1 AUGUST 1944 - 3 OCTOBER 1944

On Tuesday, August 1, 1944, at 5 p.m. (codenamed "W", like Freedom), the Warsaw Uprising broke out. It was one of the most important and at the same time the most dramatic events recorded in the city's history. Planned for a few days, it lasted over 2 months. If you want to commemorate the insurgents, take part in the ceremonial celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the Uprising. The insurgents from the 'Koszta' company read (probably) a German leaflet on Sienkiewicza Street, corner of Marszalkowska Street, photo: Eugeniusz Lokajski, Warsaw Uprising Museum The insurgents wanted to liberate the Capital from the Nazi occupation before the arrival of the Soviet army and thus ensure Poland's sovereignty after the war. The insurgent units, although numerous, but without proper armaments, faced a regular, fully militarized German army. Unfortunately, without help of allies they had no chance to win. The help they counted on never came. The uprising jammed between two powerful Soviet and German armies was slowly bleeding out. The fate of Warsaw, called "Paris of the East" before the war, was sealed by an order given by Heinrich Himmler, which sounded: "Every inhabitant is to be killed, no captives are to be taken, Warsaw is to be razed to the ground and thus create an intimidating example for all of Europe." The capital of Poland was destroyed in almost 85%, and the inhabitants were expelled to transit camps and POW camps. Did you know that...? - The uprising lasted 63 days - about 30 thousand Home Army soldiers from the Warsaw District joined the fight - only 10 percent of the fighters were armed - on the German side, there were about 20 thousand fully armed soldiers who had armoured front units, artillery and aviation at their disposal - about 18 thousand insurgents died in the Uprising, and 25 thousand were wounded - about 150,000 civilians died in the Uprising - after the capitulation, about 500 thousand people were expelled from Warsaw - the last shot of the Uprising fell on the evening of October 2, 1944 - The Warsaw Uprising was the largest act of resistance of this kind in Nazi-occupied Europe Calendar 1 August - The outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising. At 1.50 p.m. in Żoliborz, near pl. Wilson Square, the first fight of the Uprising takes place. The time is 5 p.m. - the official beginning of the Warsaw Uprising. August 2 - The insurgents take control of strategic points in the Old Town, Srodmiescie, Powisle and Czerniakow, among others. 5 August - "Black Saturday" - mass murders of civilians in Wola. 20th August - capturing the Polish Joint Stock Telephone Company (PAST) at 37/39 Zielna Street. About 115 German prisoners of war are taken by the insurgents. September 1 - general assault of Germans on the Old Town. The insurgents evacuate through sewers to Srodmiescie and Zoliborz. September 2 - during the night of September 1 to 2, tank shells smashed the Zygmunt's column. The Old Town is captured by the Nazis. The fight in other parts of Warsaw continued. September 10 - The Red Army starts its offensive on the Vistula river bank in Prague. 18 September - 107 American B-17 planes make the largest drop of weapons, ammunition, food and medicine. Unfortunately, the insurgents manage to take away only 20 percent of the airdrop. 2 October - the fall of the Uprising. In Ozarow an act of cessation of warfare in Warsaw was signed. It recognised the insurgents as fully-fledged prisoners of war, protected under the Geneva Convention and was supposed to protect the civilian inhabitants of the city from responsibility for offences against German orders. During the following days the Insurgents left the city. They are transported to the POW camps. The civilian inhabitants of Warsaw, on the other hand, are sent to transit camps in Pruszków, Ursus, Włochy and Ożarów, among others. Unfortunately, over 100 thousand of them are sent to the Reich for forced labour, and a few dozen more to concentration camps. Following the Uprising The Old Town and its surroundings - State Security Printing Works (1 Sanguszki Street) - for almost a month it was the northernmost point of the Old Town defended by the insurgents. The PWPW fence still bears traces of the fighting. - St. Casimir's Church of the Sisters of the Sacraments (Rynek Nowy Miasta 2) - the church housed an insurgent hospital. During one of the raids over 1000 people died in the church. - Tank trap - on August 13, 1944 the Germans gave the fighting insurgents a kind of "Trojan Horse". At the barricade closing the exit of Podwale Street to the Castle Square, the Germans abandoned the Borgward cargo carrier. At first the insurgents took it for a small tank and recklessly drove it into the old town streets. Around 6 p.m. during the triumphant passage the vehicle exploded killing about 500 people. The place is commemorated by a plaque (corner of Podwale and Kilinskiego Street). - St. John the Baptist Archcathedral Basilica (8 Świętojańska Street) - fierce fights for the cathedral lasted from 21 to 27 August. A bombing raid and a massive German infantry attack led to complete destruction of the church. A fragment of a caterpillar with the information that it comes from the so-called "goliath" was built into the Cathedral wall, from the side of Dziekania Street. (lightweight tracked explosive cargo carriers). But that's not true. The caterpillar probably comes from the so-called trap-tank, which exploded on 1 Kilinskiego Street. - Column of Sigismund III Vasa (Castle Square) - the oldest and highest secular monument, erected in 1644 on the initiative of Wladyslaw IV in honor of Sigismund III Vasa, his father, who moved the capital from Krakow to Warsaw. Three hundred years later the monument was smashed during the German attack on the Old Town. The original core of the column dating back to the 17th century and the one destroyed in the Uprising lie right next to the Royal Castle. - The Arsenal (52 Długa Street) - during the Uprising the Arsenal was of strategic importance - defended access to the Old Town from the west. Over a year before the outbreak of the Uprising, another event known from history took place here, the so-called "Action under the Arsenal", during which over 20 prisoners were freed, transported from the Gestapo headquarters at Szucha Avenue to Pawiak. On August 23, 1944, the building was bombed by the Germans. Rebuilt after the war with the use of surviving fragments, on which traces of the insurgent fighting have been preserved, it houses the State Archaeological Museum. - The Basilica of St. Peter's Basilica Holy Cross Basilica (3 Krakowskie Przedmieście Street) - on 6 September the Germans introduced two "goliaths" inside. As a result of the explosion, the vault of the church collapsed and the figure of Christ carrying the cross with the inscription "Sursum corda", standing on the staircase railing, fell. (Upside down). Insurgent unit walking along destroyed Jasna Street, photo: Sylwester Braun, Warsaw Uprising Museum Centre - The fence of the children's hospital (43 Kopernika Street) - in 1944 the AK field hospital operated here. Sisters of Charity were helping both insurgents and German soldiers. A souvenir after the Uprising is the fence of the hospital, which was perforated with bullets. - Staroświecki Sklep Wedla (8 Szpitalna Street) - located in the house of Emil Wedel - a pre-war chocolate producer. During the Uprising many local residents found shelter in the basement of the house. There was also a radio station operating here. Today, just like before the outbreak of the war, there is a stylish company shop and a chocolate pump room. - Palladium (7/9 Złota Street) - the cinema opened in 1937, survived the war and served its function until 2000. During the occupation, the Germans changed its name to "Helgoland". After the takeover of this cinema by the insurgents, the insurgents' chronicles "Helgoland" were displayed there. After the insurgents took over the cinema, the insurgent chronicles "Warsaw Fighting" were displayed there. Currently there is a music club and a theatre. - Prudential (pl. Powstańców Warszawy 9) - before the war it was the highest building in Poland and one of the highest in Europe. Already on August 1 it was captured by the insurgents, and on its top a Polish flag sewn from a sheet and a red pillowcase was hung. Seriously damaged during the insurgent fights it was rebuilt in a socialist realist style. Currently, the building houses a hotel. - The building of the Polish Joint Stock Telephone Company - PAST (37 Zielna Street) - during the Uprising, due to its location and height (second highest in pre-war Warsaw), the building was of strategic importance. Until August 20, 1944, it was in the hands of the Germans, who could easily observe and fire on the North Srodmiescie. After fierce fights the insurgents finally managed to capture the building. It was one of the greatest military successes of the Uprising. To commemorate those events the sign of Fighting Poland was placed on the roof. Translated with (free version) Other - Dworzec Gdanski (6 Zygmunta Slominskiego Street) - fights for Dworzec Gdanski are considered the most bloody battle of the Uprising. During the two nights of 20/21 and 21/22 August, nearly 500 soldiers of the Home Army were killed in assaults carried out by the insurgents. Today, the events of those days are commemorated by a sculpture depicting a young woman leaning over the insurgent grave. - "Zieleniak" (95 Grójecka Street) - at the beginning of the Warsaw Uprising, at the market around today's Banach Hall, the Germans organized an assembly point for the inhabitants of Ochota who were exiled from their homes. After a few days of waiting for transport to Pruszków, the prisoners started to die of hunger and exhaustion. - 227/233 Niepodległości Avenue - since August 21, 1943, Władysław Szpilman, an outstanding composer and pianist, was hiding in this house. Then he moved to the attic of the house at 2 Sędziowska Street, where he stayed for another three months, until 17 January 1945. He survived thanks to the help of a German officer, Captain Wilm Hosenfeld. It was on the basis of these events that Roman Polanski's film entitled "The Shoah" was made. "The Pianist". We remember Warsaw Rising Museum The museum, located in the building of the tramway power plant, was opened on the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of fighting for Warsaw. It is a tribute to the people of Warsaw who fought and died for free Poland and its capital. The exhibition reflects the atmosphere of the insurgent Warsaw and shows not only the military history of 63 days of fighting but also the everyday life of civilians. One of the many attractions of the Museum is a replica of the Liberator B-24J bombing plane. 79 Grzybowska Street Mound of the Warsaw Uprising It is about 120 m high. It was buried in the years 1946-1950 from the rubble of Warsaw. The hill became a Warsaw pantheon, because together with the rubble, the remains of Warsaw inhabitants who died in the Warsaw Uprising were found here. On the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising (in 1994) - former Home Army soldiers placed a 15-meter mark of the Fighting Poland on top. The longest stairs in Warsaw lead to the Mound of the Uprising - they have 400 steps and 40 platforms. Monument to the Uprising Heroes The monument commemorates thousands of heroes of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. It consists of two parts. The first part shows the insurgents running from under the pylon (bridge support), the second part entering the sewers. On Krasinskich Square, there is a manhole to the canal, with which insurgent units and the inhabitants of the Old Town were fleeing from the Germans. pl. Krasińskich Square Monument to the Little Insurgent A sculpture of a few years old boy in too big a helmet, commemorating heroic children taking part in the Warsaw Uprising. The monument was unveiled by an insurgent scout, doc J. Świderski - a cardiologist, a 14-year-old liaison officer "Lubicz" in the "Gustaw" battalion of the Home Army during the Uprising. Murals Contemporary artists pay tribute to the insurgents also by means of modern art - that is why it is worth to have a look at the Rose Garden on the premises of the Warsaw Post Office Museum. We can see there works of Wilhelm Sasnal and Henryk Chmielewski more as Papa Hops. Others were painted, among others, on the wall of the presbytery of the Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the New Town, the wall of the stadium of the "Polonia" sports club on Konwiktorska Street


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