The Count Aleksander Fredro Monument

Count Aleksander Fredro, born June 20, 1793, was a Polish poet, playwright and author. His best known comedy, The Revenge, was turned into a movie in 2002. Fredro died on July 15, 1876 in Lwów (Lviv) which at the time belonged to Poland. His monument was created in Lwów by Leonard Markoni and was displayed in the academic square in 1897.

After World War II Lwów was taken away from Poland according to the Yalta conference settlement which moved Polish borders westward leaving Lwów in what had become the Soviet Russia. It is estimated that 100,000 to 140,000 people were resettled from Lwów to the “Recovered Territories”, land that belonged to Germany but became Polish after WWII. My mother’s family and pretty much everyone in my neighborhood hails from Lwów. My dad’s family however is originally from Wrocław, the recovered territory, and I currently live in the house my great-grandfather built while Wrocław was still called Breslau. That would make me a true Wrocław citizen.

Polish folk leaving Lwów didn’t forget about their beloved poet and took Fredro’s monument along with them. In 1956 Aleksander Fredro took a seat in Wrocław’s center square where he’s been presiding ever since.

For the past few weeks an exhibit literally surrounding Fredro’s monument has been on display in Wrocław. Photos on six foot tall billboards show a photographic time line from when Fredro’s monument was loaded up on a truck and transported into Wrocław, trough the very hard times Poland went through post WWII and during the communist regime, till now, a free and democratic Poland. Fredro has seen it all and some times even dressed up for the occasion, such was the case for the first McDonald’s or when he simply wanted to kick back and play an instrument in his slippers. It’s a wonderful trip back in time of recent Wrocław.

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