There is a Polish war cemetery in Breda, where Polish soldiers from the 1st Armoured Division who died during the Second World War in the Dutch campaign to liberate the city from German occupation are buried. Among them was also buried later their commander, General Stanisław Maczek.
The Polish 1st Armoured Division fought the Battle of Breda in such a way as to minimise the danger of civilian casualties in Breda. General Maczek ordered that the positions of the German troops should not be shelled by artillery fire and that individual districts and houses should be fought over almost as a police action, firing at the visible enemy with small arms. This did not make the task any easier for the Polish soldiers, but it also saved the lives of many Dutchmen.
Grateful Dutchmen honoured the Polish soldiers by granting them honorary citizenship of Breda. Many soldiers settled down in Breda, created Polish-Dutch families and lived there for the rest of their lives.
Many Poles stayed in western Europe, but many also decided to return to Poland.
One of those who decided to return to communist Poland was the aviator Stanislaw Skalski, a fighter ace during World War II, fighting in the Battle of Britain (lieutenant colonel in the British Air Force). After arriving in Poland he was arrested for treason (sic!) by functionaries of the Ministry of Public Security, first tortured and then sentenced to death (upon hearing about this Skalski's father died of a heart attack, but his mother managed to beg Bierut's pardon and change the death sentence to life imprisonment). Were the then communist judges in Poland sentencing Skalski to death based on the fact that until 22.06.1941 Bolshevik and Hitler were friends, so Poles fighting on the English side in the Battle of Britain in 1940 were automatically fighting not only against socialist Germany but also against Germany's ally - Bolshevik Russia? It is difficult to say.
After the death of first Stalin and then Bierut, Stanislaw Skalski was rehabilitated and the military court decided that his previous sentence was wrong. However, many Polish officers and soldiers were not so lucky. The fate of the Poles who fought on the side of the Western Allies during World War II was difficult not only because of their disability and death during hostilities, but perhaps even more so because of their post-war fate.
Today, many people do not remember that World War II was started - as partners - by Hitler and his socialism and Stalin with his communism (also called socialism), they played in one team, two friends from one socialist-communist playground, both unanimously invaded Poland without a declaration of war and divided the Polish territory into a Soviet occupation zone and a German zone (actually not a zone any more, but a German state). The Polish army could either surrender or withdraw to territories not yet occupied by the Russians or Germans, which meant retreating from Poland through Romania to France. However, after the defeat of France, Polish soldiers could again either end up in German prisoner-of-war camps or, if they wanted to continue fighting, they could move to England, an ally bound to Poland by defensive treaties. So then, the only way for Poles to continue fighting in soldier's uniforms was through the western countries, where there were neither Russians nor Germans.
After the war, however, these war heroes, if they returned to Poland, were destroyed by the communists, which was rational enough as, while the working people were not a threat to the communist candidates for power, Polish war heroes, especially officers, the patriotic elite of the Polish society, could pose serious counter-candidates for the authorities, so their killing removed this threat to the communists. This system of removing "competitors to the throne" had already been practised by the communists on the tsarist family, by firing Tsar Nicholas II together with the whole family (a scenario as if taken from King Herod). General Maczek was aware after the end of the war that the communists in Poland were hunting officers fighting on the side of the Western Allies, treating them as spies, torturing and murdering them under the pretext of a trial, and above all eliminating the competition to "their own", with whom all important military and political positions were filled. It is obvious that the soldiers and even more so the officers who went through the combat route in the West were obvious counter-candidates for all political and military positions in the face of "their own" Bolsheviks, who, although they fought in the second phase of the war against Hitler's Germany, had earlier acted as Germany's ally and Poland's enemy.
And the West did not need any more foreign heroes, after all the treaty concluded in 1943 in Teheran and then in 1945 in Yalta between Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill handing Poland over to the Communist authorities did not inspire Western politicians to support Polish patriotic elites. And so the war heroes who fought on the side of the western allies found themselves after the war without a homeland and without means of livelihood. But at least they were not killed here.
General Maczek decided to stay in Great Britain. Anyway, he had no other choice, because right after the war the communists in Poland stripped General Maczek of his Polish citizenship.
Unfortunately, Poles in exile did not have adequate political or financial background, they were useful as officers and soldiers during the ongoing war, after its end they found themselves in a difficult financial situation. That was the fate of many Polish officers and soldiers fighting on the side of the Western Allies during the war: during the war they were useful, after the war they were no longer needed by the Allies, they did not return to Poland to avoid being arrested by the communist regime, they remained in the West without any means of subsistence and without any professional training for anything other than soldiering. General Maczek, well-trained as a professional soldier, but therefore having no professional preparation for civilian occupations, had to support himself (like many other Poles fighting on the western side) by imitating various civilian occupations that did not require high qualifications (among others by working as a bartender in Edinburgh).
The Polish communist government deprived General Maczek (who fought all his military life for Poland and only against Polish enemies and never lost a single battle) of Polish citizenship. Honorary citizenship was granted to General Maczek by the Netherlands at the request of thousands of inhabitants of Breda. And there he remained, in the Polish war cemetery in Breda, together with his soldiers.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator