczypospolitej)
Instituted by Chief Commandant of the Federation of November 11, 1993. Conferred to the individuals who rendered particular merit and devotion in service to the Republic; to those who for at least 15 years worked for the case of independent Poland or who worked for at least 5 years but were oppresed due to that.
Badge: black enameled silver Grek cross, 42 x 42 mm, almost identical to the Independence Cross. In the center there is a crowned eagle, and the horizontal arms bear the inscription SLUZBA : RZECZYPOSPOLITEJ (service to Republic). The reverse has the word HONOR across the horizontal arms and the year 1927 on the lower one.
Ribbon: 35 mm, light blue with broad dark blue side stripes and narrow black edges.
(Medal Zaslugi Federacji)
Instituted by Chief Commandant of the Federation of November 11, 1993. Conferred in a single class to the individuals who rendered particular merit to the Federation.
Badge: silver oxidized medal, 35 mm in diameter. Obverse: the symbol of the Federation - a four pointed star with a superimposed cross, composed of four letters F; under the cross there is a ring inscribed FEDERACJA / POL. ZW. / OBRONCOW / OJCZYZNY. Reverse: letter RP and the year 1927 below.
Ribbon: 38 mm, red with white side stripes and blue (inner) and black edges.
(Odznaka za Zaslugi dla Stowarzyszenia)
Instituted on July 3, 2001. Awarded in one class to both members and non-members of the Asssociation for merit in supporting its statutory objectives, in particular the attempts to restore the Order of the Grunwald Cross into the award system of Poland.
Badge: silver Greek cross, 42 x 42 mm, similar to the Order of the Grunwald Cross. A stylized silver eagle with a gilt crown is superimposed on the center. The reverse is blank. The cross is attached to the ribbon with a link of two silver crossed swords.
Ribbon: 35 mm, red with a white central stripe, side stripes of green, red and yellow, and black stripes near the edges, the colors being being the combination of the colors of the Order of the Grunwald Cross and of the military units to which it was conferred.
(Krzyz Armii Ludowej)
Instituted in Cracow in 1998, to honor former soldiers of a left wing WWII conspirational organization, known as the People's Guard (Gwardia Ludowa), transformed in 1944 into People's Army (Armia Ludowa). Eligible are all former soldiers of both organizations who actively fought against nazi occupants.
Badge: black enameled silver Greek cross, 42 x 42 mm, very much like the Independence Cross. In the center there is an eagle of the same form as that worn by the soldiers of the 1st Polish Army in the USSR. The reverse is blank, save the letters AL in the center.
Ribbon: 36 mm, red with a wide light blue central stripe and green edges, similar to that of the Order of the Grunwald Cross.
(Medal pamiatkowy 60-lecia bitwy pod Lenino)
Instituted in 2003 by the Society of Polish People's Army Soldiers of Lower Silesia, to commemorate the surviving participants of the first battle of the Polish People's Army, organized in the former USSR.
Badge: silver medal. Obverse: an uncrowned Polish eagle with a five-pointed star behind, and the words "LENINO / 1943 - 2003" in the lower part. The upper part is surrounded by the inscription "W 60 ROCZNICE BITWY" (on the 60th anniversary of the battle). Reverse: a three line inscription "ZWIAZEK ZOLNIERZY / LUDOWEGO WOJSKA POLSKIEGO / DOLNY SLASK".
Ribbon: 36 mm, yellow, with a narrow central stripe of white and red and broad red edges. The medal is sometimes wotn on the ribbon of the Battle of Lenino Cross.
(Odznaka "Za Zaslugi dla Zwiazku Kombatantow RP i bylych Wiezniow Politycznych")
Instituted in May of 1995 by the Board of Members of the Association, to honor merit for the organization. It can be awarded to members of the Association, as well as to members of the central and local governments, other organizations, soldiers of the Polish Armed Forces, media, clergy and other people and institutions.
Badge: gold cross pattée, 43 x 43 mm, with blue enameled arms. Under the aarms there is a ring, in the form of alaurel wreath in the lower, and a barbed wire in the upper part. Medallion: a silver crowned eagle on red bacground; in the white enameled ring the inscription ZA ZASLUGI DLA ZKRPiBWP. The reverse is plain.
Ribbon 38 mm, blue with wide red side stripes flanked by narrower white ones, and with narrow green edges.
(Odznaka honorowa za Rozminowywanie Kraju)
Instituted in 1997 by the Council of the Association of Combatants of the Republic of Poland and Former Political Prisoners, primarily to honor the soldiers of engineer troops who gave lives or were wounded while removing mines left on the territory of Poland. The badge can also be conferred to other members of engineer troops who do mine clearing at home or participating in peacekeeping missions.
Badge: gilt cross pattée, 44 x 44 mm, with slightly concave arms. The arms are enameled red, with black stripes alongside. Between the arms there are gilt smooth rays. The cental medalion depicts a silver crowned eagle on red background, surrounded by a white ring inscribed ZA ROZMINOWYWYNIE : KRAJU (for mine clearing of the country). The reverse is blank.
Ribbon: 39 mm, light green with broad a red central stripe, flanked by narrower black ones, white (inner) and red side stripes and blue edges.
(Odznaka "Zasluzony dla Polskiego Zwiazku Bylych Wiezniow Politycznych Hitlerowskich Wiezien i Obozow Koncentracyjnych)
Instituted on July 29, 1996 by the Association's Main Board on its50th anniversary, to honor members and non-members of the Association.
Badge: gilt medal, 32 mm of diameter. Obverse: stylized inscription "50-LECIE" (50th anniversary) above, and POLSKIEGO ZWIAZKU / BYLYCH WIEZNIOW POLITYCZNYCH / HITLEROWSKICH WIEZIEN / I OBOZOW / KONCENTRACYJNYCH: At the bottom there are the years 1946-1996 and two laurel and oak leaves. Reverse: the symbol of the Association - a shield with the letter "P" (as worn by Polish prisoners) and barbed wires on concentric circles and with the inscription ZASLUZONY / DLA / PZBWPHiOK.
Ribbon 33 mm, of six dark blue and five gray stripes (similar to that of the Auschwitz Cross, but narrower).
(Medal Zaslugi Zwiazku Polakow - Poszkodowanych przez Trzecia Rzesze)
Instituted on May 7, 1997 to reward the individuals or organizations who have helped satisfy the demands of the victims of the Third Reich in Poland. The medal has two classes: gold (for at least 8 years of honorable service in the organization) and silver (for 4 years of service). Both classes are worn on a ribbon around the neck.
Badge: gold or silver medal, 60 mm in diameter. Obverse: a square with the letter P inside, as worn by the poles in the area of the Third Reich, with the words ZA ZASLUGI (for merit) above and DLA SPP (to SPP) below. Reverse: a picture of a monument showing a human figure with a tree in the background; on the right there is a five line liscription PAMIECI POLEK I POLAKOW / DEPORTOWANYCH / DO PRAC NIEWOLNICZYCH / W III RZESZY W LATACH / 1939-1945 (to the memory of the Polishmwomen and Polishmen deported to slave work in the Third Reich in 1939-1945); the whole being circumscribed STOWARZYSZENIE POLAKOW POSZKODOWANYCH PRZEZ III RZESZE.
Ribbon: 20 mm, yellow gold.
(Krzyz Powstania Poznanskiego Czerwca 1956 Roku)
Instituted in Poznan in 1995 on the occassion of the 40th anniversary of the rising of Poznan workers against communist authority in June of 1956. It is conferred in two classes: to participants of the rising (gold cross) and to other individuals who have rendered merit to the Association (bronze cros). The gold cross if conferred as a honorary decoration for special merit to the Association is worn around the neck. The only honorary Gold corss so far has been conferred to a hero of the Hungarian Uprising of 1956 and the President of the Republic of Hungary, Mr. Arpad Göncz.
Badge: gold or bronze Greek cross, 40 x 40 mm, similar to the Great Poland Uprising Cross. Obverse: a shield with a crowned Polish eagle in the center; the arms of the cross bear the following inscription PRAWO (law - upper), WOLNOSC (freedom -left), CHLEB (bread - right), 22 VI / 1956 (lower). The reverse bears the inscription POWSTANCOM POZNANSKIM (to the insurgents of Poznan) along the horizontal arms, with a laurel spray above and below.
Ribbon: 40 mm, dark blue with narrow red side stripes (similar to that of the the Great Poland Uprising Cross) and with a white and red stripe through the center.
(Krzyz "Semper Fidelis")
Instituted in December of 1994 by by the Polish Combattants Solidarity Association (Zwiazek Solidarnosci Polskich Kombatantow) in Poznan, to honor combatants of the struggle for Poland's independence. Eligible all those who fulfil one of the following conditions: 1) took part in an armed struggle, for Polands freedom and independence; 2) took part in the resistance movement aiming at the goals in (1); 3) were oppressed due to political, religious, or national reasons; 4) worked abroad for the cause of independent Poland; 5) represent high ethic and moral standards. The decoration was conferred to members and supporters of "Solidarnosc" movement who took active part in the underground "Solidarnosc" movement after the martial law was introduced in December of 1981.
Badge 1st type: a Greek cross of silver oxidized metal, 40 x 40 mm, with slightly protruding edges. In the center there is the so called "anchor" (symbol of Polish underground forces during World War II) - a combination of letter "P" and an anchor. The horizontal arms carry the Latin inscription SEMPER FIDELIS (always faithful); the upper cross has the year 1981. Reverse plain, except the inscription 1939 ZSPK 1989 running along the horizontal arms.
Badge, 2nd type: a Greek cross of silver metal 42 x 42 mm. The obverse is covered with black enamel. In the middle there is an anchor stretching to the four arms, with a small crowned eagle above and the abbreviation ZSPK below. The reverse is granular and has no enamel. Along the horizontal arms runs the inscription SEMPER FIDELIS; on the upper arm there is the year 1981.
Ribbon: 1st type - 35 mm, of seven equal stripes: green, black, green, red, green; 2nd type - 33 mm, half white half red with a black central stripe.
(Odznaka Missio Reconciliationis)
Instituted in June 1999 on the occassion of the 60th anniversary of World War II. It is meant to honor Polish and foreign individuals who have contributed to reconciliation between the former soldiers who fought against each other during WWII. Awarded in a single class, and designed originally to be a breast decoration, is now worn as a neck decoration.
Badge, 1st type: cross, 45 mm in diameter, of five green enameled arms with double cut arm bases. The central medallion depicts two shaking hands on white background, holding a green palm spray; the whole is surrounded by a red ring with the Latin motto MISSIO RECONCILIATIONIS (mission of reconciliation). The reverse is blank. The badge should suspend from a ribbon to be worn on the left breast.
Badge, 2nd type: as above, but the arms are enameled dark blue. The badge is meant to be worn as a neck decoration.
Ribbon: 1st type - green with white and red edges; 2nd type - "double rainbow" with a red stripe in the center (identical with the Interallied Victory Medal of WWI). Due to some technical difficulties with manufacturing such a ribbon, the actual one is made up of five stripes: blue, yellow, red, yellow and blue.
(Krzyz Policyjny im. "Ponurego")
Instituted on June 15, 1991. The cross is meant to be a police decoration of the Swietokrzyski region (in south eastern Poland) conferred to policemen and policewomen for bravery in action saving human life or property or outstanding contribution to the safety of people and respect to law. The right to confer the cross has been ceded to the Regional Commandant of State Police in Kielce. The badge is worn over the left chest pocket of the tunic. The cross is named in honor of Jan Piwnik aka "Ponury" (1912-1944), member of state police and commander of the Swietokrzyska group of the Home Army. He was killed in action in 1944.
Badge: Greek cross, 45 x 45 mm, manufactured in silver. The arms of the cross are enameled blue, with the letters RP (Rzeczpospolita Polska - Polish Republic) on the upper arm and PP (Policja Panstwowa - State Police) on the lower. The horizontal arms bear the Latin motto of the cross LAUS : TIBI (honor be to you). The square central medallion is white enameled and bears the anchor of Polish Resistance. The cross is superimposed on an eight pointed police star, partly seen between the arms. The reverse is blank with a screw for mounting.
(Krzyz Bitwy nad Bzura)
Projected by a group of Representatives to the Parliament in 1999 to commemorate the surviving veterans of the biggest battle of the September campaign (9 to 19 September 1939) fought along the Bzura river. In some exceptional cases the cross would be conferred posthumously as well. As of April 2006 the cross have not been instituted, yet the copies exist. It is not known if the cross is awarded by any combatant organization or it is just a collector copy.
Badge: silver oxidized cross pattée, 38 x 38 mm. Obverse: a crowned eagle encircled by a ring, inscribed ZA BITWE : NAD BZURA (for battle of Bzura). The horizontal arms bear the two line inscriptions ARMIA / POZNAN (Poznan Army) on the left and ARMIA / POMORZE (Pomerania Army) on the right. The vertical arms are inscribed WRZESIEN : 1939 (September 1939). Reverse: part of Gen. Kutrzeba's report "...STARALI SIE / WYKONAC / NIEWYKONALNY W 1939 R./ OBOWIAZEK OBRONY POLSKI" (they tried to fulfil their duty of defense of Poland not to fulfil in 1939).
Ribbon: 38 mm, khaki with a black central stripe and white (inner) and red side stripes.