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Sunday, August 01, 2004
WARSAW UPRISING COMMEMORATED
60 years ago today began one of the most heroic, yet often overlooked episodes of WWII. Not to be confused with the equally heroic Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which took place over a year earlier, the Warsaw Uprising was the bloodiest and most protracted partisan revolt against Nazi occupation during the war. The real tragedy is that, under Stalin's orders, the Red Army camped idly across the Vistula as the Germans systematically destroyed both the insurgent forces and most of the city itself. Stalin allowed the Germans to do the dirty work of killing off potential opposition to the Communist satellite governement he already planned to impose on the Poles. And indeed, for the 40 years of Communist rule, the Uprising was suppressed history, ignored and untaught in public.
Today's commemoration, from the BBC..
..Gerhard Schroeder apologizes....and Putin waffles..
Finally, Polish historians are undertaking the task of of researching,writing about and analyzing this conflict, and none too soon, as less than 7,000 of the Polish survivors remain alive.
Two good articles translated into English are : General Overview, and Soviet Policy Towards the Uprising..
In 2001, the Poles erected a beautiful monument to the Uprising , and a first rate museum is over half completed.
The City of Warsaw's Website, and a Polish 'day by day' pictorial account..
A picture of an improvised armored vehicle which faced the Panzer battalions..
And a review of 'Through Polish Eyes' , a memoir devoted to the story of WWII as the Poles experienced it..
We cannot banish dangers, but we can banish fears. We must not demean life by standing in awe of death.