On September 27 1939, with Poland close to defeat by forces of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union (Poland never surrendered), the decision was taken to take the Polish government into exile. The president Ignacy Moscicki resigned on September 29 and the speaker of the parliament (Sejm) Wladyslaw Raczkiewicz took the oath in the Polish embassy in Paris. Following the war the fact that the nation continued to function and to resist its occupiers throughout WWII was not generally recognised by the communist authorities and so after the fall of communism in 1989 the decision was taken to recognise the fact with this 32 metre monument being unveiled on June 10, 1999. Made from Polish and Italian granite, the monument is engraved with the names of the leaders of the Polish underground and the institutions which continued to function during the war. Abstract in design the monument can be interpreted to represent the wings of a bird symbolising freedom. In 2005 the speaker of the Sejm, Grzegorz Schetyna, speaking at the annual ceremony to mark the anniversary of the creation of the Polish Underground State, said "The Polish Underground State Monument is a symbol of the Polish state, the symbol of the Polish state from a time when it seemed that the Polish state was no longer." The monument has been erected opposite the parliament building in recognition that the country’s major institutions continued to function even during occupation.