There would be no free Poland without Warsaw insurgents: President

“Probably there would be no free, independent, completely sovereign Poland, if not for the blood shed by the Warsaw insurgents, if not for that heroism, that effort, that attitude,” President Andrzej Duda said on Friday during a meeting at the Warsaw Rising Museum.

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On the occasion of the upcoming 77th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Rising on August 1, the President awarded orders and state decorations to the insurrection's participants and to people involved in cherishing the memory of those events.

During the ceremony organised on the premises of the Warsaw Rising Museum, Andrzej Duda emphasised that the Warsaw insurgents “were not afraid, did not hesitate... did not calculate the chances of winning or driving the Germans out.”

“They just wanted a free Poland, at all costs, also at the cost of their lives,” he stressed.

“Probably there would be no free, independent, completely sovereign Poland, if not for the blood shed by the Warsaw insurgents, if not for that heroism, that effort, that attitude,” the President pointed out.

“It is always a great honor for me to be here with you, to be able to shake those dear, wonderful hands. To be able to present state decorations to insurgents and those who work every day today to strengthen Polish independence, to strengthen and preserve such an extremely important memory,” Andrzej Duda said.

“We all know the fact that without you there would be no Poland, there would be no us, there would be no these values. But without you, there would also be no Warsaw. And for this I would like to thank you today,” Rafał Trzaskowski, the Mayor of Warsaw, present at the ceremony, emphasised.

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He pointed out that the heroic attitude of the insurgents and their steadfast characters still inspire even the youngest generations.

“For several years, we have been focusing primarily on the insurgents, on how to simply help you, how to talk to you, how to make you pass your experiences to the younger generation. And I am very happy that we can talk about it,” he stressed.

Initially intended to last only a few days, but resulting in more than two months of fierce fighting, the Warsaw Rising was the largest armed offensive of any underground resistance in Nazi-occupied Europe. It was led by the Polish Underground State’s resistance movement, the Home Army.

After 63 days of fighting, running low on ammunition and food supplies, and not supported by the Soviet Red Army present on the Right bank of the Vistula river, the Rising ended in the insurgents’ surrender on October 2.

In the end, approximately 200,000 insurgents and civilians lost their lives, and by the time the Nazi German forces withdrew from Warsaw in January 1945, around 85 percent of the city’s infrastructure had been completely levelled and barely six percent of Warsaw’s pre-war population still remained in the city.

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