63 years since Warsaw Uprising

August 1 marks the day of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. The Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa ? AK) struggled to liberate Poland from Nazi German occupation 63 year ago on this day. This national insurrection dubbed Operation Tempest lasted for 63 days until October 2, the biggest partisan uprising in World War II. It saw 18,000 Polish soldiers killed, some 25,000 wounded and an estimated number between 120,000 to 200,000 of civilian deaths. The civilian deaths were a result of the mass murders carried out by the advancing German army. The Nazi troops lost 17,000 of its soldiers in the uprising and 9,000 were wounded. In this urban open warfare almost 25 percent of Warsaw was destroyed amounting to 85 percent of the city being destroyed after the Polish Home Army surrendered on October 2. The AK resistance planned the uprising in advance executing its commencement just as the Soviet army was approaching Warsaw. The aim of the insurrection wanted to see Warsaw liberated before the Red Army entered the city, so that the Soviet puppet government could be challenged by reinstalling Polish authorities to power. For many years after the uprising, when the Communist government was in power, insurgents were monitored, controlled and often imprisoned. Former soldier and now Professor of History Wladyslaw Bartoszewski who took part in the uprising told Radio Trojka that the struggle was “worth it.” Despite the AK?s ultimate surrender the uprising was “the biggest sacrifice we could have ever imagined, and it is vital to value such sacrifice.”All of Poland marked this historical event with a minute of silence at 17:00 on August 1. The Uprising Memorial in Warsaw near the Parliament was a place of tribute and quiet reflection. The Warsaw Cemetery where most of the insurgents and civilians are buried was also visited by the public and Polish officials. Cities such as Wroclaw stopped running all public transport on the hour at 17:00 to mark this historical moment.

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