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    [size=12pt]Commemoration of 69th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising[/size]

    69 years ago, on August 1st 1944 at 5 p.m. one of the most tragic, celebrated and controversial events in Polish history had its beginning. The Warsaw Uprising, a mass movement of Warsaw’s population against the Nazi German occupier lasted 63 days, resulted in over 200,000 civilian deaths and a near-complete destruction of Poland’s capital.

    Sirens in 44 Masovian cities and church bells in the entire archdiocese of Warsaw will sound at 5pm today to commemorate the uprising at the exact time it broke out 69 years ago.


    An uneven battle between the Polish David, a group of poorly-armed, barely-trained freedom fighters who were often as young as 12 years old, and the Nazi Goliath, a well-organized military machine, is idolized by some, criticised by others, and mourned by all in Poland. It was the only revolt against Hitler’s Germany on such a large scale. At 5 p.m. Warsaw will stand still in a traditional minute of silence to the piercing sounds of sirens.  Countless official ceremonies will also take place in the capital honoring the Uprising’s victims and celebrating its heroes.

    [img width=700 height=576]http://www.banzaj.pl/pictures/aktualnosci/historia/Miasto_ruin/ii_wojna_wiatowa_1.jpg” />

    Polish historians have created an unusual 3D film that documents the shocking sea of rubble that Warsaw was reduced to during World War II.

    Jan Oldakowski, the director of the Warsaw Uprising Museum, said the film “City of Ruins” is mainly meant for young people who do not realize the degree to which Poland’s capital was destroyed from 1939-45.

    “Young people do not understand what it means that Warsaw was in ruins; they think it was just a few collapsed houses,” Oldakowski said during a showing of the film to reporters in Warsaw. “Nor were we, at the museum, fully aware of what the city looked like.”

    The destruction was the result of bombings carried out by Nazi Germany, which invaded Poland in 1939 and occupied it for six years, killing millions of people. Most of the damage resulted from the German army’s revenge for the city’s 1944 uprising against its brutal rule.


    Old Town, Warsaw, 1945

    The human and material costs of the Uprising

    Poles: 15,200 insurgents killed and missing, 5,000 wounded, 15,000 sent to POW camps. Among civilians 200,000 were dead, and approximately 700,000 expelled from the city. Approximately 55,000 civilians were sent to concentration camps, including 13,000 to Auschwitz. Berling's Polish Army losses were 5,660 killed, missing or wounded. Material losses were estimated at 10,455 buildings, 923 historical buildings (94%), 25 churches, 14 libraries including the National Library, 81 elementary schools, 64 high schools, Warsaw University and Polytechnic buildings, and most of the monuments. Almost a million inhabitants lost all of their possessions.

    During World War II, 85% of Warsaw's left bank buildings were destroyed: 25% in the course of the Warsaw Uprising, 35% as the result of systematic German actions after the Uprising, the rest as a combination of the war in September 1939 and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (more here).

    Chwała bohaterskim obrońcom Warszawy! Cześć ich pamięci!





    The second video is very powerful,emotionally intense.






    Thank you for this thread, Prelja. I have shared some of it with my Facebook friends and asked that we all take a minute today to remember and honor those who died, especially the valiant heroes who tried to save the city. My heart breaks watching the destruction of beautiful Warsaw and its people.  My neighbor growing up here in Michigan was a lovely Polish lady, Irene, who always made the best nut and poppyseed breads for the holidays. She was held prisoner in a labor camp in Poland during WW2.  Her strength to carry-on and enjoy life always has inspired me.

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