One of the pictures in the Polish Paths to Freedom exhibition in Fife
One of the pictures in the Polish Paths to Freedom exhibition in Fife

Scotland’s strong links with Poland celebrated in photographic exhibition

The special relationship between Scotland and Poland has inspired a new exhibition in Fife.

As part of the celebrations around the 70th anniversary of Glenrothes this year, a new display of archival photography has opened in the Rothes Halls.

Gifted to Fife Council by the Kujawsko-Pomorskie region in central Poland, the exhibition is dedicated to the 3000 officers and 10,000 Polish First Division Corps who were stationed in Scotland between 1940 and 1947. The soldiers provided support to Scottish regiments during the First World War, and are part of Fife’s rich history of migration.

One of the pictures in the Polish Paths to Freedom exhibition in Fife

The exhibition launch featured a Polish delegation being welcomed to Rothes Halls by a bagpiper, followed with a traditional Highland dance performed by Abby Livingstone, aged 13.

The exhibition was then officially opened by the Marshall of the Polish region, Piotr Calbecki, alongside the Polish Consul General.

Piotr Calbecki, Marshal of Kujawsko-Pomorskie Region in Poland said: ‘Our shared history with Scotland dates back to the 16 and 17th centuries, when Scottish settlers were coming to Poland.

One of the images at the new display of archival photography

‘A few hundred years later, Scotland became a place for Polish soldiers, tired and homeless after the first two years of war, offered them peace and rest. They were able to regain their strength, start training, and dream about fighting for their country.

‘Fife became like a second home for our soldiers, and for that we’ll be always very grateful. I truly hope that this exhibition will be a way to thank all of the Scottish people who accepted and supported our troops.

‘Remembering our shared history is important to build our common future. I believe that we can continue creating great things, which both our communities of Fife and Kujawsko-Pomorskie can benefit from.’

Scotland’s links with Poland are celebrated at the new exhibition

Gillian Parsons, programming and engagement officer at Fife Cultural Trust said: ‘We’re grateful to the region for gifting this exhibition to the people of Scotland.

‘I’m sure it will be of great interest to the general public who visit Rothes Halls, many of whom have connections with the Polish troops who were stationed in Fife during WW2.’