Polish-Serbian relations are foreign relations between Poland and Serbia. Diplomatic relations have been maintained since Poland and Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes established them in 1919. Poland has an embassy in Belgrade and Serbia has an embassy in Warsaw.
Queen Jadwiga of Poland (r. 1384–99) had partly Serbian ancestry, through King Stefan Dragutin (r. 1276–82) of the Nemanjić dynasty. Serbian fiddlers (guslars) were mentioned at the court of Polish king Władysław II Jagiełło (r. 1386–1434) in 1415.
Polish knight Zawisza Czarny, who joined Bohemian King Sigismund's war against the Ottomans, fell at the Golubac fortress in eastern Serbia in 1428; there is a commemorative plaque on the fortress in his honour (Česma Zaviše Crnog). Hungarian commander John Hunyadi led a long campaign against the Ottomans in 1443–44, accompanied by Polish king Władysław III, Serbian despot Đurađ Branković, Wallachian voivode Vlad II Dracul, and a Polish contingent. They marched throughout Serbia and defeated the Ottomans.
The Polish hussars (cavalry) originated in mercenary units of exiled Serbian warriors, the concept having originated in Serbia in the late 14th century. The oldest mention of hussars in Polish documents date to 1500, although they were probably in service earlier.
Early modern history
After the Ottoman conquest of Serbia, Serbian guslars (fiddlers) found refuge throughout Europe, as mentioned in sources. Polish poets of the 17th century mentioned Serbian epic poetry and the gusle in their works. In a poem published in 1612, Kasper Miaskowski wrote that "the Serbian gusle and gaidas will overwhelm Shrove Tuesday" (Serbskie skrzypki i dudy ostatek zagluszą). In the idyll named Śpiewacy, published in 1663, Józef Bartłomiej Zimorowic used the phrase "to sing to the Serbian gusle" (przy Serbskich gęślach śpiewać).
After the November Uprising (1830–31), Polish revolutionaries fled to the Principality of Serbia. Serbian commander, and later politician, Ilija Garašanin (1812–1874) contacted these Polish emigrees. It was a Pole, Adam Czartoryski, who initiated the Načertanije project (the precursor to Greater Serbia).
The Serbians and Poles were part of the Pan-Slavic Sokol organizations, along with other Slavic nations.
World War I
In March 1914, Serbian, French, Polish and Greek allied troops landed at Odessa. In the early fall of 1918, an Allied account said that Serbs and Poles in a region from the Urals to Volga had been recruited by a French officer. In 1918, Serbs and Poles together with Chinese, were part of the "Officer's Corps", a unit of the Russian Consul at Harbin.
World War II
Serbs and Poles were some of the major Slavic victims of Nazi war crimes in Europe. The Nazis considered all Poles and Serbs as Untermensch, meaning "subhumans". Many ethnic Poles and ethnic Serbs died in concentration camps, or during retaliative guerrilla fights. Poles joined the Yugoslav Partisans in the beginning of the war. Yugoslav Partisans were often compared to the Polish Underground State and the Polish Resistance Movement which was the largest anti-Nazi guerrilla movement in the whole Europe.
In the mountains of Serbia in the years 1942–43 there were three Polish companies attached to the Chetnik Corps. The Rules of Chetnik Warfare was first published in Polish, then translated into Serbian.
On 1 June 1944, a Balkan Air Force was established by the British. It had mostly British, but also Italian, a Yugoslav squadron, and a Polish flight.
Polish opinion on NATO intervention in FR Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War (1998–99) was mixed: 37% favoured involvement while 43% were against. The government decided in favor of a NATO-led operation to bring cease-fire in the conflict. During the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in May 1999, a poll found 51% felt attacks to be justified, 26% opposed. Another poll found 53% in favour and 35% opposed.
In September 2008, President of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, stated that the original cause of the 2008 South Ossetia war was not the Georgian operation, but the recognition of Kosovo's independence and that he would block attempts to establish diplomatic relations of Poland with Kosovo at ambassadorial level; however, the government has not proposed to send an ambassador to Pristina.
The recognition of Kosovo Albanian independence has been criticized in Poland. Dozens of protests and demonstrations have been organized by various groups in Poland in support of the Serbian cause in Kosovo, with some attracting up to 1,500 to 2,000 people. An organization called "Poles for Serbian Kosovo" was formed in order to provide and support for Serbs in Kosovo.
Due to huge popularity of the Yugoslav rock scene in Poland in the 1970s and 1980s, many Yugoslav artists toured Poland. Električni orgazam recorded a live album titled Warszawa '81 and Azra released the songs Poljska u mome srcu (Poland in my heart) and Proljeće je 13. u decembru (Spring comes on December 13) to support the Polish opposition against Wojciech Jaruzelski. These connections in the 1980s led to albums being produced in Poland based on covers of popular Serbian and Yugoslav Rock bands with the albums Yugoton and Yugopolis covering artists such as Bajaga i Instruktori, Idoli and Električni orgazam.
Poles in Serbia
There are documents on Polish officers participating in the First Serbian Uprising (1804-1813). In the second half of the 19th century, especially after the suppression of the January Uprising in Poland (1864), some 20 Polish doctors arrived in Serbia, most of which settled down and gave a great contribution to the development of medical culture in the renewed Serbian state. The League of Yugoslavia–Poland (Liga Jugoslavija-Poljska) was active in the Interwar period, aimed at economical and cultural cooperation with Poland. The League was not a diaspora organization, although it gathered also a small number of Yugoslav Poles at its seat in Uzun–Mirko's Street 5 in Belgrade, especially during national and Catholic holidays. Members of the League helped Polish soldiers and civilians who in autumn 1939 fled from Romania via Yugoslavia to the West. Immediately after World War II some tens of Polish women with their Serbian husbands arrived in Serbia; they had met at forced labour- and concentration camps in Germany. The largest part of the Polonia (Polish diaspora) in Serbia is made up of women who married in Yugoslavia in the 1960s and 70s. During the Yugoslav wars, when Yugoslavia broke up, many Polish and their families either returned to Poland or emigrated to the West. According to the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Serbia, there are around 1,000 Polish citizens living in Serbia. These are individuals born in Poland, as well as their descendants from mixed marriages. Apart from Belgrade, larger numbers exist in Niš, Novi Sad, Kraljevo, Vrnjačka Banja and Subotica. The only community regarded starosedeoci ("natives"), is the one inhabiting Ostojićevo in northern Serbia, having settled in the mid-19th century from the Vistula.
Serbian people of Polish descent
Serbian aviators Tadija Sondermajer and Stanislav Sondermajor, the youngest fighter in the Battle of Cer (1914), were of paternal Polish descent. Serbian officer and journalist Stanislav Krakov (1895–1968) had a father of Polish origin. Journalist and military analyst Miroslav Lazanski is of paternal Polish ancestry. Film director and political commentator Boris Malagurski is of distant paternal Polish ancestry.
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