First historical comic book published by Institute of National Remembrance

“It was no coincidence that on Nov. 26 no other than Primary School No. 28 in Rzeszow hosted the presentation of the first-ever historical comic book published by the Institute of National Remembrance.

This is how the school commemorated the day of its patron, Lukasz Cieplinski, who is the main protagonist of the comic book.
Cieplinski was an officer in the Polish Army and a hero of the Nazi resistance in World War II and the Communist resistance after the war.

In 1939, he fought in the battle of Bzura against the Germans, for which he was awarded the Virtuti Militari. After World War II, he opposed the Communist regime and was the president of the underground association Freedom and Independence. He was sentenced by the Communist authorities to death and executed in Warsaw in 1951, at the age of 37. To this day, he is considered the finest example of Polish patriotism. The comic book is entitled, “”Against Hope.””

The Story of Lukasz Cieplinski, Alias Plug,”” was created in the institute’s branch in Rzeszow by Wojciech Birek, a script writer, and Grzegorz Pudlowski, a cartoonist, in cooperation with professional historians. Creation of the script and the drawings took only six months, but both authors admit it was hard work.
“”It is extremely difficult to fit such a plentiful biography into a mere 46 pages,”” Birek told the Polish Press Agency (PAP). “”Another difficulty was that the script had to be absolutely faithful to historical facts.””

For Pudlowski, the undertaking also turned out to be challenging, as some details, such as the physical features of Rzeszow, were completely unknown to him when he began work. “”Working on details took most of my time,”” he said. “”I particularly wished to convey the atmosphere of that time.””
The comic book’s story begins in a courtroom where Cieplinski is being tried and sentenced to death. As the hero awaits his execution, the reader learns about his life through retrospections.

“”We hope that this form of publication will allow young people to learn about the newest and most difficult Polish history in an easy and accessible way,”” said Malgorzata Waksmundzka-Szarek of the Institute of National Remembrance. “”We intend it to be a teaching aid in Polish schools, but I expect it will also be valuable reading for adults,”” she told the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza Rzeszow. Depending on its reception, this first historical comic book might be one of many to be published by the Institute of National Remembrance.

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