Poland’s preoccupation with the tragic past and the uses of that past in the construction of national identity have been the subject of many scholarly enquiries. However, what interests me here is how memories of triumph are made relevant to national mythmaking in a nation whose memory culture is based primarily on victims’ memories. I explore what happens to Poland’s moments of glory and where the victories are located in the new commemorative hierarchy which has emerged since the fall of communism. I specifically focus on commemorations of the Battle of Warsaw, the decisive battle in the Polish-Soviet War of 1919–1920, since this is the most spectacular victory in Poland’s modern history. Overall, I argue that victory is typically associated with glory and triumph, but if the dominant historical path of a nation is perceived to be that of martyrdom, the nation’s past—even its victorious episodes—is placed in a continuum of suffering.

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