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Polish Haitians are Haitian people of Polish ancestry or a Pole with Haitian citizenship.Cazale, which is a small village in Haiti about 45 miles away from Port-au-Prince in the Grand'Anse Department.
The name Cazale, or the home of Zalewski as many locals believe, originates from the popular Polish surname Zalewski and the Haitian Creole word for home (kay); is the home to those of Polish descent.Dating back to the Haitian Revolution, the Polish influence started in the town of Cazale.In 1802, Napoleon added a Polish legion of around 5200 to the forces sent to Saint-Domingue to fight off the slave rebellion.However, the Poles were told that there was a revolt in Saint-Domingue; upon arrival the platoon soon discovered that what was actually going on in the colony, was a rebellion of slaves fighting off their French masters for their freedom.During this time, there was a familiar situation going on back in their homeland as these Polish soldiers were fighting for their liberty from the invading Russia, Prussia and Austria that began in 1772.As hopeful as the Haitians, many Poles were seeking union amongst themselves to win back their freedom and independence by organizing an uprising.
They made advances to ally with France and joined Napoleon's army, but were distinct as the Polish unit nonetheless.
Dessalines called Polish people "the White Negroes of Europe", which was then regarded a great honour, as it meant brotherhood between Poles and Haitans.
Many years later, Papa Doc reminded about this concept when referring to Polish people.
For their loyalty and support for overthrowing the French, the Poles acquired Haitian citizenship after Haiti gained its Independence, and settled there to never return to Poland.
To this day, many Polish Haitians still live in Haiti and are of mixed racial origin, however some have blonde hair, light eyes, and other European features.
Most settled in Cazale, La Vallée-de-Jacmel, Fond-des-Blancs, La Baleine, Port-Salut and Saint-Jean-du-Sud.