The Soviet IS-2 tank from Nowa Huta‘s Osiedle Gorali is among the most well-known symbols of this Krakow district. The tank was returned to life in the 1950s and taken for renovation several months ago to the Museum of Polish Aviation.
While the tank’s restorations are almost finished, finances are still needed to give a new look to the terrain surrounding the 40-ton steel monument. The tank served the Polish army during World War II. A special bank account has been established to collect necessary funding through donations, but a group of Nowa Huta enthusiasts has found another way to raise money.
The tank, which bears the initials of Soviet dictator Iosif (Josef) Stalin, has now become the theme of a T-shirt sold by the NH Style Company. The shirt can be purchased for 29 złoty at the 1949 Club, which opened recently in Osiedle Urocze in Nowa Huta. Fifteen percent of each purchase will be set aside for the tank’s renovation. The club sold 20 shirts in one week and says that they have received calls from many interested buyers who have read about the T-shirts in a recent issue of Gazeta Wyborcza.
Depending on the amount of funding collected the tank may not only stand on a new concrete platform, but may also be illuminated in the evenings. Until now, NH Style was mostly known for designing T-shirts with the slogan “I Love NH.” The design has become popular among Nowa Huta inhabitants and helped to raise interest in the district. The tank was brought to Nowa Huta 40 years ago as a gift from the Polish army during the opening of the Museum of Armed Forces. It was used during the 1945 invasion of Berlin by Soviet and Polish forces.