Central and Eastern Europe, International Journalism and PR

The Warsaw Uprising

The Warsaw Uprising (Polish: Powstanie Warszawskie) was a major World War II operation by the Polish Resistance Home Army (Polish: Armia Krajowa) to liberate Warsaw from German occupation and which started on August 1 1944. The uprising was timed to coincide with the Soviet Union’s Red Army approaching the eastern suburbs of the city and the retreat of German forces. Initially, the Poles established control over most of central Warsaw, but the Soviets ignored Polish attempts to establish radio contact and did not advance beyond the city limits. Intense street fighting between the Germans and Poles continued.Polish resistance, which fought for 63 days with little outside support. The Uprising was the largest single military effort taken by any European resistance movement during World War II.

Although the exact number of casualties remains unknown, it is estimated that about 16,000 members of the Polish resistance were killed and about 6,000 badly wounded. In addition, between 150,000 and 200,000 Polish civilians died, mostly from mass executions. Jews being helped by Poles  were exposed by German house-to-house clearances and mass evictions of entire neighbourhoods. German casualties totalled over 8,000 soldiers killed and missing, and 9,000 wounded. During the urban combat approximately 25% of Warsaw’s buildings were destroyed. Following the surrender of Polish forces, German troops systematically levelled another 35% of the city block by block. Together with earlier damage suffered in the 1939 invasion of Poland and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943, over 85% of the city was destroyed by January 1945, when the course of the events in the Eastern Front forced the Germans to abandon the city.

This is what Mr Hans van Baalen former Member of the Dutch Parliament, leader of the VVD party (The People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy) in the European Parliament and President of the European ALDE party told in our interview: ‘’Poland will always be Poland because of its determination to be free’’ about the Warsaw Uprising:

”The first time when I was in Warsaw I had dinner with a great man, famous Polish politician and professor Bronisław Geremek.[3] We were sitting in the restored old town. I was immensely impressed. Professor Geremek showed me pre 1945 maps of Warsaw. It was amazing that the Polish people were so determined to rebuild this part after the World War II exactly the way it used to be before the war. It was and is now of extreme beauty. The Soviets did not help  Polish people in Warsaw who were fighting against the Nazis in the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 and waited till the Nazis would kill the last Polish fighters. The Germans destroyed 80%-90% of the buildings in Warsaw.  A huge part of the cultural heritage was burned, demolished or stolen. I understood that Polish people never give up and keep on fighting for freedom. Geremek was a wise man, he knew that you cannot remain being enemies, therefore he reached to Germany for cooperation, to create new, free Europe.”


[3] Bronisław Geremek  was involved in forming Solidarity movement in Poland. Between 1987 and 1989 Geremek was the leader of the Commission for Political Reforms of the Civic Committee. This commission prepared proposals for peaceful democratic transformation in Poland. In 1989 he was strongly involved in the debates between the Solidarity movement and communist authorities which ended with free parliamentary elections. He was a minister of Foreign Affairs and a member of the European Parliament

Read more here:

Driel Commemoration of the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade of General Sosabowski

The Warsaw Uprising: Polish Heroes

Source: Communications-Unlimited.nl, Wikipedia
Photo cover: Old Town in Warsaw in flames during the Warsaw Uprising.Source: Wikipedia
Photo below: Communications-Unlimited.nl