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Polish president commemorates victims of Nazi German terror in WWII Warsaw

01.08.2023 13:00
The Polish president has honoured compatriots who died in a Nazi German detention camp in the Warsaw district of Ochota during World War II, after the suppression of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising.
Polish President Andrzej Duda (centre) commemorates the civilian victims of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising at a ceremony in the Polish capitals Ochota district on Tuesday, August 1, 2023.
Polish President Andrzej Duda (centre) commemorates the civilian victims of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising at a ceremony in the Polish capital's Ochota district on Tuesday, August 1, 2023. KPRP/Grzegorz Jakubowski

Andrzej Duda on Tuesday laid flowers at a plaque in memory of the events 79 years ago, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Tuesday, August 1, marks the 79th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, a heroic act of resistance in which poorly equipped Polish fighters took up arms against the country’s Nazi German invaders.

The president said at the ceremony in Warsaw's Ochota district: “Throughout the month of August, throughout the month of September, we’ll be commemorating the places where people of Warsaw suffered, the scenes of battles in which the insurgents defended themselves against the German assault, of Warsaw’s heroic resistance against the Nazi invaders.”

Duda called on the Polish people to honour the memory of the heroes of the Warsaw Uprising, which he said included not only the insurgents, some of whom had fallen with weapons in hand.

The president said the heroes included “the whole population of Warsaw, which was here in Warsaw with the insurgents, which supported them … and which was killed here in Ochota, in Wola and in other districts of Warsaw." 

Duda added that “it must never be forgotten that more than 180,000 inhabitants were killed and murdered during the Warsaw Uprising.”

He told the gathering that this was the price that “Warsaw, the Polish people, the people of Warsaw, paid for their desire for freedom … for their tough stance against the occupier, for a free Poland.”

The Ochota detention camp, known as Zieleniak, was the biggest Nazi German facility of its kind in Warsaw, according to historians.

It was established on August 5, 1944, after the insurgents decided to retreat from the district in the face of the much bigger Nazi German forces, the IAR news agency reported.

The Nazi Germans began to plunder Ochota, burning houses and killing civilians; those who survived were detained in the specially established Zieleniak camp.

Some 60,000 residents of Ochota went through the facility during the Warsaw Uprising, of whom around 1,000 were killed in the camp, the IAR news agency reported.


Source: IAR, PAP, prezydent.pl

Click on the audio player above for a report by Radio Poland's Ada Janiszewska.