Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the death of General Władysław Anders, the celebrated Polish military general who led some 120,000 Poles out of Soviet forced labor camps, through Iran and Iraq to Palestine, and onward to Europe to fight the Nazis. “Anders’ Army,” the informal nickname given to the Polish II Corps, is perhaps best known for its heroic efforts in the hard-fought Battle of Monte Cassino during the Italian Campaign of 1943-1945 as well as being the only unit in WWII to count a 250 kilo (600 lb) Syrian brown bear (Wojtek) as one of its soldiers. A statue commemorating the heroic efforts of Wojtek the Soldier Bear can be found next to St. George’s church on Monte Cassino in Sopot.
Anders himself was stripped of his military title and Polish citizenship in 1946 for openly criticizing aspects of the communist regime in Poland. He passed away in exile in London on May 12, 1970, at the age of 77. After the collapse of communism in Poland in 1989, his citizenship and military rank were posthumously reinstated. In accordance with his wishes,
Anders is buried in the Polish War Cemetery at Monte Cassino in Italy.
Health Ministry hints at the possibility of getting a haircut soon
Health Minister Łukasz Szumowski suggested in an interview yesterday that it was “highly likely” hairdressers and other personal grooming services would be allowed to reopen as of May 18.
In a conversation with Radio Zet, Szumowski also hinted at the possibility of restaurants opening again, albeit only those with outdoor patio space where social distancing measures could be observed.
He indicated that consultations with the industry are still underway and the most recent effects of the “thawing” of restrictions are still being analyzed. “We do not want a situation where we ‘defrost’ without feedback,” Szumowski stressed, citing the need to evaluate the proposal in light of the current epidemic situation.
Government spokesman Piotr Müller announced on TVP1 yesterday that the timetable for lifting further restrictions would likely be announced at a press conference today, dependent on the agreements made Tuesday during the meeting of the Government Crisis Management Team.
Source: Radio Gdańsk
Record spike in COVID-19 diagnoses in Poland
Yesterday saw a record number of COVID-19 diagnoses in Poland, with most of those cases resulting from an outbreak in the mines in the province of Silesia.
A total of 595 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Tuesday, the highest daily tally since the start of the coronavirus epidemic in Poland last March. Of these cases, over 80% (492) are from Silesia (Śląsk).
The number of confirmed cases in Poland is over 17,000 as of this morning, with nearly 850 patients succumbing to the disease. On a positive note, hospitalization rates have remained steady at around 2,500 patients, while the number of reported recoveries is over 6,410 and climbing.
Source: Radio Poland
Zoo employees “hop to it” to save an Australian wallaby
For the animal lovers of Trójmiasto, the City of Gdańsk recently launched a special weekly TV program dedicated to different animals from the zoo in Gdańsk Oliwa.
Today’s program will feature the inspiring story of Gacek, the baby Australian Wallaby (a type of kangaroo) who prematurely fell out of his mother’s pouch. Such a situation is usually a death sentence for baby wallabies, but zoo employee Andrzej Gutowski stepped in and became Gacek’s foster mother, carrying the baby wallaby around for weeks in a special pouch pinned to his stomach. Even Andrzej’s pet airedale terrier stepped in to help.
For more on the rescue of Gacek and the special bond between him, Andrzej, and Andrzej’s dog, tune in at 15:00 today to the weekly televised program “Stories of animals from the Gdańsk zoo” online at https://www.gdansk.pl/wiadomosci/historie-zwierzat-z-gdanskiego-zoo-gacek-kangur-benetta-wychowany-przez-czlowieka,a,170873
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Today will be cloudy and cool with a good chance of rain showers midday and into the afternoon. Temperatures will peak around a high of 11°C, or 51°F, dropping to a low of 2°C or 35°F overnight. Sunny skies will return tomorrow, however, with temperatures expected to remain on the cooler side into the weekend.