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Warsaw Rising 1944 - National Disaster or Triumph of Spirit ?


pawian 157 | 9,121
1 Aug 2011  #1
Introduction:
A remark by Poland's foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, that the 1944 Warsaw Rising against the Nazis was a "national catastrophe", has been described by some opposition politicians as being "unacceptable" and unpatriotic.

Posting a link on his Twitter social networking website, Minister Sikorski described the ultimately doomed resistance by the Polish Home Army as a "national catastrophe."

MPs from the national-conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party say that the remark is a stain against the memory of Polish patriots.
[.....]

It is strange that we haven`t debated it here yet. Maybe such a topic appeared long ago but was moved to archive. I checked the current search data and only two topics concern Warsaw Rising:

KIA of the Rising

After initial successes, the situation got worse. Germans brought a few police units, most of them consisted of various scumbags (criminals) or collaborators from the East.

Instead of fighting insurgents, they went on a murdering spree - in Wola district, about 50.000 Polish civilians were executed in early August, in Ochota - about 10.000. Mokotów - a few thousand. And in many other places all over Warsaw.

d

The situation was hopeless, so after 63 days of heroic fight, Warsaw capitulated.

From 120.000 to 200.000 civilians died, about 18.000 insurgents were killed in action or executions. 25% of left-bank Warsaw was destroyed in the Rising, next 35% afterwards. With 10% destruction from 1939 and 10% of Ghetto area razed to the ground, literally, Warsaw practically ceased to exist.

A long wall with AK soldiers` names
Lyzko
1 Aug 2011  #2
A historic tribute of which ALL Poles, regardless of religion or ethnicity, can be proud! A triumph of spirit indoubitably.
TheOther 5 | 3,643
1 Aug 2011  #3
Lyzko --- A triumph of spirit indoubitably.

At what cost, and for what?

Pawian --- From 120.000 to 200.000 civilians died, about 18.000 insurgents were killed in action or executions. 25% of left-bank Warsaw was destroyed in the Rising, next 35% afterwards. With 10% destruction from 1939 and 10% of Ghetto area razed to the ground, literally, Warsaw practically ceased to exist.

Sikorski was right that the Warsaw Rising was a national catastrophe.
Lyzko
1 Aug 2011  #4
Yet despite all of this, the German juggernaut was dealt a major blow plus Stroop was finally executed after the War-:)
hubabuba - | 113
1 Aug 2011  #5
I is hard to decide on which one was it now- when we know the end result, but in 1944 people of Warsaw were expecting the same help Paris later were given.
OP pawian 157 | 9,121
1 Aug 2011  #6
=TheOther]Sikorski was right that the Warsaw Rising was a national catastrophe.

Minister Sikorski had noted on his Twitter page that the nation “could draw lessons from this national catastrophe”. PiS politicians note, however, in a letter sent to the Foreign Ministry that such an “undermining” of the “heroic” legacy of the insurgents bore similarities with the practices of the communist authorities.

Generally speaking, the decision to launch the Warsaw Rising has always been controversial. While some regarded it as a courageous bid to throw off the Nazi shackles, others believe it was a suicidal operation.

General Wladyslaw Anders, one of the key figures in the Free Polish Army in the West during WW II, was among those that felt the Rising should never have been declared.


I forgot to add: most photos in the first post are from here:

pragapn. republika.pl/powstanie/
EdWilczynski 3 | 98
1 Aug 2011  #7
Sikorski was right that the Warsaw Rising was a national catastrophe.

No, I disagree. Not a catastrophe. In retrospect it can be termes foolhardy at worst. For me a Triumph of Spirit and like those brave souls, were I faced with such a choice to make now, I like to think i'd have stood shoulder to shoulder with them.

And yet it could have been so very different, but for a fairer wind and the expected assistance of the allies.

As we have come to learn, those brave souls were sold down the river.

With more support, we could have been talking about a victory against all odds and one of the pivotal moments of the war. Instead the things that sticks out most is the horror that ensued.

With hindsight, it is easy for those that weren't there to label it as a catastrophe. We weren't faced with that choice to make.
Lyzko
1 Aug 2011  #8
I agree with the last poster! Better in the end to die like rats fighting than to live like slaves.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,596
1 Aug 2011  #9
Sikorski was right that the Warsaw Rising was a national catastrophe.

He is.

If Poland simply waited for the inevitable German vs Soviet fight to the end - she could have waited and waited until the Soviet overstretched their supply lines in the race for Berlin....and then BANG. A Polish attack on the Soviets would have destroyed their supply lines quickly and easily - leaving Poland in the situation where an already-massively-depleted Red Army would have had to not only fight the Germans in the last desperate phases of the war, but also the Poles.

Can't imagine that the Red Army would have won - it's well documented that they were simply throwing men forward at all costs in order to get to Berlin first.

The Warsaw Uprising should be commemorated with a single, solitary flag flying with the black ribbon in the centre of Warsaw -no more, no less. It was utterly tragic that so many people died in vain - the AK leadership almost certainly has blood on their hands for this. It was simply a dreadful move - brave, courageous, but dreadful.
hubabuba - | 113
1 Aug 2011  #10
The Warsaw Uprising should be commemorated with a single, solitary flag flying with the black ribbon in the centre of Warsaw -no more, no less.

good, that You are not the decider
OP pawian 157 | 9,121
1 Aug 2011  #11
=Lyzko]Yet despite all of this, the German juggernaut was dealt a major blow

Unfortunately, German losses were not so high (General SS Bach Zalewski estimated German KIA at about 1900), besides, most of them were Eastern collaborators and other lowlives.

=delphiandomine]A Polish attack on the Soviets would have destroyed their supply lines quickly and easily - leaving Poland in the situation where an already-massively-depleted Red Army would have had to not only fight the Germans in the last desperate phases of the war, but also the Poles.

:):):) That is pure science fiction. Don`t forget Soviets had the most powerful army in Europe at that time.

the AK leadership almost certainly has blood on their hands for this.

And yet on August 3rd 1944 when General Stanisław Kopański sent General Anders a telegram to ask that a parachute unit be dispatched to emabattled Warsaw he repiled that he thought the decision of the Commander in Chief of the Underground Army to launch an uprising to be a complete disaster. (source IPMS. KGA 46/IV, telegram dated 03.August.1944)

On 9th of August General Anders sent a coded message to Gen. Sosnkowski, and in sharp terms criticised Warsaw's decision to launch the uprising. (source IPMS. KGA 46/IV; M.Zarzycki—Karta no.42 dated 2004 page 140).

Anders also pointed out in radiogram No. 2081 dated 09/August/1944 "...the troops do not understand the aim of the Uprising in Warsaw... We consider the launching of the uprising to be a serious offence and we ask —who bears responsibilty for this?"


from Sjams` post:
Polish-German alliance.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,596
1 Aug 2011  #12
good, that You are not the decider

Sorry, but when was the last time that Warsaw ever celebrated the successful Wielkopolska Uprising?

I fail to see why one of the worst military decisions of the 20th century should be celebrated with flags flying and so on.
EdWilczynski 3 | 98
1 Aug 2011  #13
A single flag with a black stripe would be an insult to those brave souls who made the ultimate sacrifice.
hubabuba - | 113
1 Aug 2011  #14
Poznan celebrates Wielkopolskie Uprising

I fail to see why one of the worst military decisions of the 20th century should be celebrated with flags flying and so on.

as I said before, in 1944 people didnt know what we know now(again look at the Paris uprising), but I do agree with You that it was a very bad decision. And I dont celebrate this decision, I am paying the respect to the lost city its people this microworld with its unique culture, dialects/slang that was destroyed by the German psychos, I am paying my respect and I remember about them, and I believe thay deserve that
delphiandomine 83 | 17,596
1 Aug 2011  #15
A single flag with a black stripe would be an insult to those brave souls who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Insulting?

Insulting is the way that Warsaw demands respect throughout the country for her failed uprising, while ignoring all the other uprisings and especially ignoring the one that actually succeeded!

Anyway, it would be a far grander gesture to have a single flag flying - less is more when it comes to this sort of thing. Having flags flying throughout the country means nothing when many people simply ignore it - I had to ask several people to find out what the reason was for them flying in Poznan - most people simply didn't know - because they have their own uprising here.

I honestly think that a single flag, combined with the air raid sirens going off would be a grand gesture - and far more poignant than flags everywhere. Funny though - virtually no private people will fly a flag here to commemorate it - only in official places.
hubabuba - | 113
1 Aug 2011  #16
I had to ask several people to find out what the reason was for them flying in Poznan - most people simply didn't know - because they have their own uprising here.

and that says what?that people in Poznan are ignorant?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,596
1 Aug 2011  #17
Same could be said for Warsaw's ignoring of the uprising here.
hubabuba - | 113
1 Aug 2011  #18
I remember when uprising took place, and a flag in Warsaw to remember that would be a nice thing to do, however we shouldnt than forget about Śląskie uprisings, Lwów and then Pcim Dolny, not every single event can be commemorated in Warsaw!!This is why these events are remembered in the place they happened
TheOther 5 | 3,643
1 Aug 2011  #19
EdWilczynski --- With hindsight, it is easy for those that weren't there to label it as a catastrophe.

That's all we can do nowadays. Would be interesting to see though how survivors and the military saw the uprising immediately after the war (I mean, a propaganda-free view of it, if there was any).
OP pawian 157 | 9,121
1 Aug 2011  #20
=delphiandomine]
Insulting is the way that Warsaw demands respect throughout the country for her failed uprising,

Sirens wailed at 17.00 in Krakow. I was finishing the first post in the thread. Sort of my private tribute.

Among hundreds of photos from Warsaw, the dearest are these sites which commemorate the sacrifice of the city during WW2. Most of them refer to massive losses in Warsaw Rising:

https://polishforums.com/history/martyrology-today-monuments-47190/2/

=Lyzko]plus Stroop was finally executed after the War-:)

Stroop supressed the Ghetto Rising in 1943. We are talking about Warsaw Rising 44.

But, yes, he paid for his crimes.
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
1 Aug 2011  #21
Warsaw Rising 1944 - National Disaster or Triumph of Spirit ?

Both, you actually managed to sum it up pretty well, the former does not preclude the latter.

If Poland simply waited for the inevitable German vs Soviet fight to the end - she could have waited and waited until the Soviet overstretched their supply lines in the race for Berlin....and then BANG.

not only was the Red Army not depleted its rear lines in Poland were protected by over 600k troops.

edited
Lyzko
1 Aug 2011  #22
Defeat etc... aside for the moment, the sheer symbolic importance of the '44 Uprising simply cannot be overstated!
OP pawian 157 | 9,121
1 Aug 2011  #23
=Sokrates]Both, the former does not preclude the latter.

Wow, very good thought. I am surprised, really. :):):)

Today Warsovians, both native and newcomers, paid tribute. Everything stopped at 17.00 for a while.
Lyzko
1 Aug 2011  #24
If only to prove that both Jewish and Christian Poles suffered equally at the hands of their common enemy, indeed, nemisis of mankind as a whole! Such commemorations draw together rather than pull apart. The indomitable human spirit survives amid the chaos.

NIECH ŻYJE RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA!
OP pawian 157 | 9,121
1 Aug 2011  #25
Defeat etc... aside for the moment, the sheer symbolic importance of the '44 Uprising simply cannot be overstated!

The ultimate question arises:

If the Rising hadn`t broken out, would Warsaw have been spared 200.000 losses and the destruction of the city with its cultural heritage important not only for Warsaw but whole Poland?

d

s

s

[......]

During the German suppression of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 around 70 to 80% of libraries were carefully burned by the Verbrennungskommandos (Burning Detachments), whose mission and specialty were to burn Warsaw.[12] In October 1944 the Załuski Library, the oldest public library in Poland and one of the oldest and most important libraries in Europe (established in 1747), was burned down.[13] Out of about 400,000 printed items, maps and manuscripts, only some 1,800 manuscripts and 30,000 printed materials survived.[13]
Lyzko
1 Aug 2011  #26
20/20 hindsight, Pawian. Poland was damned if it did and damned if it didn't. A tough judgment call for any government to have made. Had it not stood pat and firm, Hitler would've swallowed 'em up sure as he's born! It refused to submit and so reaped the excesses of the destruction visisted upon its innocent citizens-:) In the truest sense, a no-win situation!
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
1 Aug 2011  #27
There is no way to prove the truth about claims made in counterfactual statements and so this "ultimate question" is unanswerable.
OP pawian 157 | 9,121
1 Aug 2011  #28
Quite right.

Don`t you think AK commanders made a too hasty decision, seeing a few Soviet tanks reaching the borders of Warsaw, they thought the Soviets are going to storm, while it was only reconaissance.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,596
1 Aug 2011  #29
I just don't understand it - wouldn't it be obvious that the Soviets would have no interest in helping Poland, especially after 1939?
OP pawian 157 | 9,121
1 Aug 2011  #30
Yes, Delph. They had no interest in helping independent Poland. That is why they waited and observed from the right bank how patriotic Poles bled in uneven fight.

But they had an interest in helping communist Poland and already in summer 1944 a Polish communist government was established under Stalin`s patronage. Those Poles were renegades who helped Soviets dominate Poland and make her a socialist country against most Poles` wishes.

Stalin was one of the shrewdest politicians ever.
Fortunately, the scheme that he created for Eastern Europe collapsed in 1989. Thanks God! :):):)


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