Monuments of the Warsaw Uprising Monuments of the Warsaw Uprising

Recognition for the Uprising has been a long time in coming: not just internationally, but domestically also. In the period that followed the war Poland’s puppet government viewed participants as ‘anti Communist adventurers’, with veterans facing widespread persecution, and often imprisonment in the Siberian gulags or exile to the far corners of the Soviet Union: for decades the struggle was simply airbrushed from history.

With the political system showing signs of wobbling, the authorities began to cave in to public pressure. In 1983 the scout funded Little Insurgent memorial was unveiled on the edge of Old Town; six years later, and with the Communist party in its death throes, another publically financed project was also realized: the Warsaw Uprising Monument on Pl. Krasińskich. Freed from its socialist shackles, modern Warsaw is today inundated with monuments and memorials dedicated to the battle. We take a look at some of the best-known…

Uprising-icons-4Park Skaryszewski
A commemorative boulder remembers an RAF crew shot down during a supply drop. One pilot survived, and he was present when Margaret Thatcher unveiled this memorial in 1988.

Uprising-icons-3Pl. Solidarności
In just two days over 50,000 civilians were butchered in what is known as the Wola Massacre. This monument features the silhouettes of those shot against the walls of Wola.

Uprising-icons-6ul. Podwale
Funded by money collected by the scouts, the Little Insurgent honors the children killed in action and is modeled on 13-year-old Corporal ‘Antek’ who died nearby.

Uprising-icons-1ul. Bartycka
The official symbol of the insurgency crowns a 141-meter artificial hill built on the rubble of the rising. Symbolic bonfires are lit here on the evening of the anniversary.

Uprising-icons-5ul. Piwna 9/11
St. Martin’s Church was obliterated in the battle, and the only element that survived was a half-burned figure of Christ on a cross.

Uprising-icons-7ul. Hozujsa 2
Created by a nurse who participated in the Uprising, this sculpture remembers all the young who perished. Find it outside Św. S. Kostka Church.

Uprising-icons-2Pl. Krasińskich
Warsaw’s sewage network was exploited to maximum effect by the Poles. The city’s most important monument to the Uprising portrays combatants both emerging from and retreating into the bowels of the city.

(words: AW / illustration: Maria Mileńko)

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