The Partisans is a symbolic representation of the Polish freedom fighters who resisted the German occupation of Poland during the Nazi era. Polish-born artist Andrzej Pitynski created the cast aluminum sculpture in 1979, after immigrating to the U.S. The sculpture depicts five riders and their horses, in a modern style that emphasizes form over detail. The riders’ heads are bowed and they carry their spears at their backs; their posture evokes ideas of crucifixion and sacrifice. While especially meaningful for Polish Americans in Boston and elsewhere, the sculpture reminds all of us that the defense of freedom is never ending.
The work was originally sent to Boston in 1983, and sited in the Boston Common on a short-term loan. Since 2006, the loan agreement has been extended by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. The sculpture is now on MBTA property near the Convention Center on Summer Street, next to the World Trade Center T Station.