photo - PAP/Pawel Supernak
"You are, to us, a model and beacon of how to best and most faithfully serve Poland today," Komorowski said in his speech before the Warsaw Rising memorial at Krasinski Square on Tuesday night.
Bronislaw Komorowski said that because of the inaction of Soviet troops, stationed on the other side of the River Vistula as 200,000 Poles died as they tried to force the Nazi German occupiers from the capital in August 1944, the “uprising had to capitulate, but it was not in vain,” he told the audience before the monument to the fallen.
Komorowski – who was imprisoned by the communists during the 1980s Solidarity movement – said the resistance fighters were an inspiration for his generation as they fought their own oppressors.
"Fortunately, today we do not have to face so dramatic a challenge, but we still need [to create] national solidarity and communalism. This bond must be stronger than any political divisions. There is no freedom without political diversity,” he said, referring to the often bitter divisions between political parties in modern day Poland.
The Warsaw Rising was the largest uprising in Nazi-occupied Europe and lasted 63 days before it ended in defeat.
The main events commemorating the uprising take place in Warsaw in the late afternoon today, with ceremonies at the Powazki Military Cemetery and later at Pilsudski Square.
At precisely 5 pm, the time when the insurgency broke out. Artists and war veterans alike have called for the capital’s inhabitants to honour the longstanding tradition and pay tribute to the fallen with a moment of silence as sirens wail across the city.
Alongside official events, numerous other cultural events are taking place this week, including concerts, exhibitions and an uprising-themed urban game.
Last weekend, the Museum of Warsaw Rising kick-started commemorations offering a somewhat fresh perspective on the event, with a special concert paying tribute to all the female insurgents of the 1944 revolt.
The event featured some of the best-known artists in the Polish music industry, including Anita Lipnicka, Katarzyna Groniec and Marika. (pg/aba)