2020 The Warsaw Rising Remembrance

Honoring the Heroes
of Warsaw Uprising
on August 1 at “W” hour
(5 pm of Warsaw time, 10 am of CST)

In line with many years of tradition, thousands of Poles gathered at major intersections, squares and places of remembrance in Warsaw to honor the heroes of the Warsaw Uprising (8/1/1944 – 10/2/1944) with a minute of solemn silence held to the sounds of alarm sirens and dramatic illumination of handheld flares.

The uprising was the largest military effort undertaken by any resistance movement in the entire German-occupied Europe. About 40,000-50,000 insurgents gave their all to liberate Warsaw from German occupation. Help from the approaching Soviet Army never came and after 63 days of heroic effort, the revolt was brutally crushed. The death tool and destruction of the city was immense. Nearly 200,000 insurgents and civilians lost their lives, about 500,000 people were driven out of Warsaw and 85% of the city was razed to the ground in the course of systematic annihilation carried out in the months following the uprising.

The central observance took place at the Gloria Victis (“Glory to the Vanquished”) monument at the Powązki Military Cemetery in Warsaw. Much attention went this year to the Warsaw’s district of Wola, where Polish President Andrzej Duda paid tribute to the victims of the Wola Massacre. In this largest of the kind crime committed during the entire WWII, German soldiers slaughtered in just three days (August 3-5,1944) about 40,000-65,000 mostly civilians, including patients and staff of the Wola Hospital.

The memory of Warsaw Uprising was honored also by the ambassadors of the United States, Israel and Germany. Georgette Mosbacher, the U.S. ambassador to Poland, twitted: “On August 1, 1944, Poles embarked upon a heroic fight for their beloved city and homeland. Freedom is not free. Our Marines pay tribute to the fallen Heroes of the Warsaw Uprising.” and “As @POTUS said in Krasińscy Square in his speech to the veterans of the Warsaw Uprising: “We salute your noble sacrifice and we pledge to always remember your fight for Poland and for freedom.” 01.08.1944 – We remember!” In the article entitled “Heroes of Western Civilization: 76 Years After the Warsaw Uprising,” the White House recalls the main points of this speech while acknowledging it as “one of the most important speeches of his presidency.”

On the other hand, the German Embassy placed this somber message on social media: “As a sign of deep pain and shame caused by the crimes of the German occupier during the fighting with the population of Warsaw during the Warsaw Rising, the German embassy lowered the flags to half of the masts’ height. The Chargé d’affaires of the embassy has laid a wreath at the monument of Warsaw Rising.”

Selected media with information about the Warsaw Uprising in 1944
and its commemoration at the “W” hour each year.

Liberty Not Yet Lost
John Paul II about the Warsaw Rising 1944

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