Andrzej Duda and Rafał Trzaskowski pay homage to Warsaw Uprising veterans
At a meeting in the Warsaw Rising Museum on Friday, President Andrzej Duda addressed the veterans of the insurgence. "It's always a great honour for me to be here with you, to be able to shake your precious and wonderful hands. To be able to hand in state decorations to the insurgents, and to those who work everyday to solidify Polish independence, and to solidify and preserve this memory, so incredibly important," said the president.
At 11 a.m. on Friday, at the Warsaw Rising Museum, the veterans of the insurgency met with Poland's President Andrzej Duda, Chief of the Senate Chancellery Adam Niemczewski and Mayor of Warsaw Rafał Trzaskowski.
Andrzej Duda decorates Warsaw Uprising veterans
To mark the 77th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising outbreak, the president handed in state orders and decorations to the veterans of the insurgency and people involved in preserving the memory of those events. Andrzej Duda thanked for the possibility to meet "in this special place, one of the greatest Polish museums, and absolutely the most important one - Warsaw Rising Museum, with our heroes, those who once rushed with their heads up high and fire in their eyes to reclaim the free, independent, sovereign Homeland".
He added that the Warsaw insurgents "were not scared, did not hesitate or calculate chances of winning, of chasing the Germans away". "They just wanted a free Poland at all cost, including the cost of their own lives," Duda said.
The president added that the most important merit of Warsaw insurgents "is precisely that they stood up to fight bearing arms, and sometimes unarmed, like the female paramedics and runners, in order to fight, to chase their dream of reclaiming a free and sovereign Homeland, to chase the hated enemy away". "Did they think at the time they were reclaiming Poland also for us, the later generations, including those of today? Most of them probably did not even ponder on it. But this is their second huge merit, I think nearly as important as the first one - bringing up further generations," Duda said.
He stressed that "there would not be free, independent, fully sovereign Poland if not for the blood spilled by the Warsaw insurgents, if not for their heroism, their effort, their attitude".
Rafał Trzaskowski addresses insurgents
The Mayor of Warsaw Rafał Trzaskowski said that meetings with Warsaw insurgents were incredibly important to him. "To all of us, to anyone I speak to". He also said that all people he spoke to, regardless of age, were in agreement that whenever they met with the Warsaw Uprising veterans they had "their batteries charges for weeks, months of their work to come". "That's exactly true," he added.
Trzaskowski stressed that meetings with the veterans always showcase the values they stood for, and how important they were "for us and the future generations". "For a few years now we have been focusing our attention on the insurgents, on how to we can help you, how we can communicate with you, so you could pass on your experience to the younger generations. It makes me very glad that we can discuss it," Warsaw mayor said.
He emphasised that after the WWII some people had wondered if Warsaw could be rebuilt, if it could remain the capital of Poland. "Thanks to you, it is the capital of Poland, and a vast majority of you were involved in its reconstruction, shaped it together with us. Without you there would be no Poland, we would not exist, nor would these values - that we all know, but without there would be no Warsaw. And for that I would like to express my sincerest gratitude," Trzaskowski said.
Warsaw Uprising was the biggest underground military operation
The Warsaw Uprising was the biggest underground military operation in German-occupied Europe. On August 1, 1944, some 40-50 thousand insurgents began to fight in the capital city. Planned to take a few days, it lasted for over two months. The fighting took the lives of 18,000 insurgents, 25,000 were injured. Civilian casualties amounted to approx. 180,000 killed. The remaining 500,000 residents were rushed out of the city, which the Germans started to systematically destroy as a punishment for the Uprising.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, tvnwarszawa.pl