Opkomende museum in Warschau

Opkomende museum in Warschau

Die Warsaw Rising Museum is 'n Tweede Wêreldoorlog -museum in die hoofstad van Pole, toegewy aan die opstand van die Poolse bevolking teen die Nazi -Duitse besetters. Dit fokus veral op die Warskou -opstand, 'n operasie wat in Augustus 1944 deur Poolse vryheidsvegters uitgevoer is.

Die Warskou -opstand moet nie verwar word met die Warskou Ghetto -opstand van 1943 nie, waar Joodse Pole 'n aanval op die Duitse weermag uitgevoer het in 'n poging om te verhoed dat die Joodse bevolking na konsentrasiekampe gestuur word.

Die Warskou -opstand van 1944 was 'n stryd van twee maande wat deur Poolse vryheidsvegters gevoer is om hul land van die Nazi's te bevry. In 'n operasie met die naam 'Tempest', het hierdie volk se weermag presies 17:00 op 1 Augustus 1944 met sy aanval begin, bekend as W-uur.

Die geveg was wreed en bloedig, wat meer as 20 000 burgerlike sterftes en die byna volledige vernietiging van die stad tot gevolg gehad het. Die Poolse vegters het hulp van ander geallieerde lande verwag, maar die operasie het misluk.

Die Warsaw Rising Museum ondersoek die gebeure van die opstand en die gevolge daarvan, en plaas dit in die groter konteks van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Die uitstalling van die Warskou Rising Museum is aangrypend en gedetailleerd en bevat alles van gedetailleerde tydlyne tot die armbande wat deur die opstandelinge en die W -uur -klok gedra word.

Die Warsaw Rising Museum dompel die besoeker in die gebeurtenisse van die geveg van 1944 met films van oorspronklike nuusprente en selfs 'n ontspanning van die rioolstelsels wat die Pole gebruik het om deur die stad te reis. Daar is ook 'n kinderuitstalling genaamd "The Little Insurgents Room". Die Warsaw Rising Museum bied begeleide toere in 'n aantal tale, waaronder Frans, Engels, Russies, Duits, Italiaans en Tsjeggies.


Opstand in Warskou: Hoop en verraad

O n 'n ongemaklike nat en koue somermiddag in 1944 was Warskou senuweeagtig gereed. Daar is dae lank op straat jongmanne en vroue met geheimsinnige pakkies gesien. "Trammotors was besig met jong seuns, wat selfs die voorste platform onbesorg beset het, 'Nur Für Deutsche' voorbehou, sonder dat die Duitsers teenwoordig iets daaraan gedoen het," onthou ooggetuie Stefan Korbonski. 'Ek het opgemerk dat een van die seuns 'n rugsak dra, waaruit iets uitsteek wat soos 'n kierie lyk, toegedraai in koerantpapier en vasgemaak met 'n tou. Enigiemand kon sien dat dit die einde van 'n geweer was. "

Vir Warskou was die toneel buitengewoon. Pole en sy hoofstad was die tuiste van 'n miljoen en 'n half mense voor die oorlog, en is jare lank beset nadat Duitsland die land in September 1939 binnegeval het. Tog was die Duitse gruweldade ver van die mees toegewyde en komplekse ondergrondse ondergrondse versetbewegings in Europa. 'N Netwerk van 400 000 mans en vroue, bekend as die Armia Krajowa, of Tuisleër, het treinlyne opgeblaas, vyandelike patrollies en konvooie in hinderlaag gebring en gevangenes uit SS -tronke bevry. Hulle het veral voorberei - in streng geheimhouding - op die oomblik dat 'n gekoördineerde staking teen die Duitsers die stad en sy mense sou bevry.

Die Tuisleër het gehoop dat 1 Augustus 1944 daardie oomblik sou wees. Begin Julie kon die gerommel van artillerie vir die eerste keer in die verte gehoor word sedert die stad vyf jaar tevore in beslag geneem is. En hierdie keer was dit die Duitsers wat bewe: die gewere behoort aan die Rooi Leër, wie se tenks die oostelike verdediging van die stad ondersoek. Regoor die stad het die onreëlmatige eenhede van die Tuisleër, wat geïmproviseerde uniforms gedra het met rooi-en-wit armbande wat hulle as lede van die ondergrondse weermag was, begin om na vooraf toegewysde posisies te beweeg. Die Pole - wat reeds honderdduisende mense aan die inval van 1939, die Holocaust en die opstand van die Warskou Ghetto 'n jaar tevore verloor het - het ten doel gehad om hul Nazi -onderdrukkers met stilswyende Sowjet -hulp te verdryf.

Die twee maande se bittere stedelike geveg wat daarop gevolg het, sou een van die oorlog se mees moedige, rampspoedige en uiteindelik misverstaande episodes word. In hul wanhoop om hul vryheid terug te eis, het die Pole nie die swakheid van hul geopolitieke situasie ten volle begryp nie; hulle was 'n land met min vriende. Die Sowjets wat voorberei het om die Duitsers in Warskou te vervang, het min agting vir Pole of sy onafhanklikheid, terwyl Brittanje en die Verenigde State in 'n alliansie met die Sowjet -regime vasgevang was in 'n poging om die Nazi's te verslaan en nie in 'n sterk posisie om te help nie. As gevolg hiervan het Warskou opgehou, die opkoms verwoes en Pole is deur een totalitêre buurman in die hande van 'n ander gelaat - 'n uitkoms wat dekades na die oorlog die persepsie van die geveg gevorm het.

T dit was nie die eerste keer dat Pole die vreemde man was nie in die siniese wêreld van bilaterale alliansies. Die Sowjet-Duitse nie-aanvalsverdrag, wat in Augustus 1939 in die geheim onderteken is, bevat 'n bepaling om Pole tussen die Sowjetunie en Duitsland te verdeel-en dit is wat gebeur het na die inval van Duitsland in Pole. Twee jaar later het Hitler se aanval op die Sowjetunie gelei tot die oorlogsverbond tussen Churchill, Stalin en Roosevelt, wat Pole kon baat. Maar politici en diplomate in Londen en Washington was huiwerig om hul verhouding met Moskou in die gedrang te bring deur te sterk te bly vir 'n pion in die strategiese skaakspel.

Die Pole was egter vasbeslote om te veg. Meer as 200 000 Poolse soldate het na die Duitse inval na die Weste ontsnap om oral met die Geallieerdes te veg, van die Slag van Brittanje tot Monte Cassino. Terselfdertyd is 'n massiewe ondergrondse leër in die besette Pole georganiseer. Die Tuisleër was tot en met D-dag die derde grootste gewapende mag op die vasteland. Toe Poolse Jode in die Warschau -getto in Januarie 1943 in opstand kom teen hul SS -tronkbewaarders, het die Tuisleër die stryders wapens voorsien. Maar die weermag het ook teruggehou en was nie bereid om hom tot 'n algemene opstand te verbind nie, terwyl die Duitse weermag steeds die dominante mag op die vasteland was.

Toe die vloed van oorlog teen Berlyn draai, het die Pole redes vir hoop gesien. Gedurende die winter en lente van 1944 het die Rooi Leër geleidelik weswaarts beweeg en die Wehrmacht meedoënloos voor hulle ingedruk. Teen die somer kon Sowjet -artillerie net oor die horison gehoor word, wat Duitse verdediging in die woude op die oostelike oewer van die Vistula -rivier laat klop. Die leiers van die Tuisleër en die Poolse regering in ballingskap het 'n kans gesien: as hulle voordeel kon trek uit die Duitse wanorde om beheer oor hul hoofstad te verkry voor die koms van die Rooi Leër, sou 'n groot simboliese oorwinning behaal word - een kan die Pole hefboom in enige naoorlogse onderhandelinge oor die toekoms van hul land.

Maar hulle het ook geweet dat die ondergrondse swak toegerus was vir 'n uitgerekte stryd met die Duitse weermag. Slegs 'n kwart van die 50 000 ondergrondse soldate in die stad het regte wapens gehad, en voedsel en ammunisie was bitter min. Dit het hul tydsberekening van kritieke belang gemaak: te vroeg beweeg en Duitse troepe kon al hul kragte daarop fokus om die weerstand te verpletter, maar om te wag totdat die Sowjets die Wehrmacht oor die Wispel gedruk het, sou ewe verwoestend wees. Soos Tadeusz Komorowski, bevelvoerder van die binnelandse weermag, wat onder die skuilnaam Generaal Bór was, in sy herinneringe geskryf het: "Die stad sou 'n slagveld word tussen die Duitsers en Russe en sou tot puinhope gereduseer word."

Komorowski ken een van sy vyande intiem. Die ondergrondse generaal het tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog in die Oostenrykse leër gedien en volmaakte Duits gepraat. Nege en veertig jaar oud was hy 'n voormalige Olimpiese ruiter en het hy voor die oorlog 'n kavalerieregiment gelei. Hy het meer as 'n jaar lank die Tuisleër beveel, in gewone klere gewerk en van 'n veilige huis na 'n veilige huis in die hoofstad gesluip.

Op die aand van 31 Julie, in 'n woonstel in die middel van die stad, het Komorowski die leiding van die huisleër bymekaargemaak. Daardie maand het Sowjet -radio -uitsendings Pole aangemoedig om die Duitse besetting te weerstaan. Sowjet -tenks is op die oostelike rand van die stad se ondergrondse waarnemers gesien dat Duitse troepe hul posisies laat vaar. 'N Mislukte bomplot teen Hitler die vorige week suggereer dat die steun vir die Nazi's ook in Duitsland verbrokkel. Komorowski weeg die beperkte inligting teen die risiko van vertraging en gee die bevel om om 17:00 vooraf toegewysde teikens aan te val. op 1 Augustus 1944. Twee en twintig hardlopers vertrek in alle rigtings om die nuus te versprei. Oor minder as 24 uur sou Warskou opstaan.

Ek onheilspellend het uiteenlopende gevegte uitgebreek voor 17:00. Tog is die besettingsmagte onvoorbereid, indien nie heeltemal nie, verras. Binne enkele ure het die Tuisleër 'n magdom strategiese plekke verower, van die hoofposkantoor en kragstasie tot die hoogste gebou van die stad en verskeie belangrike Duitse arsenale en voorraadopslag. Eenhede van jong mans gewapen met pistole en tuisgemaakte bomme het Duitse tenks aangevat en uitgehaal en selfs 'n paar gevange geneem. Hulle gebruik een van die tenks wat gevang is om 'n klein konsentrasiekamp op die terrein van die verwoeste Warskou -getto te bevry.

Dit het egter vinnig geblyk dat die militêre inspanning moeilik sou wees. In die eerste gevegsdag is byna 2 000 Pole doodgemaak in vergelyking met ongeveer 500 Duitsers. Komorowski en die res van die Poolse hoë bevel het in 'n voormalige meubelfabriek saamgedrom, berigte ontvang dat sleuteldoelwitte, soos die lughawe en die twee belangrikste brûe oor die Vistula, steeds in Duitse hande was.

Tog, in groot dele van die stad, het die Pole die eerste keer in vyf jaar die strate besit. Op 2 Augustus marsjeer 'n jong soldaat deur die bevryde stad. 'Die afstand van een of twee kilometer was vry van Duitsers, en duisende mense het langs die strate gestaan ​​en blomme gegooi en gehuil,' onthou hy. 'Dit was 'n baie aangrypende toneel.'

In Berlyn was die stemming baie anders. News of the Rising het die Duitse hoë bevel binne die eerste halfuur bereik. Heinrich Himmler, bevelvoerder van die SS, het Hitler persoonlik ingelig - en met 'n sekere mate van tevredenheid. 'Die optrede van die Pole is 'n seën,' het hy aan die führer gesê. "Warskou sal gelikwideer word, en hierdie stad, wat die hoofstad is van 'n sestien tot sewentien-miljoen sterk volk wat ons pad na die ooste vir sewehonderd jaar geblokkeer het ... sal nie meer bestaan ​​nie."

O n 3 Augustus het Himmler bevele uitgereik om Warskou van die kaart af te vee. Elke inwoner moes doodgemaak word, elke huis moes opgeblaas en verbrand word. In die Nazi -ingesteldheid van rasse -suiwering en Lebensraum, was militêre nederlae slegs tydelike terugslae, en die uitskakeling van Pole sou vir ewig wees.

Om die beleërde Duitse garnisoen in Warskou te versterk, het Himmler 'n bont versameling eenhede saamgestel, waaronder enkele van die berugste in die SS. Kosakke, Azerbeidjanse en antipartisaanse SS -eenhede wat uit die Wit -Russiese en Oekraïense platteland gewerf is, het Warskou binnegekom vyf dae nadat die opstand begin het. Militêr was hul betrokkenheid byna betekenisloos. Hulle taak was bloot om dood te maak — sonder onderskeid.

'Twee dae lank het hulle daarop konsentreer om elke man, vrou en kind in die gesig te vermoor', het historikus Norman Davies in sy deurlopende geskiedenis geskryf Rising '44: The Battle for Warsaw. Tienduisende burgerlikes is binne enkele dae in woonbuurte aan die westelike rand van die stad dood. John Ward, 'n Britse luitenant wat homself in Warskou bevind het nadat hy uit 'n krygsgevangenskapskamp bevry is, het namens die Huisleër radioversendings na Londen begin terugstuur. 'Die Duitse magte maak geen verskil tussen burgerlikes en troepe van die Tuisleër nie,' het hy berig. 'Die meedoënlose vernietiging van eiendom duur ongehinderd voort deur probleme. Daar is duisende burgerlike gewonde mans, vroue en kinders wat aan die aakligste brandwonde ly en in sommige gevalle aan granaat- en koeëlwonde. ”

Elders het die Wehrmacht sy volle arsenaal teen die Tuisleër ontplooi. Agt-en-sestig ton Tiger II tenks dreun in die rigting van tydelike versperrings gemaak van verskeurde vlagstene wat deur seuns beman is met gewere en tuisgemaakte granate. Op spoorlyne rondom die stad het gepantserde treine toegerus met swaar artillerie heen en weer gerol en die beste invalshoeke gesoek. Verskeie massiewe "Karl" -mortiere wat in staat was om twee ton skulpe af te skiet vir kilometers ver om die stad, gevolg deur toegewyde hyskrane en ammunisie-draers.

Die doeltreffendste wapens was baie beskeie. Burgerlikes was aan tenks vasgemaak of gedwing om voor die oprukkende Duitse infanterie as menslike skilde te loop. Om die versperre strate en ingegrawe verdedigers te hanteer, het die Wehrmacht myne met die naam Goliaths ontplooi. Soos afstandbeheerde minitanks, het die Goliaths 200 pond plofstof ingepak. Met behulp van 'n joystick het operateurs hulle na 'n teiken gelei en die vrag op 'n veilige afstand laat ontplof. (Poolse soldate het gou geleer om die lang leidingkabels van die minitanks af te sny.)

In 'n groot deel van die stad het die Pole die Duitse leër tot stilstand geveg. Die eenhede van die Tuisleër het skuiling geneem in die kelders en mure omgestamp om tonnels te bou wat van gebou tot gebou lei. Hulle het deur die riole van die stad en van die dak na die dak beweeg, en ontwyk en ontwyk Duitse patrollies. Vroue was verpleegsters, draagbaars en boodskappers. Poolse Boy and Girl Scouts het 'n posdiens vir die verset geskep en briewe deur die oorlogsgebied gelei.

Om ammunisie te bespaar, het bevelvoerders 'n "een koeël, een Duitse" reël ingestel en vegters moes slegs skiet as 'n doodslag gewaarborg is. As gevolg hiervan is meer Duitsers dood as gewond. Huisweermanne met te min gewere het wapens tussen horlosies afgegee. 'Hulle het hulself baie beter in die kunste van vaslegging en verrassing getoon, en het dikwels moeisame Duitse offensiewe wat baie voorspelbaar was, vernietig of omgedraai,' het Davies geskryf. "Na die eerste week ... het Warskou die toneel geword van 'n lang, meedoënlose uitputtingsgeveg."

U onbekend aan die beleërde Tuisleër, die diplomatieke front het ook hewige gevegte beleef. Komorowski het die begeerte van die Sowjetunie na beheer oor Oos -Europa erg verkeerd beoordeel. Stalin het geen belang in 'n onafhanklike Pole nie, en erken 'n geleentheid om die Duitsers sy vuil werk vir hom te laat doen. In telegramme aan Churchill en Roosevelt het die slinkse Sowjetleier na die Tuisleër verwys as 'n swak bende 'misdadigers wat die Warskou -avontuur aangepak het' en wat 'die goeie trou van die burgers van Warskou uitgebuit het' baie byna ongewapende mense teen die Duitse gewere, tenks en vliegtuie. ”

Nog erger, Sowjet -generaals het hul troepe binne 'n paar kilometer van die stad gestop en hul posisies gehou vir die grootste deel van Augustus - 'n verdagte stap wat Churchill se aandag getrek het. 'Dit is beslis baie eienaardig dat die Russe op die oomblik dat die ondergrondse weermag in opstand gekom het, die offensief teen Warskou moes stopgesit het en 'n entjie teruggetrek het,' het die premier aan een van sy assistente gesê. 'As hulle al die hoeveelhede masjiengewere en ammunisie wat die Pole benodig vir hul heldhaftige stryd in te stuur, sou 'n vlug van slegs 100 myl behels.

Stalin se antipatie het nog verder gegaan. Hy het ook Britse en Amerikaanse versoeke geweier om vliegtuie wat met ammunisie en voorrade vir die Tuisleër vlieg, toe te laat om in die Sowjet -sone van Pole te land en te hervul. Op 18 Augustus, na weke van diplomatieke struwelinge, het die Sowjets hul standpunt duidelik gemaak. Die Amerikaanse ambassadeur in Moskou het berig dat “die Sowjetregering natuurlik nie daarteen kan beswaar maak dat Engelse of Amerikaanse vliegtuie die wapens in die streek Warskou laat val nie. Maar hulle maak beslis beswaar daarteen dat Britse of Amerikaanse vliegtuie ... op Sowjet -grondgebied beland, aangesien die Sowjet -regering hulle nie direk of indirek wil assosieer met die avontuur in Warskou nie. ” Dit beteken dat geallieerde vliegtuie moes vlieg en terugkeer na Brindisi, Italië - 'n heen- en terugreis van meer as 1,600 myl, wat nie net die Alpe nie, maar ook 'n groot deel van Duitsland en Oostenryk oorsteek. In die lug oor Warskou het hulle die lugvaartvuur van die Duitsers in die gesig gestaar - en heel moontlik ook van hul Sowjet -bondgenote.

Ondanks hierdie probleme het 306 bomwerpers met voorrade en ammunisie die voorraad geloop, baie deur Poolse vlieëniers wat na die RAF gestuur is. Honderde antitankwapens, 1 000 Sten -gewere en byna twee miljoen rondes ammunisie het by die Poolse vegters gekom. Maar ongeveer een bomwerper is neergeskiet vir elke ton voorraad wat afgelewer is - 'n onaanvaarbare verlies - en die toevoervlugte is op 18 September gestaak.

Solank die Luftwaffe aan die westekant van die Vistula -rivier gebly het, was die Sowjets tevrede om die lugruim oor Warskou aan die Duitsers af te staan. In sy herinneringe het een vegter van die Tuisleër onthou dat dieselfde vier Duitse bomwerpers elke 45 minute vuuraanvalle op die stad laat val het, net lank genoeg om op die lughawe aan die buitewyke van die stad te land om te herlaai. 'Hulle het die lug vir hulself gehad, die Rooi Leër was net oorkant die Wisla gestasioneer, maar nie 'n enkele Sowjetvegter het hulle uitgedaag nie.

Namate die geveg vorder, het die Tuisleër grond vir die Duitse magte grond vir gebied gegee. Die eerste sektor wat val, was die ou stad, die historiese hart van die stad. Einde Augustus, na byna 'n maand se bakleiery in die puin van eeue oue geboue, het Komorowski beveel dat dit laat vaar word. Die primêre ontsnappingsroete was die riool van die stad, wat vereis dat uitgeputte vegters byna vier myl deur stilstaande water op vier voete moes kruip. Duitse soldate het granate deur mangatdeksels laat val en gifgas ingepomp. 'Ek het die verskriklikste dag van my lewe daar deurgebring', het 'n jong soldaat later geskryf. 'Mense kon sielkundig nie klaarkom nie; hulle trap voortdurend op lyke.' Tog het 5 000 dit reggekry en die gebiede in die noorde en suide versterk.

Namate die gevegte tot in September gestrek het, het die omstandighede in die geteisterde stad versleg. Burgers wat in hul huise vasgekeer was, het begin honger ly, en gevalle van tifus het toegeneem. Duitsers het veldhospitale gevul met gewonde soldate tot op die grond aan die rand van die ou stad verbrand, honderde is lewend begrawe toe die kerkkelder waarin hulle beskut was, gebombardeer is.

Sommige flitse van hoop het oorgebly. Maar ná anderhalf maand se bakleiery het hulle een vir een uitgeknip. Afgesien van die Huisleër, wat in ballingskap geantwoord het aan die Londense regering in Londen, was daar 'n klein mag Poolse troepe onder bevel van die Rooi Leër. Middel September, met Sowjet-troepe in beheer van die oostelike oewer van die Wisla, het die sogenaamde People's Army daarin geslaag om die oorkantse oewer te neem. Maar Sowjet-bevelvoerders het hulle teruggetrek toe hul aanvanklike poging om die brûe oor die rivier te gryp-met halfhartige steun van hul Sowjet-bondgenote, 'n voorstel sonder verlies vir Stalin-misluk het. 'N Paar dae later het Britse en Amerikaanse bomwerpers, wat een van die laaste voorraadopbrengste van die geveg sou word, 1800 houers materiaal laat val. Maar die vliegtuie het van koers afgewyk, en byna al die voorraad is deur Duitsers opgetel of vernietig. Die laaste slag het gekom toe Britse bevelvoerders die Engelse Poolse Parachute Brigade, 'n eenheid wat in 1941 spesiaal opgerig is om 'n nasionale opstand te ondersteun, aan Nederland beveel het vir Operation Market Garden in plaas van na Warskou.

Huisbevelvoerders het besef dat verdere gevegte nie van nut was nie. Op 2 Oktober 1944 gee hulle kapitulasie. Die onderhandelde oorgawe het 'n ooreenkoms ingesluit om die oorlewende troepe van die Tuisleër - 11,668 mans en vroue - as krygsgevangenes te behandel. In ruil daarvoor sou Warskou heeltemal ontruim word. Meer as 'n halfmiljoen burgerlikes is gedwing om die stad te verlaat. Baie is as slawe -arbeiders na Duitsland gestuur. Ander het toevlug gevind op die platteland of is in kampe gehou totdat die oorlog geëindig het.

Die ondergrondse leër van Warskou het 64 dae lank uitgehou en 'n soort gruwelike respek van hul vyande gekry. 'In werklikheid het hulle beter baklei as ons,' het 'n Wehrmacht -luitenant aan sy familie geskryf nadat hy die gehawende, vermoeide soldate van die Tuisleër vier op die rigting sien opmars het. 'Ondanks alles, was die bandiete self die mees heroïese gevegte, gegewe die omstandighede. En as Londen, wat tot in die laaste besonderhede oor alles beslis het, nie die kapitulasie gelas het nie ..., sou daar baie meer bloed gevloei het. ”

Na raming het na raming 200 000 burgerlikes gesterf tydens die twee maande lange stryd. Meer as die helfte van die Huisweermagters in Warskou aan die begin van die geveg is dood. Die stad self is verpletter, met 93 persent van die geboue wat vernietig is-'n sistematiese uitwissing van geboue wat baie erger is as Dresden of Hamburg, wat selfs na die kapitulasie van die Tuisleër voortgeduur het.

'N Paar mense, meestal Jode wat geweet het dat oorgawe 'n sekere dood beteken, het in die ruïnes van die stad verborge gebly. Dit sluit die pianis Wladyslaw Szpilman in, wie se oorlogservarings in die film The Pianist in 2002 beskryf is. Warskou "het nou bestaan ​​uit die skoorstene van uitgebrande geboue wat na die lug wys, en watter mure die bombardement ook al gespaar het", het Szpilman in sy memoires geskryf. '' N Stad van puin en as waaronder die eeue oue kultuur van my mense en die lyke van honderdduisende vermoorde slagoffers begrawe lê, verrot in die warmte van die laat herfsdae en die lug met 'n verskriklike stank vul. '

E nog voordat die opkoms verby was, Poolse en Britse politici het gedebatteer of dit 'n heroïese gebaar was of bloot 'n kolossale fout. Sommige naoorlogse historici-beïnvloed deur kommunistiese propaganda wat die verhaal van binne na buite gedraai het-veroordeel die opkomende leiers vir die slag van 1944 en beweer dat hulle 'n generasie jong helde onnodig opgeoffer het.

Meer onlangs het die skuld vir die mislukking van die Rising vierkantig aan die voete van die Sowjets geval. Stalin speel 'n dubbelspel wat destyds nie vir die Amerikaners duidelik was nie, deels omdat president Franklin D. Roosevelt geneig was om Stalin te glo. Die Pole is ook mislei, en Komorowski en sy mede -bevelvoerders het besluit om te veg op grond van die destydse veilige aannames. "Sedert die uitbreek van die opstand het die inwoners van Warskou geleef deur te luister en na die Sowjet -gewere te luister," het die ondergrondse bevelvoerder Stefan Korbonski, wat maande lank in Sowjet -gevangenskap deurgebring het voordat hy na die Weste ontsnap het, in sy naoorlogse memoires geskryf. "Dit het nooit eers by iemand opgekom dat die Sowjets doelbewus hul offensief sou stop nie, sodat die Duitsers die stad Warskou kon vernietig."

Sowjet -troepe het eers op 17 Januarie 1945 in Egipte ingegaan. Selfs dan is lede van die Tuisleër deur die kommunistiese amptenare gevange geneem of tereggestel. (Komorowski het die res van die oorlog in die berugte Colditz -offisier se gevangenis deurgebring en na die Duitse oorgawe na Engeland ontsnap.) Vir Pole was die geallieerde oorwinning oor Nazi -Duitsland bitterlik. Soos Pawel Ukielski, die adjunk -direkteur van 'n nuwe museum in Warskou gewy aan die opkoms, verduidelik: "Een beroep is net verruil vir 'n ander."

Ondanks die dramatiese gevegte en die geweldige verliese, is die opstand in Warskou een van die minder bekende konflikte van die oorlog. Die rede is eenvoudig: die bekendmaking van die gebeure van Augustus en September 1944 was in niemand se belang gedurende die Kommunistiese era nie. Vir die heersende regime in Pole was dit 'n direkte aanval op hul legitimiteit. Die stryd is ook grootliks buite Pole vergeet. The Rising was 'n ongemaklike herinnering daaraan dat Pole en die nasies van Sentraal -Europa sinies tydens en na die oorlog aan Stalin oorgelaat is. Nie een van die Duitse offisiere wat verantwoordelik was vir die wrede vergelding teen burgerlikes in die stad is in Neurenberg verhoor nie. Trouens, die gebeure van Augustus en September 1944 is skaars genoem, uit vrees vir die spanningsvolle verhouding met Moskou.

Sedert die val van die kommunisme in 1989, het die opkoms 'n kragtige simbool van trots geword vir die Pole. Alhoewel die geveg 'n militêre mislukking was, sê Ukielski, "dit wys dat die Pole nooit oorgegee het nie, dat hulle van die begin tot die einde geveg het. Ons vier nie 'n nederlaag nie, maar eerder die heldhaftigheid en wil van onafhanklikheid. " Hy voeg by: 'In 'n metafisiese sin, na 1989, is die Warsaw Rising uiteindelik gewen.'

Vandag lok die nuwe Warsaw Rising Museum menigtes skoolkinders en volwassenes - en af ​​en toe emosionele veteraan van die konflik. Buite het die betongeboue uit die kommunistiese tydperk wat na die oorlog opgerig is, gemeng met glimmende wolkekrabbers wat die afgelope dekade gebou is-herinner aan die somber oorlogservaring van die hoofstad wat saamsmelt met die belofte van sy toekoms.


Foto's uit die opstand van Warskou

Hierdie uitstalling bied foto's aan wat geneem is deur persoorlogskorrespondente van die hoofkwartier van die huisleër (PSW) tydens die opstand in Warskou. PSW's was fotojoernaliste wat tydens die besetting in die geheim opgelei is deur organe van die Poolse ondergrondse staat. Ons leer 'n paar van hulle ken: Stanisław Bala (kodenaam "Giza"), fotograaf en opstandige kameraman sy suster Małgorzata Balówna (kodenaam "Małgorzatka"), fotojoernalis en koerier Eugeniusz Lokajski (kodenaam "Brok"), Olimpiese kampioen en fotojoernalis Sylwester Braun (kodenaam "Kris"), fotograaf wat Warskou vanaf die begin van die oorlog gedokumenteer het en Władysław Chrzanowski (kodenaam "Wiesław"), hoewel nie formeel 'n PSW nie, nietemin 'n soldaat wat die aktiwiteite van sy eenheid opgeteken het. Hulle het almal in Augustus en September 1944 tydens die opkoms in Warskou ontmoet, net soos vyftig ander opstandige fotograwe. Dit is te danke aan hulle dat ons hierdie gebeure vandag kan sien. Hulle het 'n wonderlike argief agtergelaat wat die atmosfeer van daardie dae herskep. Die lewe van elke fotograaf is fassinerend en veelsydig, en net so lofwaardig en dramaties soos die Rising self - een van die grootste stedelike gevegte van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Dit was ook tragies, want ondanks twee maande se swaar gevegte - met onvoldoende ondersteuning van óf die Weste óf die Sowjet -bondgenote, het laasgenoemde reeds op die oewer van die Wisla gestaan ​​- het die Rising geëindig in die stad se kapitulasie. Die lotgevalle van die fotograwe was soortgelyk aan dié van honderde duisende inwoners van Warskou, wie se lewens die tragedie van hul stad was. "Brok" sterf, soos duisende ander, onder die ruïnes van Warskou terwyl die ander na krygsgevangenekampe gestuur is. “Kris” ontsnap uit deportasie en keer terug na Warskou, maar emigreer kort daarna. “Giza” en “Małgorzatka” emigreer na Engeland en daarna na die Verenigde State. 'Wiesław' keer terug na Pole, maar gee eers sy foto's na 1956 bekend. 'Kris' kom in 1983 terug na Pole en hou 'n groot uitstalling.

Die einde van die oorlog het nie bevryding na Warskou en Pole gebring nie, maar dit was 'n nuwe besetting. Alhoewel die eerbetoon aan die heldhaftigheid van die opstandelinge verbied was, het die herinnering aan die opgang oorleef. Uiteindelik het die nuwe Warsjau Rising Museum in 2004 geopen, wat tot vandag toe byna drie miljoen mense verwelkom het.

Hierdie foto's is gekies om 'n so realistiese en verteenwoordigende prentjie as moontlik van die opstand in Warskou te skets.

Sylwester Braun (“Kris”) is op 1 Januarie 1909 in Warskou gebore. Hy was 'n landmeter van beroep en het gewerk in die Office for Town Planning on Future of Warsaw -projekte. Sodra die oorlog begin, begin hy met die dokumentasie van die vernietiging van Warskou en manifestasies van Nazi -terreur. Hy sluit hom aan by die ondergrondse in 1940. In the Rising is hy 'n fotojoernalis van die inligtings- en propaganda -buro van die hoofkwartier. As persoorlogskorrespondent (kodenaam "Kris") maak hy foto's met 'n Leica -kamera. Na die kapitulasie van Warskou, verlaat hy die hoofstad met burgerlikes en ontsnap hy aan vervoer na Duitsland. In 1945 keer hy terug na Warskou en vind sy negatiewe. Ongeveer die helfte van die ongeveer. 3 000 opstandfoto's het oorleef. Hy emigreer na Swede en daarna na die Verenigde State. In die 1980's keer hy terug na Pole. Hy is die skrywer van die Pools-verslae van die opstand van Warskou. Braun is op 9 Februarie 1996 in Warskou oorlede.

2de Lt Stanisław Bala (“Giza”) is op 10 November 1922 in Starowiskitki naby Warskou gebore. In 1940–42 studeer hy aan die Wawelberg Higher School of Machine Construction waar hy 'n tegnikus se diploma verwerf. In Februarie 1940 sluit hy aan by die ondergrondse afdeling VI van die inligtings- en propaganda -buro van die hoofkwartier van die binnelandse weermag. Hy voltooi 'n kursus in fotojoernalistiek sowel as een vir kameramanne. Sy identiteitskaartnommer van die tuisleër is 120026. Tydens die opstand in Warschau, met sy 16 mm -kamera, dokumenteer hy die stryd om Wola en die vang van die Heilige Kruiskerk en die polisiehoofkwartier. Na die einde van die opstand, gevange gehou in Duitse krygsgevangenekampe: Lamsdorf, Gross-Born, Sandbostel en uiteindelik Lübeck. Sy gevangenenommer is 101779. Na die oorlog bly hy in die buiteland, woonagtig in Frankryk en Groot -Brittanje, waar hy tegniese studies volg. In die vroeë 1950's vestig hy hom in die Verenigde State en woon in San Rafael tot sy dood op 19 September 2013.

Peloton Comd. Halina Bala-Rueger is gebore op 13 Mei 1921 in Starowiskitki naby Warskou. Die Bala-familie was Pools-Hongaars. Halina Bala, met 'n Hongaarse paspoort, kan met Duitse treine ry. In 1940-41, nadat sy die Poolse Rooi Kruis-opleiding ontvang het, werk sy as verpleegster. As koerier vir die Home Army HQ Information and Propaganda Bureau versprei sy ondergrondse pers. Saam met haar broers, Władysław en Stanisław, voltooi sy 'n klandestiene kursus in fotojoernalistiek. Tydens die opkoms dien sy as skakeling (kodenaam "Małgosia") vir verslaggewers en filmmakers sowel as 'n fotojoernalis. Sy maak foto's met 'n Leica -kamera van Allied air drops. In 1944 word sy aangestel in die rang van peloton -bevelvoerder en word die Silver Cross of Merit with Swords toegeken. Na die kapitulasie van Warskou word sy gevange gehou in die Duitse kampe Lamsdorf, Mülhberg en Altenburg. Bala sluit later aan by die Women's Auxiliary Service in Frankryk. Na die oorlog emigreer sy na Groot -Brittanje en daarna na die Verenigde State. Sy trou met Press War Correspondent, Leszek Rueger, en vestig haar in Kalifornië.


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Adres:
Grzybowska 79
Warskou 00-844
Pole

AUDIOGUIDE
Ons stel in kennis dat klankgidse in die volgende tale beskikbaar is by die Warsaw Rising Museum:

  • Azeri
  • Bulgaars
  • Chinees
  • Kroaties
  • Tsjeggies
  • Deens
  • Nederlands
  • Engels
  • Fins
  • Frans
  • Georgies
  • Duits
  • Hebreeus
  • Hongaars
  • Indonesies
  • Italiaans
  • Japannees
  • Masedonies
  • Pools
  • Portugees
  • Roemeens
  • Russies
  • Slowaaks
  • Sloweens
  • Spaans
  • Sweeds
  • Oekraïens

Die uitstalling beeld gevegte en die alledaagse lewe tydens die opkoms uit, en hou beroepsterreur op die agtergrond. Complexity of the international situation at the time of the Rising is portrayed, including the post-war years of the Communist regime and the fate of Insurgents in the People’s Republic of Poland (PRL). With the total area of more than 3000 m2, 800 exhibition items, approximately 1500 photographs, films and sound recordings, history of the days preceding the Rising is told. Visitors are guided through the subsequent stages of the Rising until the time when the Insurgents left Warsaw. Their further fate is also portrayed.

The second part of the permanent exhibition, opened in May of 2006 in Hall B, presents the story of Allied airdrops. Its highlight is a replica of a Liberator B-24J bomber. Much of the exhibition has been devoted to the Germans and their allies, showing their actions in Warsaw as documented in official texts from the time of the Rising and in private notes. The stories of eye witnesses of the August and September 1944 events are played in Hall B. These recordings came from the audiovisual Spoken History Archive at the Warsaw Rising Museum. A movie theatre shows films about the Rising on a panoramic screen. At the mezzanine gallery various temporary exhibition are displayed. The Museum tower is a special attraction with a view of the Freedom Park and the city of Warsaw.


Algemeen

Afslag

Fasiliteite

The Warsaw Rising Museum was opened on the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of fighting in Warsaw. The Museum is Warsaw residents’ tribute to those who fought and died for independent Poland and its free capital. It is located in a former tram power station, a 20th-century landmark of industrial architecture located by Przyokopowa and Grzybowska streets.

For the five years of its activity, the Museum received almost 2 700 000 visitors, more than 100 000 students from all school profiles took part in museum workshops. The Museum gathered over 30 000 exhibits, of which nearly 1000 are presented on the exhibition area of 3000 km2. The Museum Library's collection consists of over 11 000 volumes. Over 2000 interviews with the Insurgents were carried out and recorded as a part of the Oral History Archive.

The Little Insurgent’s Room is a place where the youngest visitors can make their first steps in learning history. Parents visiting the exhibition may leave their children here under the care of tutors. This is where the museum lessons and workshops for the youngest visitors take place. Classes are conducted in a children-friendly atmosphere and surrounding, with toys, games and puzzles relating to the war time events and objects styled or reproduced to evoke the interwar years. The children visiting our Museum have a chance to enrich our collection with their own work. The majority of toys, replica and board games used in the Little Insurgent’s Room are available at the Museum Shop.

The Warsaw Rising Museum hosts interesting meetings for school and university students, as well as for anyone interested in the history of the Second World War and of Warsaw. The meetings are organized as part of the activities of the Stefan Starzyński Institute and the Department of Exhibition. Until present the Museum has hosted e.g. History Lectures conducted by Warsaw Rising Museum guides, as well as film screenings accompanied with discussions on Warsaw in the history of cinema entitled „Meet Warsaw Through Film”.

READING ROOM:

The Museum invites to the Reading Room. It offers 12 500 volumes: publications on the Second Warsaw War and the Warsaw Rising, varsaviana. Internet access and aid in gaining access to archive materials. Anyone who is interested is free to use the Museum Reading Room collection. We extend our special invitation to lower secondary and secondary school students and students of the humanities. Before the first visit a special free ticket should be collected at the cashier’s desk or at the Museum cloaks counter. The librarian at the Reading Room will then issue your library card based on your identity or student card. The card enables a free use of the Reading Room. A ticket to the Reading Room and the library card do not entitle you to tour the Museum. The Reading Room is located in the Warsaw Rising Museum, between the 1st floor and the mezzanine.
OPENING HOURS OF READING ROOM:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9.00 - 16.30
Thursday 11.30 - 19.00
Closed on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday
FREE ADMISSION


Magical 'now and then’ photos of Warsaw reveal beauty of a city that once was

The photos taken from the Royal Castle’s clock tower are thought to be only the second 360 degree panorama ever taken of the city. Warsaw Rising Museum

A striking set of “then and now” photographs of Warsaw based upon a series of ten images first shot in 1873 offering a beautiful portrayal of the city that once was, have been made publicly available by the Warsaw Rising Museum.

Surfacing courtesy of a mystery benefactor, the pictures were first taken by Konrad Brandel, a prolific photographer, camera maker and inventor.

Recognized as one of the city’s first true photographers, Brandel took advantage of repairs to the Royal Castle’s clock tower to scale the scaffolding and shoot what is thought to be only the second 360 degree panorama ever taken of the city.

Warsaw Rising Museum

Warsaw Rising Museum

Known to have been taken on August 26th, 1873, the photos were shot between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. from the very top of the clock tower. Warsaw Rising Museum

Representing the museum’s Iconography Department, Ryszard Mączewski told TFN that the anonymous donation was nothing short of “a miracle”: “It was pure luck that we received these in the first place,” he said, “and a miracle that these photographs survived not just the war, but everything that happened on either side. They are truly unique.”

Despite falling outside the museum’s usual wartime remit, such is the historical value attached to them that it was never in doubt that they would be utilized in one way or another.

Warsaw Rising Museum

Unsurprisingly, the images have quickly gone viral. Warsaw Rising Museum

“Obviously photographs from the war have been traditionally our focus,” says Mączewski, “but we do also place an importance on collecting images from the pre-war and post-war periods as they allow for a wider look at the city.”

Known to have been taken on August 26th, 1873, the photos were shot between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. from the very top of the clock tower.

“Two things make this collection incredibly special,” says Mączewski. “First, we know he took ten photos, so to have the full set authenticated by Brandel’s dry seal is great. Secondly, they’re all in incredibly good condition.”

Warsaw Rising Museum

Surfacing courtesy of a mystery benefactor, the pictures first taken by Konrad Brandel, a prolific photographer, camera maker and inventor, have now been made public by the Warsaw Rising Museum. Warsaw Rising Museum

Staggering in their clarity, the level of detail is made all the more spectacular given the rudimentary methods Brandel would have employed.

“We presume he was working with glass negatives and having to process each photograph immediately after taking it, something we think would have taken him around 15 minutes,” says Mączewski.

“With so little time, we’re assuming he would have had help but we don’t know how many assistants he may have had.”


More noticeable, the simplicity of Brandel’s technical apparatus has bestowed the series with one surreal feature: an almost total lack of pedestrians.

“It’s not like today where you click a button and instantly have an image,” says Mączewski. “Brandel was using a long exposure process that would have taken around a minute. That meant that moving people wouldn’t have appeared.”

Though ghost-like in its emptiness, Brandel’s Warsaw is not completely bereft of people, and keen-eyed spotters will find six individuals standing on the roof of the Stanisławowska Library, a vendor in the shadows of St. John’s Cathedral and two indistinct figures on the corner of the Old Town Square and ul. Zapiecek.

Warsaw Rising Museum

Though ghost-like in its emptiness, Brandel’s Warsaw is not completely bereft of people, and keen-eyed spotters will find six individuals standing on the roof of the Stanisławowska Library, a vendor in the shadows of St. John’s Cathedral and two indistinct figures on the corner of the Old Town Square and ul. Zapiecek. Warsaw Rising Museum

“One of the brilliant things about these images is being able to hunt for sentient things like people and horses,” says Mączewski.

Compelling as this is, even more intriguing is identifying and comparing the city’s landmarks and copious changes.

Aiding this experience, and allowing for direct comparisons, the museum has set Brandel’s pictures against those taken in the present in the form of both standalone pictures and so-called ‘sliders’.

Warsaw Rising Museum

Warsaw Rising Museum

Staggering in their clarity, the level of detail is made all the more spectacular given the rudimentary methods Brandel would have employed. Warsaw Rising Museum

“It took us about an hour to get the images from ‘now’,” says Mączewski. “We had a drone operator working alongside a cameraman and it was great fun trying to ensure that the angles were as accurate as possible.”

Using these pictures from the present day as a reference point, the changes that Warsaw has undergone become all the more striking.

“For example, St. John’s Cathedral has a totally different façade,” says Mączewski. “You can also see three houses standing where today Miodowa connects with Krakowskie Przedmieście notice, too, things like the old Kierbedzia Bridge or the Synagogue on the corner of what was then Petersburska and Szeroka streets (now Jagiellońska and Kłopotowskiego).”

Allowing for direct comparisons, the museum has set Brandel’s pictures against those taken in the present in the form of both standalone pictures and so-called ‘sliders’. Warsaw Rising Museum

Unsurprisingly, the images have quickly gone viral.

“I think that’s because there’s a real magic in seeing this city that no longer exists,” says Mączewski. “It’s almost as if you are stepping inside the past.”


Warsaw Rising Museum

  • Museum
  • Grzybowska 79, 00-844 Warszawa, Pologne
  • http://www.1944.pl/en
  • +48 225397905 [email protected]

Opened in 2004, on the 60th anniversary of the eponymous event, Warsaw Rising Museum is the first narrative museum to be opened in Poland. The aim of the museum is to celebrate the heroism of the soldiers of the Home Army, and to tell the story of the Warsaw Uprising, this decisive moment in the history of the city.

Warsaw Rising Museum tells the story of the largest anti-German uprising in occupied Europe. On 1 August 1944 nearly 20.000 members of the Polish Home Army attacked the German garrison in an attempt to liberate the Polish capital before the arrival of the Soviet Red Army. The museum presents the story of the brutal German occupation of Poland and of the creation of the Home Army, the largest underground military force in occupied Europe. The history of the uprising was falsified during the Communist era. Only after the fall of Communism in 1989 it became possible to erect a memorial dedicated to the uprising. The Museum was opened in 2004, on the 60th Anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, in the presence of numerous surviving veterans of the Home Army.

The interactive, narrative exhibition not only tells the story of Poland during the German occupation, but also illustrates the wide background of the uprising. The brutality of the German occupation, incarceration and next extermination of Polish elites and Polish jews strengthened the will of the population to resist. Moreover there was uncertainty of what would happen to Poland after the war, with the coming of the Red Army. This helps the visitor to understand why ill-armed resistance fighters rose to fight the mighty German Wehrmacht, with little or no help from outside. The brutal suppression during 63 days of fighting, despite countless acts of heroism and sacrifice on the part of the Home Army, is perhaps the most moving message of the museum.

Apart from the exhibition, the museum houses a research library, an archive preserving testimonies and records pertaining to the rising, and specialized educational facilities.


Interview with Dr. Alexandra Richie, Author of "Warsaw 1944"

To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Capture of Warsaw by Soviet forces, we reached out to Alexandra Richie, D.Phil, to shed light on this event.

On January 17, 1945 Warsaw, the capital city of Poland, was captured by Soviet forces after more than 5 years of German occupation. I conducted an online interview with Alexandra Richie, D.Phil, to shed more light on this event and what led up to it.

Richie is a historian of Germany and Central and Eastern Europe, with a specialization in defense and security issues. She is also the author of Faust’s Metropolis: A History of Berlin, which was named one of the top ten books of the year by American Publisher’s Weekly, and Warsaw 1944, which won the Newsweek Teresa Torańska Prize for best non-fiction book of 2014 and the Kazimierz Moczarski Prize for Best History Book 2015.

She has contributed to many articles, documentaries, radio, and television programs, and is the Convener of the Presidential Counselors at The National WWII Museum. She is also a member of the Senate at the Collegium Civitas University in Warsaw, Poland, and the Władysław Bartoszewski co-chair of History and International Studies at the Collegium Civitas.

Q: Warsaw had been occupied by German forces since September 1939. The segregation of the local Jewish population into a ghetto is well known, but how was the occupation for Warsaw as a whole?

A: When Hitler was planning for the invasion of Poland he made it clear that this was going to be a completely new kind of war. According to Nazi ideology, the Poles and Jews living in the east were racially inferior beings who had taken over and defiled territories which rightfully belonged to the Germans. War against them was not to just be a war of conquest, it was also to be a war of racial annihilation to be carried out, as Hitler put it, with the 'greatest brutality and without mercy.' This would have terrible consequences for the people of Poland, and the citizens of Warsaw.

On 1 September 1939 two million German soldiers attacked Poland. With them came two thousand members of the new Einsatzgruppen and twenty one Order Police Battalions. Hitler had put Reinhard Heydrich in charge of Operation Tannenburg—the task of arresting and killing Poles whom the Security Police classified as 'anti-German elements.' His preliminary list contained the names of 61,000 people.

The Poles fought valiantly but there was little hope of holding out against the joint Soviet-German invasion and a force bent on the obliteration of the enemy. In the first large-scale terror bombing of the war Major Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen targeted Warsaw destroying over ten percent of buildings and killing 20,000 people. The Poles were shocked by the violence meted out against civilians as they learned of the obliteration of villages, attacks against Red Cross aid stations and the strafing of columns of refugees. The Germans had already executed 16,000 civilians by the time of Hitler's victory parade through Warsaw on 6 October. It was clear that the attack against Poland also heralded a fundamental shift in the way in which Germans were to wage war in the east.

Warsaw was seen as the head and heart of Poland and as such it had to be crushed. The occupation was extremely brutal. Groups of innocent civilians were simply arrested and executed in Pawiak Prison or in the garden of the Sejm—the Polish Parliament—in order to spread terror amongst the population. Between December 1939 and July 1941 over 1,700 Poles and Jews from Warsaw were taken to the nearby forest at Palmiry and shot pictures show women being led to their deaths still in their dressing gowns. In the spring of 1940 Warsaw was hit by another wave of arrests and murders in the so-called AB Aktion—this time it was the turn of over 6,500 pre-war politicians, attorneys, school headmasters and intellectuals to be executed. On 15 August 1940 the first group of Warsawians was rounded up and sent to a new German camp called Auschwitz.

According to the Generalplan Ost the city of Warsaw was eventually to be downgraded to rank of a small German provincial town. Its pre-war population of 1.3 million people was to be eliminated with only a few thousand to remain to serve the new German masters. The Nazis quickly took control over every aspect of life. Schools, colleges and other institutions were closed to Poles newspapers and businesses and banks were taken over, swastika flags and propaganda posters were everywhere and fifty modern loudspeakers were installed at intersections so that orders could be barked out to the inhabitants.

For the Poles the Nazis years were ones of violence, deprivation and fear. For the German occupiers, however, life in Warsaw was grand. 60,000 came in from the Reich joining the 15,000 ethnic Germans, or 'Volksdeutsche' already in the city. The majority were single men in their 20s or 30s looking to make a career in the new German 'Ost' although some 15 percent came with their wives and families. There was a regular influx of employees who worked for the post office and the Reichsbahn there were also over 8,000 members of the SS. The Germans lived in their own districts with almost no contact with the Poles. All kinds of goods were available beyond the official rationed supplies and they simply helped themselves to any food, liquor and valuables which caught their eye. Liberties were taken which would not have been tolerated in Berlin and the venality of the occupiers was legendary. The new elite seized goods and property, moving into houses and offices and furnishing them with items consisting mostly of confiscated Jewish property. Once set up the Germans would write home proudly boasting of their glamorous modern lifestyles and trucks and train cars of stolen goods were sent back to families in the Reich.

Social life was good too. The Germans founded clubs and cinemas and cafes they had German fashion stores and restaurants and Kasinos. Streets were renamed to reflect the new order—local girls were forced to waitress for the soldiers stationed on Adolf Hitler Platz while Jerusalem Avenue was renamed 'Bahnhof Strasse.' Buildings of Polish national importance were given new identities—the Bruhl Palace became the Official Residence of the Distrikt Governor Ludwig Fischer while landmarks like the Sejm, the National Museum and the Academy of Sciences became headquarters of the murderous police battalions. The German Chamber of Commerce and Industry oversaw the takeover of Polish and Polish-Jewish businesses. Institutions like the Polish Industrial Bank and the URSUS factory were Germanized while German firms like Siemens and Junkers and Organisation Todt moved in. Slave labor was used in the Warsaw Ghetto by entrepreneurs like Walter C. Toebbens and Fritz Schultz both of whom made personal fortunes during the war. Waldemar Schoen was in charge of ghettoization and it was he who decided Jews were to receive no more than 253 calories a day. More than 70,000 people died in the Ghetto before the deportations to Treblinka began in the summer of 1942.

Everything that the Nazis did in Warsaw was underpinned by violence. Between 1942 and '43 alone 6,000 Warsawians were killed in random street round-ups. Wilm Hosenfeld, who would later save the 'pianist' Wladyslaw Szpilman, recalled watching a Gestapo man simply shooting into a crowd of people gathered in a doorway. The violence in the Ghetto was simply horrific. An air raid warden described how Jewish employees in his factory 'were dragged away from the machines and mown down with machine guns'. The SS and Police were particularly brutal. Police Battalion 61 used the beer hall on Krochmalne Street as their private club. After getting drunk they would regularly hunt Jews for sport, putting a chalk mark on the wall of the tavern for each victim and proudly boasting of their '4,000th kill.' The Germans in Warsaw knew about the mass deportations of Jews in August and September 1942 but most were relieved that the 'swamp' was being 'cleared out.' During the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 German ladies would take their coffee and stand on the roofs straining to get a glimpse of the action against the Jews. This colonial German paradise collapsed in the summer of 1944 but for over four years, the Nazis had lived the good life while overseeing a reign of violence, terror, and murder.

Q: The Warsaw Uprising, which began in August 1944, is one of the most honorable and tragic of World War II. You have written THE book on the subject, so please tell us, what made the Polish resistance of Warsaw decide to act then?

A: The Warsaw Uprising began on 1 August 1944, and the reasons for this are complex. The Poles had always planned to rise up against the Germans but Warsaw had deliberately been excluded from these plans in March 1944 as General Bor-Komorowski, commander of the Polish Underground, feared the damage it would do to the city and its inhabitants. However the summer of 1944 had seen dramatic changes on the eastern front and the Armia Krajowa began to rethink its earlier plans.

The decision to reverse the order excluding Warsaw from the fight was made by Bor in the second half of July. There were three crucial elements which led to this fateful decision. The first was the success of the Soviet summer offensive Operation Bagration. The second was the 20th July plot to assassinate Hitler, and the third was Walter Model's counter-offensive against the Red Army at the end of July 1944.

Bagration was the single greatest Nazi defeat of World War II and the AK watched as the Red Army swept through Byelorussia towards Poland. Bor sent AK soldiers to help the Soviets take cities like Vilnius and Lvov and relations were cordial until the NKVD arrived and began arresting the Poles. At the same time Stalin made moves to create a new Communist government in Lublin. It was clear to the AK that Stalin was fighting a political as well as a military war. The Poles would never be strong enough to stand up to Stalin, but perhaps some grand gesture would at least prove to the world that the Poles deserved a free independent state after the war?

The second even was the failed attempt to assassinate Hitler. This attempt on Hitler's life bolstered the Polish view that the Germans were finished. Thanks to Bagration Warsaw had been filled with bedraggled German soldiers trudging back to the west. The AK leadership deluded itself that it would not be difficult to defeat this beaten army in Warsaw and welcome the Red Army as equals.

The final factor was Walter Model's counter-offensive just outside Warsaw in July 1944. Model was one of Hitler's ablest generals and had been appointed head of Army Group Centre on 28 June when even Hitler had begun to realize the sheer scale of Stalin's Bagration. Model had amassed an impressive collection of troops and smashed into the unsuspecting Red Army at Razymin and Wolomin just to the east of Warsaw on 31 July 1944.

Now largely forgotten, these were titanic clashes—the Battle of Wolomin was the largest tank battle fought on Polish soil during the war. The Poles waiting in Warsaw mistook the distant sounds of battle for the triumph of the Red Army. With no direct contact with the Soviets they could only guess at what was happening and they miscalculated this was not helped when the AK's Warsaw commander Colonel Monter rushed into the final meeting before the uprising on 31 July with the incorrect information that the Soviets were in the Warsaw district of Praga. Bor did not wait for verification and gave the order to begin the uprising at 5 pm on 1 August.

Thanks to Model there was no way that the Red Army could have reached Warsaw in the first week of August, and although this was only a temporary setback for the Red Army Stalin used to justify not going to the aid of the beleaguered Poles. The Germans were not challenged by the Soviets, and took murderous revenge on the Polish capital.

Q: What role did the uprising play in the Germans decision to not put up a fight against the Soviets in January 1945?

A: The Uprising was not a major factor in the German reaction to the Vistula-Oder Offensive on the contrary the Germans didn't put up a fight because they were simply overwhelmed. The Soviets had a 5:1 superiority of forces and when the Vistula-Oder offensive began at the Baranow bridgehead in the morning of 12 January the German 4th army was in utter disarray. This was also true of the Magnuszew and Pulawy Bridgeheads by Warsaw. Konev began his attack against the 9th Army at 8:30 am with a massive bombardment. The Germans fought back but simply could not hold off the massive strength of the Red Army. The XXXVI Panzer Corps of the 9th Army was forced back over the Vistula and the Soviets captured Warsaw on 17 January. Hitler had wanted his troops to fight on until the death for his 'Fortress City' and sacked 9th Army commander General Smilo Frieherr von Luttwitz and XXXVI Panzer Corps commander Walter Fries, but the reality was the Germans simply could not stand up to the sheer might of the Soviets who raced over 300 miles from the Vistula River to the Oder River in less than a month.

Q: Tell us about those Poles who remained in the ruined city after the uprising and before the arrival of the Soviets?

A: Some of the most remarkable people in the history of WWII Warsaw were the so-called 'Robinsons' named after Robinson Crusoe, who despite the enormous risks managed to hide from the Germans in the ruins of the city. They fell into two main groups—the first were around 17,000 Jews who hid from the Germans after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943. The other group, primarily Jews but also Polish Home Army soldiers and others, hid in the ruins between the end of the Warsaw Uprising on 2 October 1944 until the arrival of the Soviets on 17 January 1945.

When the Poles capitulated at the end of the Warsaw Uprising Hitler ordered that the city be emptied of all its inhabitants and be 'glattraziert'—blown up block by block until there was literally nothing left. Warsawians were forced from their homes to the transit camp at Pruszkow from which many were sent as slave labor into the Reich or were transported to camps including Auschwitz and Ravensbruck.

Some decided it would be better to hide rather than risk capture by the Germans. This was an extremely dangerous decision as the Germans moved through the city burning and blasting away their hiding places, discovering many people in the process. Even so some few hundred managed to survive. Some had prepared elaborate bunkers with supplies of food and water others were actually buried by friends in underground caves and existed without light or heat for months. Danuta Slazak of the Home Army hid in the basement of a hospital with patients she had saved they used the bodies of the dead to cover the entrance to the hiding place. I had the great honor to know Marek Edelmann, last surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, who was hiding in the district of Zoliborz. He described how Germans would come and loot the houses in the district. He hid under the floorboards of the entrance hall and could feel the boards press down on his chest as the Germans walked over him. He and his group were miraculously saved by a Home Army rescue squad who got them out dressed as medical personnel.

A number of 'Robinsons' wrote memoirs after the war. The best known is Wladyslaw Szpilman of The Pianist fame, but others include The Bunker by Chaim Goldstein, and I Hid in Warsaw by Stefan Chaskielewicz. Others include books by Jews who were in hiding before the Warsaw Uprising and survived the war such as The Island on Bird Street by Uri Orlev. All of them share the sense of terror and fear of discovery by Germans who showed absolutely no mercy to anyone found in the ruins of Warsaw.

Q: How did the survivors feel about this “liberation?”

A: For Poles who had fought in the Warsaw Uprising and were now in exile from their city the arrival of the Soviets was greeted with much bitterness. Poles had watched helplessly as the Soviets had waited on the eastern bank of the Vistula River while the Nazis crushed and destroyed Warsaw. Stalin had even forbidden American and British planes to land behind Soviet lines, hindering western attempts to help Warsawians. Poles were largely anti-Communist and resented Stalin's imposition of a Soviet puppet government in Lublin on 22 July 1944 and they were also angry at the NKVD arrests of Polish Home Army soldiers and the terror imposed on Poland in the wake of the Soviet victory. Most Poles therefore awaited Soviet 'liberation' with fear and trepidation.

However, for the 'Robinsons' hiding in the ruins of Warsaw the Soviets truly were liberators. By the time they arrived on 17 January only a few thousand people had managed to evade the Germans and were still hiding in the ruins. The Soviet soldiers who had seen much destruction were nevertheless appalled by the sheer devastation of the city. The journalist Vasily Grossman documented his first glimpse of the shattered Polish city, meeting some of the 'Robinsons' as they crawled from the ruins, describing cellars with Jews 'emerging from under the ground'. One was a stocking maker who was carrying a small wicker basket filled with the ashes of his family. After so many months in hiding Wladyslaw Szpilman was disoriented by his new found freedom. "Tomorrow I must begin a new life," he said. "How could I do it, with nothing but death behind me?" For the 'Robinsons' of Warsaw, like those liberated from Auschwitz and other camps, the Soviets brought nothing less than the chance for survival.

Q: You lead many of the Museum’s tours through Warsaw. Can you tell us how Warsaw is today and what is the overall memory of World War II there?

A: When the war ended over 85 percent of the buildings in the city lay in ruins and most of the population had been killed or forced into exile. Warsaw was so badly damaged that the Soviets toyed with the idea of moving the capital to nearby Lodz. To their surprise, however, hundreds of thousands of Warsawians began to make their way back as soon as they could, determined to resurrect their beloved city. My mother-in-law lived in a room with tarpaulins for two of the walls as she studied to become a pediatrician others lived in cellars or makeshift shelters. Stalin made the decision to rebuild Warsaw as a gesture of Soviet 'brotherhood,' now calling Warsaw the city which 'embodies the heroic traditions of the Polish Nation'. He also realized that restoring it would help give his regime some legitimacy.

Despite the Soviet slogan 'The entire nation builds its capital' the city was largely rebuilt by Warsawians themselves using bricks from the rubble and also from former German cities like Gdansk and Wroclaw. In the Old Town fragments of buildings were preserved and a series of twenty-two paintings by Bellotto were used to accurately reconstruct the district. Most of the historic centre was finished by 1951 although the symbolic Royal Castle was only opened to visitors in 1984. This was reconstruction on a unique scale and the Warsaw Old Town is now on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The spirit of that post-war regeneration is very much alive in the 'Phoenix city' and it seems no matter what is done here Warsaw keeps bouncing back. Despite having been fought over in World War I, battered in the 1920's Polish Soviet war, devastated in World War II and enduring decades of Soviet rule, Warsaw has emerged as one of the most exciting and dynamic cities in Europe. It is constantly surprising and defies type casting—it is the 7th top vegan friendly city in the world while the Guardian calls it the 2nd best city in the world for international students and a 2017 European Union survey found it the 4th most business friendly city in Europe. New office buildings and trendy apartment blocks are springing up like mushrooms and there is a general atmosphere of optimism—surveys say that over 90 percent of Warsawians are happy.

Despite its youthful energy, Warsawians have a very deep connection to their past and there is open, often heated debate about the history of World War II. New museums from the Warsaw Rising Museum to POLIN Museum of the history of Polish Jews join extraordinary institutions including the fabled Ringelblum Archive—the underground archive of the Warsaw Ghetto. On every 1 August at 5 pm the entire city stops for one minute to commemorate the beginning of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 and there are institutions such as Dom Spotkan a Historia—the History Meeting House—a municipal initiative where people meet to hear authors, watch and discuss films and debate WWII history in an apolitical atmosphere. The entire city is infused with history and there is so much to discover and learn. It is a must see for anyone interested in the history of World War II.


Honouring the combatants

Annual celebrations on August 1 span the entire city, as battalions are saluted in their respective districts. Candles and flowers heap up on pavements under commemorative plaques.

“My battalion had over 1,500 men during the uprising. Only three of us are still living. When there were still several more of us … we would lay flowers in places where the largest numbers of our friends had perished. That is how we used to honour the dead,” said Zukowski.

Every year, there is an official ceremony outside parliament, followed by a ceremony for insurgents and their families at the main Military Cemetery. In the evening a bonfire is lit on the Warsaw Uprising Mound, which burns for 63 days, marking the length of the struggle.

Over the years, former fighters have been eager to share their experiences.

“Marking the day is a reminder for the younger generations that freedom has to be fought for,” said Zukowski.

Yet still-living fighters are now over 90 years old.

“The 75th anniversary is probably the last one when they can still participate in the commemorative events.”

To Ukielski, this is one of the last moments when “they can pass on their values as part of a generational relay.”

As the next generation picks up the baton, commemorative events are evolving.

For the sixth year running, 750 people raced to the top of the “PAST” building, a key vantage point which was captured by fighters during the uprising.

On August 1, a flotilla of decorated vessels will sail down the Vistula river through central Warsaw.

In the evening, an estimated 30,000 Poles will gather at Pilsudski Square to sing upbeat patriotic anthems forbidden during the German occupation, which have regained nostalgic sparkle.

People should be made aware of the fact that a city of almost one million people was nearly obliterated from the face of the earth.

Andreas Nachama, director of the Topography of Terror Museum in Berlin

The military scale, casualties and destruction following the Warsaw Uprising still come to some as a shock.

Former mayor of Warsaw, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, said that when Boris Johnson, then-mayor of London, attended the 2014 commemorations, he mistook “50,000 casualties in the Wola district” as a glitch in translation. He assumed the interpreter had meant 5,000.

On July 25, an exhibition about the Warsaw Uprising was opened at the Topography of Terror Museum in Berlin.

According to Andreas Nachama, director of the museum, it speaks to the horrors of World War II.

“People should be made aware of the fact that a city of almost one million people was nearly obliterated from the face of the earth.”

A German soldier (right) guarding captured members of the Polish resistance after their capitulation at the end of the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi German occupation of the Polish capital, October 1944. The terms of the capitulation agreement guaranteed prisoner of war status for the fighters [Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]

Warsaw Rising Museum - History

This month marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the Warsaw Uprising. By the summer of 1944 the tide of the Second World War had turned. The Soviets, now Allies, had reversed the German advance, and France was fighting towards liberation. Sensing change, the Polish government-in-exile authorized their highly organised resistance ‘Home Army’ to rise up against the extremely brutal Nazi forces occupying their capital.

On the 1st August thousands of Polish men, women and children launched a coordinated attack. The Poles had faced invasion on two fronts at the start of the war, and were well aware of the dual threat to their independence. Their aim now was to liberate Warsaw from the Nazis so that they could welcome the advancing Soviet Army as free, or at least fighting, citizens. Moscow radio had appealed to the Poles to take action, but the Red Army then deliberately waited within hearing distance for the ensuing conflict to decimate the Polish resistance before making their own entry. The Warsaw Uprising is remembered as one of the most courageous resistance actions of the Second World War, but also one of the most tragic.

A couple of years ago I travelled to Warsaw to research my last book, The Spy Who Loved, a biography of Krystyna Skarbek, aka Christine Granville, the Polish-born Countess who became Britain’s first female special agent of the war. While there I visited the famous Powąski cemetery where many of Krystyna’s family are buried, along with (parts of) Chopin and other famous Poles. Walking around I was very struck by several memorials like the one above, which shows how a Polish woman who died in 1999 chose to be remembered – fighting for the freedom of her country fifty-five years earlier.

To her despair, Krystyna Skarbek, then stationed in Italy, was not able to join her compatriots during the Warsaw Uprising. However I was honoured to meet one of the female veterans of the conflict at an event at the Polish Embassy earlier this year. A few months later I had the pleasure of meeting her again at her north London home, where she generously shared her memories of the uprising with me over a cup of strong coffee and some delicious Polish pastries.

Polish Home Army white and red armband,
courtesy of The Warsaw Rising Museum

Despite the heroism of the Warsaw Uprising, it is a conflict still not well known outside Poland. So I am thrilled that Hanna’s story has been published in full in this month’s issue of History Today tydskrif. Furthermore there are some wonderful new resources being launched to mark the 70th anniversary of the conflict. Two films in particular stand out:

- Powstanie Warszawskie (Warsaw Uprising) is the world's first feature film to be made entirely from authentic newsreels. The Home Army had commissioned reporters and cameramen to record the conflict during August 1944. It is this footage that has now been colourised and assembled to retell the story of the uprising. You can watch a trailer for this powerful film here:

- Portret Żołnierza (Portrait of a Soldier) is an independent documentary directed and produced by Marianna Bukowski. Marianna spent many hours interviewing her friend Wanda Traczyk-Stawska who, as a 16-year-old girl, fought as a Home Army soldier. While watching some of the original footage from the uprising, Marianna was deeply moved to see Wanda firing her ‘Lightning’ gun during the conflict. Her intimate and very personal film explores Wanda’s story, asking what makes a teenage girl choose to become a soldier. Although currently still in post-production, more information can be read here.

- I am also looking forward to reading a new book on the conflict, Warsaw 44 by Alexandra Richie, a critically acclaimed author whose father-in-law is a veteran of the Uprising.

The Warsaw Rising was fought over 63 days between 1st August and 2nd October 1944. An estimated 18,000 Polish insurgents lost their lives, as well as between 180-200,000 civilians – many during the mass executions conducted by the Nazi German troops in reprisals. On a private visit to Krystyna Skarbek’s grave earlier this year, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski emphasized to me that the Home Army commanders were counting on the rapid advance of the Soviet army into the city when they took their decision to rise up. For Wanda Traczyk-Stawska and Hanna Koscia however, the fight was more personal than strategic. ‘We were children of the occupation – we wanted to be free and it was for this freedom that we fought so fiercely’, Wanda told Marianna Bukowski. Hanna was equally clear about her own motivations, telling me, ‘you have to understand how many people had already been killed, what the view was ahead of us… the reality of the situation was that you can’t give up when there is no good alternative for yourself or for others… We just simply had to fight’.


Kyk die video: Muzeum Fryderyka Chopina w Warszawie. Chopin Museum in Warsaw