Thursday, 1 August 2013

Warsaw Uprising commemorated in a more civilised way

For my father, Bohdan Dembiński, 90, who fought in the Warsaw Uprising (Pl. Narutowicza - Kolonia Staszica - Pole Mokotowskie - then 44 days manning the barricade on ul. Noakowskiego which never fell to the Germans until the final capitulation).

This year's commemoration of the anniversary (69th) of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising was met with far less of the rowdiness that occurred last year. Using this solemn occasion to boo the current government is not the appropriate way to mark the anniversary. Next year, the round 70th anniversary, will be more significant; the year 2014 will also be marking the round 75th anniversary of the outbreak of WW2. So the world's media attention will focus on Poland on 1 August and 1 September next year. We must never forget.

Below: just as last year, two large banners appeared overnight on the bridges crossing Puławska (the cycle/pedestrian footbridge by ul. Jagielska and the Metro rail link by Żolny). I hope this is the start of a new tradition; as the son of a AK soldier who fought in the Uprising from the first day to the last, I'm very pleased to see this.

Left: Warsaw is full of Warsaw Uprising memorials dotted all over the city; taken as a whole they paint a picture of unspeakable Nazi barbarity - most commemorate the massacre of unarmed civilians. This one on Puławska near ul. Dolna commemorates all who died during the 63 day-long uprising. It is worth noting that no city ever held out for anywhere near this length of time in an armed uprising against its foreign occupiers.

At five o'clock the sirens sounded; the city traffic came to a halt for a minute's silence. An amazing sight (I watched from my office window this year).

Below: Służewiec's graffiti wall this afternoon. A patriotic poem, signed Piotr Wars; roughly translated:
"He strokes the cobblestones, they hold their tongues
Though he'd want to scream and scratch with claws
Stand for a moment, feel the pride and the pain
Bow your head with respect - 'W' Hour

This year's commemorations were muted (no Polish Air Force fly-past). Next year's will be more significant at the personal level too; next year my daughter Moni will be the same age (21) that my father was when he fought in the Uprising.

Remembering 'W'-Hour:
Last year (2012)

Two years ago (2011)

Four years ago (2009)


adthelad said...

A film worth seeing I think if only to weep my eyes out!:(


Bob said...