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Originally produced in: Polska
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3. Film dedicated to Józef Bem


The animation shows fragments of the panorama “Bem in Transylvania” by Jan Styka, the monument of General Józef Bem in Budapest, a bust in Târgu Secuiesc (Kézdivásárhely) in Romania, a bust in Céhtörténeti Museum in Romania, a square and a monument of Józef Bem in Ostroleka, a monument of Józef Bem in front of Bemowo City Hall in Warsaw, a Józef Bem statue in the Lazienki Park in Warsaw, a monument of Józef Bem in Tarnow, photos of Józef Bem’s remains being brought to his hometown Tarnow and a mausoleum of General Józef Bem in Tarnow.

Music: Funeral Rhapsody in Memory of General Bem.

Józef Zachariasz Bem (born March 14, 1794 in Tarnow - died December 10, 1850 in Aleppo) – distinguished himself in the November Uprising as a courageous leader, able to use the horse artillery on the battlefield. He fought in battles of Iganie, Ostroleka (where he made a bold artillery charge, greatly reducing the size of Polish defeat) and defended Warsaw, where he arrived on 10 March 1831 assuming command of 4th Light Cavalry Battalion. On June 21 he was appointed the commander of artillery of the active army of Polish Armed Forces and awarded the Virtuti Military Golden Cross. On 22ndAugust he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. After the uprising he was in exile in Germany and France. He was associated with Hotel Lambert and Adam Jerzy Czartoryski. In 1832, he was one of the founders of the Literary Society in Paris. During the Spring of Nations on 26-31 October 1848, he led the defense of the revolutionary Vienna. After the capitulation of the city he left for Hungary, where he commanded Hungarian troops during the uprising in Transylvania and Banat region. The Winter Campaign (December 1848 - March 1849) won him the reputation of a great leader (one of the people fighting under his command was a leading Hungarian romanticism poet Sándor Petőfi.) Between 19 December 1848 and 13 January 1849, commanding an eight-thousand division he forced back a 10-thousand division commanded by Gen. Anton Püchner, liberating northern Transylvania. In February he entered the Bukovina and in March the whole Transylvania was in Hungarian hands. In August his unit was pushed to Banat by combined Austrian and Russian armies. Since August 1849 he was the commander in chief of the Hungarian army. After the defeat at Temesvar (Timisoara) and the collapse of the Hungarian revolution, he crossed the Turkish border in 1849. He converted to Islam in order to join the sultan’s army and changed his name to Murad Pasha (Murat Pasa, Yusuf Paşa). After the settlement between Russia and Turkey J. Bem was interned in Kütahyi and later in Aleppo. The last battle he fought was a successful defense of Aleppo from the invasion of Arab nomads. He died of Asian malaria in the night of December 10, 1850. His last words reportedly were: "Poland, Poland, I will not redeem you." His ashes were brought to his hometown of Tarnow on June 30, 1929, where they were placed in a mausoleum on the island in Strzelecki Park.


  1. Why is general Józef Bem considered a hero of three nations: Polish, Hungarian, Turkish?

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Description and Analysis

  1. General Józef Bem earned himself a place in the annals of history and through his deeds became a hero of Polish, Hungarian and Turkish nations. He is an example of a patriot who devoted his life to fighting for freedom of his homeland. Abroad, he earned his reputation as a heroic commander who led the Hungarian insurgents, commanding them in their fight for independence.

Geographical/Historical Context

Hungarian uprising began on 15 March 1848. It 's aim was the liberation of the country from Austrian rule. A parliament and the independent government were established, headed by Lajos Kossuth. As soon as the Austrian authorities managed to suppress the uprising in Vienna, the Emperor Franz Joseph I sent his troops to Hungary. After the occupation of Pest (today Budapest), an inclusion of Hungary to Austria was announced. In response, the Hungarian parliament dethroned the Austrian emperor, who was officially the king of Hungary. The Hungarian army sided with the parliament and fought against the Austrian army. In spring of 1849, the Hungarian government announced in Debrecen the independence of Hungary and L. Kossuth was proclaimed as a regent. The insurgents’ situation deteriorated when Tsar Nicholas I, at the request of Francis Joseph, sent a 200-thousand Russian army. Russian forces commanded by Field Marshal Ivan Paskevitch crushed the Hungarian uprising in bloody battles. Russians were obliged to help Austria due to the Holy Alliance. The last commander of the uprising, Józef Bem, was wounded on August 9, 1849 during the battle of Temesvar. He crossed the Danube, escaping to Turkey with the remaining Hungarian forces.