Sport’s Activity of the Soldiers of the Polish 2nd Rifle Division during the Internment in Switzerland in 1940–1945
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Second World War
sport’s activity in Polish Army
internment of Polish soldiers in Switzerland
2nd Rifle Division

How to Cite

Rak, L. (2019). Sport’s Activity of the Soldiers of the Polish 2nd Rifle Division during the Internment in Switzerland in 1940–1945. Sport and Tourism Central European Journal, 16(4), 55–71.


The aim of the study was to describe sport’s activity of the Polish soldiers during the internment in Switzerland between 1940–1945. Method. It was analyzed sources as: archival sources, the papers of the “Goniec Obozowy” published by internment soldiers, relations of internment soldiers and literature. Results. The Polish 2nd Rifle Division was being formed in France from November 1939 to May 1940. In June 1940 the division, as a part of the 45th Corps of the 8th French Army, was sent into battle against the German Army near the Belfort district. After losing their ammunition in the exhausting battle most of the soldiers of the division crossed Switzerland border, where they were detained. During the internment the soldiers were engaged to many different kinds of work. They could also continue an education which they began before the beginning of the Second World War. The interned soldiers practiced various kinds of physical activity, most popular of which were football, volleyball, table tennis and skiing. Tourism and mountaineering were common as well and Polish soldiers were especially successful on that field. As a significant support from the Young Men’s Christian Association the Polish soldiers-sportsmen gained sports equipment and funds for sports events. In the internment camp in Münchenbuchsee YMCA organized and equipped the workshop producing sport’s equipment for interned soldiers. The equipment were also exported to prisoner camps in Germany. Conclusion. Despite difficult residence condition of Polish soldiers in Switzerland during internment between 1940–1945, they engaged a various forms of physical activity.
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