Warsaw Uprising anniversary commemorated in Polish capital

2021-08-01 13:13 update: 2021-08-02, 15:08
Fot. PAP/Radek Pietruszka
Fot. PAP/Radek Pietruszka
Flowers were laid at the building on Warsaw's Filtrowa Street on Sunday, where on July 31, 1944, the commander of the Warsaw Division of the Home Army (Armia Krajowa, AK), Antoni Chrusciel, signed the order to start the Warsaw Uprising.

The ceremony marked the 77th anniversary of the insurgency, which started on August 1, 1944. 

The Warsaw Uprising was the largest underground military operation in German-occupied Europe. On August 1, 1944, around 40,000-50,000 insurgents took part in the fighting. Planned to last several days, the uprising eventually lasted over two months.

During the fighting in Warsaw, about 18,000 insurgents lost their lives and 25,000 were wounded. Losses among the civilian population were huge and amounted to approx. 180,000. After the Warsaw Uprising was crushed about 500,000 surviving residents were forced to evacuate and Warsaw was almost completely razed to the ground.

Present at Sunday's observations were veteran insurgents, officials of the President's Office, Sejm (lower house of parliament) and Senate, a delegation from the Office of Veterans and Repressed Persons and the Institute of National Remembrance, representatives of the Warsaw Garrison's Command, the leader of the Warsaw City Council and representatives of the Association of Warsaw Insurgents among others.

The head of the Office for Veterans and Repressed Persons, Jan Jozef Kasprzyk, said that "those who were in leadership positions at the AK Headquarters were a rebellious generation - a generation born into captivity."

"But a generation that returned Poland to the map of the world in 1918 through their actions. The likes of Antoni Chrusciel, Tadeusz Bor-Komorowski, Tadeusz Pelczynski, Leopold Okulicki," he added.

"That generation raised the next generation, whose representatives are here with us today," he continued. "A generation born in a free Poland. The first generation after nearly 150 years that could breathe freedom, independence. A generation who through their fathers and grandfathers were raised with a love of a sovereign Republic as the supreme thing above all others." 

At a ceremony on Saturday evening, the eve of the anniversary, President Andrzej Duda paid tribute to the uprising and its participants. 

"Seventy-seven years ago, at this time, the order for the uprising had already been given, the 'W' hour was already indicated," Duda said. "The boys and girls learned through the communications networks that the next day they would be in a fight at this time. What excitement was that! What a joy it was! They had waited a long time for this moment." 

The anniversary's main commemorative ceremonies in Warsaw were scheduled for 5 p.m. on Sunday, the time the Uprising commenced. (PAP)