On August 1, 1944 at 5pm Poland’s Home Army (in Polish, Armia Krajowa, abbreviated as AK) began what has been called the greatest and most tragic uprising in European history.
Photo. The emblem of the Warsaw Uprising with a P and W stands for Polska Walczy (Poland Fights)
The Warsaw Uprising was a heroic 63 day struggle
by Poland’s underground resistance Home Army and civilian non-combatants to liberate Warsaw from Nazi occupation.
Although the Polish attack was planned as a two-to-three day revolt until the Russians could arrive with additional support, the Russian support never materialized and the short coup turned into a brutal and bloody two month struggle for the Home Army. The Germans used tanks, aerial bombardment and long-range artillery on the insurgents. They began rounding up people from the houses in the districts which they still controlled and shot them - women, children and the elderly were not spared. They executed tens of thousands of Polish citizens in what is now referred to as the Wola Massacre.
Polish civilians murdered in Wola, a district in Warsaw August 5 through the 7th, 1944. Source:www. pl.wikipedia.org
The genocide was intended to crush the Poles spirit for the fight but it didn't work. The people of Warsaw wanted their city, their country back in their own control and endured incredible hardships and sacrifices including lack of water, power, food, ammunition, death and destruction. The battle raged on.
Photo: The iconic image of the destruction of Holy Cross Church on the main thoroughfare of Warsaw. It was interpreted by Poles as Christ pointing to the heavens and gave the underground resistance, courage and hope. Source:pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/BazylikaŚwiętego Krzyża w Warszawie
After the war was over and Poland was handed over to the Soviets, the Warsaw Uprising could not be discussed. The Soviets had never come to the rescue of Poland during one of its darkest hours even though they were stationed at the other side of the Wisła River and could see the smoke and flames rising from the city. Members of the Home Army that had managed to survive the war were hunted down, executed and secretly buried so that no traces of them remained, so that the treachery of the Soviets could not be discussed, so that memorials would not be erected in their honor. The Warsaw Uprising never received the attention it deserved until the end of communism when Poland became a free and independent country.
Cześć ich pamięci. All honor to the memory of those who died for a free and independent Poland.
For those interested: A Polish film with English subtitles is available on Netflix titled Warsaw 44. The true story of a group of scouts called Szare Szeregi (Gray Ranks) during the Nazi occupation of Warsaw. The liberation of one of its members through maverick military action in broad daylight known as ''Action at the Arsenal," was the single biggest feat undertaken by a youth resistance organization in all of occupied Europe during WWII.
One of the biggest moments in my life was being able to sign for my very own library card. When I'm not reading, researching and writing I'm riding my bike, sewing or gardening. I love flea markets, folk art, and traveling to Poland.