by Małgorzata Krakowska
On the 72nd anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, the capital paid tribute to the soldiers and civilians who fell during the 1944 rebellion. The uprising struck at 5pm on August 1 and was led by the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa) against the German Nazis who occupied Poland at the time.
To Jan Ołdakowski from the Warsaw Uprising Museum, the 63-day uprising was not only a large military effort, but also “a wonderful expression of heroism” launched against the biggest military power. Also, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz emphasized that the Uprising is one of the country’s most important events, and it will never be erased from the city’s collective memory.
In August and September 1944, more than 200,000 inhabitants lost their lives. The biggest massacre occurred in the Wola neighborhood where Germans slaughtered 50,000 civilians in only three days. Gronkiewicz-Waltz underlined that there are fewer and fewer witnesses of the Uprising who are still alive, and so “they deserve our utter respect.” The Warsaw Uprising was the only uprising launched in Europe by an underground army. It lasted 63 days until the insurgents surrendered. None of the anti-Axis forces came to help the insurgents.
In the latest issue of Warsaw Insider, you’ll find a unique guide of the most important places where the heaviest fighting occurred (p.21), and a beautiful and touching gallery about war murals that commemorate the city’s bloody history.
Photo Credits: Damian Kujawa