The defence minister was speaking at a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the capture of a strategic airport in Poznań, western Poland, by Polish insurgents. The historic event took place on January 6, 1919, during the Wielkopolskie Uprising against Germany. The successful insurgency reunited the Wielkopolska (Greater Poland) region with the rest of the country in the aftermath of World War I and the 1918 restoration of Polish independence after 123 years of partitions.
During his address at the ceremony, Minister Błaszczak said that "service in the Polish Armed Forces is a distinction, is a privilege, is an honour." "But service in the Polish Armed Forces must also involve decent wages. I would like to assure the soldiers serving in the Polish Armed Forces that the pay rises that have been provided for in the MoD budget have been the biggest in years," the minister said, adding that in 2010-2015, during the previous government's rule, there were no wage increases.
"I want the highest rises to go to front line soldiers, to soldiers who today receive the lowest wages. I want the Polish Armed Forces to be more numerous, I want the wages in the Polish Armed Forces to be competitive compared to other, civilian professions," the minister noted.
The Ławica airport was the last point of German resistance in the vicinity of the region's capital Poznań. After a short fight, the Germans surrendered. The assets taken over at the airport and in the Zeppelin hangar allowed Poland to start work on its own air force. According to historical sources, the insurgents seized several dozen ready-for-flight aircraft as well as huge stocks of components, weapons and ammunition.
The Wielkopolskie Uprising (1918–19) against the Germans, which was one of the two successful Polish uprisings, broke out on December 27, 1918, in Poznań (western Poland) after a patriotic speech by Ignacy Paderewski, the famous pianist and diplomat, who became the Polish prime minister in 1919. The city was liberated on January 6, 1919. By mid-January, almost the entire province was liberated and returned to Poland. This was later confirmed in the Treaty of Versailles, signed on June 28, 1919. (PAP)