The Polish Influence in Casale, Haiti and Contribution to the Haitian Revolution
This has always puzzled me. How did Haiti ended up with some of its population with Polish background. Do you know how far is Poland from Haiti? Also why Casale? Why not Port au-Prince instead or some costal towns or cities in Haiti?
The History of the town of Casale with its Polish influence is date back during the time of Haitian revolution. In 1802, the Napoleon army who came to Saint Doming to fight the slave rebellion, included a Polish legion. There were about 5200 Poles sent to Saint Domingue by Napoleon. The Polish officers were told that there was a revolt in Saint-Domingue; however, upon arrival, the Polish brigade realized that the rebellion that they were informed of by the Napoleon army was actually slaves in the Colony fighting for their freedom.
At that time, there was a similar war going on in Poland. these polish soldiers were fighting back home for the liberation of their own country. In 1772 Russia, Prussia and Austria invaded Poland. Many Poles, hopeful of uniting in some way to win back Polish territory, made alliance with France and joined Napoleon's army, but as distinct Polish units.
Many Polish soldiers decided to leave the French army and join the slave rebellion. They all settled in Casale, La Vallee de Jacmel, Fond des Blancs, La Baleine, Port Salut and St. Jean du Sud. Several Polish soldiers participated in the Haitian revolution of 1804. The Polish soldiers acquired Haitian citizenship after Haiti's Independence, settled there to never return home. Even today, you can found Haitian Poles, blue eyed, blond, with European features.
Now turning the page into the Duvalier era. Casale became a stronghold for communism and many young intellectuals in the region were in direct conflict with the Duvalier regime. as a consequence, March 29, 1969 came to be known as the worst day for the people of Casale. With the help of his Tonton Macoute, Francois Duvalier built a barricade around Casale, and murdered many young guys.
Pope John Paul II who visited Haiti in 1983, mentioned the Polish contribution to the Slave rebellion leading to Haiti's independence. Several Haitian Poles from Casale, La Vallee de Jacmel, Fond des Blancs, La Baleine, Port Salut and St. Jean du Sud were selected by the Duvalier regime to attend the various ceremonies organized for the Pope visit.