In the society of the then Polish anthology for the fourth class was a pretty big piece of the battle of Grunwald from the novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz "Crusaders." I remember this "ABC" has made on me is so impressed that I memorized it by heart in extenso. And when we learned the Polish language came to this text, I read it from memory, totally stunned teacher and my least-mates stunned peers.
Note I: The Crusaders were not inhuman monsters
Henryk Sienkiewicz wrote "Crusaders" in 1887-1900 gg., At the same time publishing this very long novel in the journal "Tygodnik Ilustrowany" in Warsaw. The novel describes a more or less than 10-year history of Poland, finished the battle of Grunwald. In 1900, when the novel was published a book, he clearly perceived as a protest against the Germanization of Poles, which took place on Polish lands under Prussian domination. Sienkiewicz wrote a book that recalls the hour of triumph over the Germans, the Poles, to support the Polish spirit among neighbors — «ku pokrzepieniu serc", as traditionally written in the history books of Polish literature. At the time when he wrote "The Crusaders", the Poles have been more than a century deprived of their own state.
"The Crusaders" came from the pen of a very talented storyteller, the late Nobel laureate, and the book is read with interest even today, although it is not masterpiece. Her role in the national education Poles — especially with regard to the perception of the Germans in the Polish national discourse — it is difficult to overestimate. Only enough to say that just "Crusaders" was the first book published in Poland in 1945 after the end of World War II.
The novel "The Crusaders" in Poland is seen above all in its symbolic and patriotic, not a literary dimension. In 1960, based on the novel by Alexander Ford was made a feature film, which is also included in the summary of recommended canon state aids for national history education (under the current anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald film was transferred to digital format and in color).
But if you look at the book of Sienkiewicz cold eye (for example, eye 50-year-old Belarusian Podljassky), it seems likely biased than fiction.
The image of the Teutonic Knights and their state in Sienkiewicz and deformed caricature — the writer tendentiously exaggerated to show the medieval "Germans" as cruel, treacherous, greedy of blood and conquest of new villains. From the historical truth of this has little in common.
I am not a historian, and therefore do not You Do no historical calculations, but I will say quite naked: Teutonic Crusaders state on the lands of the Prussians and Lithuanians at the time of the Battle of Grunwald was rather fixture of European civilization and political organization than the "heart of darkness", which tried to show it or Sienkiewicz Polish and Soviet historians of communism, which are also needed for the myth of "cruel and bloody Crusader."
Note Two: Grunwald was almost no Crusaders
Once again, I repeat — I am an amateur in all of history, and so, when I read something yesterday about the Battle of Grunwald, at least in part to have an idea of what in reality we celebrate the anniversary of the July 15, 2010, it was in full prostration.
Historians estimate that on the side of the Teutonic Knights fought about 20,000 soldiers. Among them — the crusaders were only 250 (two hundred and fifty grand, two hundred and fifty!). All the rest — it hired detachments and the Knights of Western Europe, where the Crusaders mobilized to fight the European civilization (embodied in the Teutonic Order) against the still napavtsyvilizavanay Poland (albeit partly Catholic) and pavdikay or just wild and God knows what (Catholic? Orthodox? Pagan?) Lithuania.
This is an indisputable fact generally not emphasized Belarusian historians who participate in the banners of the Belarusian lands in the Battle of Grunwald see if not the most important evidence of the involvement of our blue-eyed Belarus to European history and civilization at the beginning of the fifteenth century. Like, we were saving this civilization from the prince's invasion. From what then saved Europe European knights who supported this storm?
Yes, what storm? 250 knights, even if absolutely bloody and brutal — a cluster? Do not tell.
Grunwald was at war with Belarus' European plague, "so to speak. (I know that a layman might say.) Grunwald we played against Europe, and from this fact we can not escape. Indeed, to this day we are reaping the benefits, and can not even get through to reception hall in Europe.
Note Three: The Crusaders were knights before the end of
The Crusaders — they were not only warriors, but also monks.
I want to say here is not to ban the monks play in the hay with the girls after the battles, and the special knightly code of the Teutonic Order. The Code forbade the brothers in Christ to flee from the battle and surrender. Outputs for the Teutons had two — either victory or death. And almost all of the Crusaders, who took part in the Battle of Grunwald, joined on the field with Christ. Researchers estimate that Grunwald killed 218 of the Knights of the monks with black crosses on white cloaks. Those remaining 32 knights, how to imagine, after all were captured, wounded or too abyassilenyya to fight to the death, or to save his own life out of shame for a complete rout.
European knights have been easier. They are, in fact, very little risk. The money for the ransom of the prisoners were one of the most essential items in the household budget of medieval warriors, but because the knights were not killed, and generally thrown from their horses, knitting, and recovered in the convoy, hunting down to them, God forbid, nothing amiss prydarylasya. In such battles as the Grunwald dying at all hired beggars and yards, which the Knights took with them in the campaign. For these warriors no one has offered any ransom.
Q: And could it be otherwise?
That is, could not agree Vytautas and the Teutonic Order and Grunwald, along with the rest of Europe to break into smithereens Jagiello? And thus deprive the blue-eyed from the late polonization shame and the loss of their national identity, first in favor of the Poles, and then Muscovites?
Could Belarus become a Europe already in 1410?
Laugh and joke, but after this the Teutonic Knights, who allegedly broke Ridge Grunwald, retained their territorial gains until 1945, when he was finally dealt Stalin. But all of that supposedly winning Poland, together with the ON lyasnulisya a half century earlier, and in fact, did not matter in Europe for two and a half centuries before Stalin's victory in the Crusaders.
If Vytautas — which, it seems, just joined the Crusaders in the light of Christianity, pahrystsivshy him in a Catholic ceremony in Malbork — together with Ulrich von Yungingenom amendment Jagiello and made Poland a vassal state in which the appointment of the king would have required the consent of both Vilnius and Malbork, that Belarus would not flourish, even then, without waiting for the October revolution?
History, of course, not the subjunctive mood. But I'm not a historian, and therefore allow myself to this great festival of Belarusian arms to remember that in this supposedly our victory was very short legs. Or do not have them.