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Polish nationalists object as group honours Nigerian involved in 1939 Warsaw Uprising

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Agboola with two other Polish resistance fighters

The “Freedom and Peace” has announced plans to place a special plaque for August “Ali” Agboola O’Brown on Hoover Square in downtown Warsaw. The idea of commemorating “Ali” is supported by jazz musicians, representatives of the Warsaw Uprising Museum and the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN).

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Agboola O’Brown moved to Warsaw in 1920s. He was a drummer in jazz clubs of the city and married a Polish woman. He took part in the defense of Warsaw in 1939 and in Warsaw Uprising as the member of the “Iwo” battalion, fighting in the city center.

He survived the war and is reported to have died in the UK in 1976.

According to historians, representatives of 18 nationalities fought alongside Poles in the Warsaw Uprising, including French, Georgians, Belgians, Dutch, Italians, Russians and even Boers.

One of the most known units was 535th Slovakian Platoon, the only foreign unit that had a right to use its own banner.

The Polish struggle for freedom of Warsaw was also supported by deserters from the Hungarian army which was stationing near the city and Allied fugitives from Nazi German POW camps.
However, some Polish nationalists are kicking against this honour for Agboola, whom they say is not Polish enough due to his race.