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English Section

Warsaw marks 1944 uprising anniversary

01.08.2020 20:30
Warsaw on Saturday marked 76 years since the outbreak of an uprising aiming to wrest the Polish capital from Nazi German occupation during World War II.
The Warsaw Uprising Mound.
The Warsaw Uprising Mound.Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz

At exactly 5pm on August 1, 1944, insurgents started what would be a 63-day rebellion eventually quashed by the better-armed Germans.

At 5pm on Saturday, residents of Warsaw and many other Polish cities marked that moment with a minute-long silence. In a moving tribute, cars came to a halt, church bells tolled, people in the streets stood still and sirens wailed across the city.

A day of ceremonies included a roll call of honor and wreath-laying as well as speeches, prayers and the singing of patriotic songs.

Many Poles took to the streets, with the biggest gathering being one at the Roman Dmowski roundabout in central Warsaw. “Honor and glory to the heroes,” the crowds shouted at 5pm.

Former insurgents, city and state officials and residents commemorated the bold but ultimately ill-fated uprising at the Gloria Victis (Glory to the Vanquished) Monument at Warsaw’s Powązki Cemetery.


Poland's Andrzej Duda at the Gloria Victis Monument. Poland's Andrzej Duda at the Gloria Victis Monument.

Polish President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, speakers of lower and upper houses of the parliament Elżbieta Witek and Tomasz Grodzki, and Mayor of Warsaw Rafał Trzaskowski all laid wreaths at the monument, which commemorates those who fell in the rising.

The 1944 insurgency lasted 63 days before being put down by better equipped and more numerous German forces.

The heroic act of resistance left the city razed to the ground and resulted in the death of some 18,000 Polish fighters and 200,000 civilians.

(jh)

Source: PAP