Poland honors anti-communist fighters as founders of freedom

Poland's defense minister says the nation owes its freedom to anti-communist fighters who did not lay down arms after World War II.

Minister Antoni Macierewicz spoke Wednesday at ceremonies honoring underground Home Army soldiers who fought the German Nazis during the war and continued their struggle after 1945 against the communist regime imposed on Poland then.

Many were arrested and killed by the communist regime, which also erased them from history books.

When the communist era ended in 1989, the country has sought to restore their memory.

Macierewicz said that thanks to the so-called "cursed soldiers," Poland can now develop and build its independent armed forces.

Prime Minister Beata Szydlo also said the soldiers were an example of true patriotism.