Barwinek-Vyšný Komárnik Border Crossing

The Barwinek-Vyšný Komárnik border crossing joins Poland (near Barwinek) and Slovakia (near Vyšný Komárnik). The border crossing is on the E371 road and the nearest major cities are Rzeszów (Poland) and Prešov (Slovakia). The border crossing has several shops and two large parking lots for trucks. In 1949, the Czechoslovak government erected a memorial and cemetery southeast of the Dukla border crossing, It contains the graves of several hundred Russian and Czechoslovak soldiers. Several other memorials and cemeteries have also been erected in the region.

Location of Key Sites

The Battle of the Dukla Pass.

Most people from western countries will have heard of D Day or Arnhem and even possibly Monte Cassino, but fewer will know the details of the battles that occurred in eastern Europe which were pivotal in defeating the axis powers. The battle at Dukla pass was one such battle which resulted in huge casualties on both sides (estimated between 70,000 and 130,000). The pass is known as the Valley of Death.

The advancing Soviet Red Army fought the German Wehrmacht between 8 September to 28 October 1944 . One of the biggest battles in the pass took place on and around Hill 534 in the northwest from the town of Dukla; the battle to capture this hill lasted from 10–20 September, and during that period the control of the hill changed more than 20 times. The town of Dukla was seized on 21 September.  The area of the former Czechoslovak state border—heavily fortified by the Germans—was captured on 6 October; it took almost a month for the Soviet forces to reach Slovakia

Tank and Plane Memorials

Along the road leading to the border there are several memorials commemorating the battle.

 The Dukla Memorial

The Memorial is 28 m tall and is completed by a bronze statue by Ján Kulich named “Žalujem” (I accuse). It was built in 1949. The mother from Dukla thanks a Soviet soldier for liberating them but at the same time she also accuses them of Munich, Lidice, Ležáky, Ostrý Grúň, Kremnička, Kľak and Tokajík. It is set into the military cemetery divided by a colonnade of bronze tablets with the names of 1265 members of 1st Czechoslovak Army Brigade who died there. There is an observation tower and further exhibits.

Žalujem” (I accuse)
The symbol of Engineer Corps in Dukla. It depicts how the hands of a sapper disarm the enemy’s antitank mine.

References:

  1. The Battle of the Dukla Pass. Wikia Org. Article here
  2. Dula Battlefield. Article here

Date of Visit: 31st July 2008

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