Alarm sirens at "W-Hour" and prayers for the citizens of Warsaw

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The Powązki Cemetery. Fot. R. Motyl
The Powązki Cemetery. Fot. R. Motyl

The celebrations of the 72nd anniversary of Warsaw Rising on 1 August lasted from the early hours of the morning until the night. With a minute’s silence, vigil lights and flowers, the citizens of Warsaw paid tribute to the fallen insurgents.

The celebrations of the 72nd anniversary of Warsaw Rising on 1 August lasted from the early hours of the morning until the night. With a minute’s silence, vigil lights and flowers, the citizens of Warsaw paid tribute to the fallen insurgents.

In the morning, in Dreszer's Park, located in the Mokotów District, a ceremony was held to commemorate the insurgents who fought in that district. During the occupation, the greatest number of German soldiers, including both the Wehrmach and SS troops, were stationed in the Mokotów District. German civilians and the Volksdeutsche also lived there.
The Baszta Regiment was the only unit in the district that was not dispersed during the Rising and held the ground until 27 September.
The Baszta Regiment soldiers were driven by their faithfulness to their military pledge and boundless self-sacrifice on the battlefield. With the Mokotów Fortress holding out, engaging and hampering substantial German troops, the future of both the Mokotów District and the entire Rising was being decided. The centre of the valiantly defended fortress was General Orlicz-Dreszer's Park, which later became the last resting place of numerous fallen insurgents”, said Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, the Mayor of Warsaw, during the ceremony.
After laying wreaths at the foot of the Fighting Mokotów 1944 monument, the attendees took part in the Mokotów March leading up to Dworkowa Street, the location of the sewer entrance from which the insurgents emerged and confronted the German troops head on. All of them, a total of 140 people, were shot.

Exactly at noon, Mayor of Warsaw Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz laid a wreath at the foot of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
“May these flowers and wreaths laid before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier be a testament and a clear message to the world that the people of the capital of free Poland celebrate their heroes and appreciate the extent of their sacrifice” said the Mayor during the celebration in Piłsudskiego Square.

As always, during the celebrations at the Monument to the Polish Underground State and Home Army, the role and achievements of the Polish Underground State structures were remembered. They were established on the basis of the Polish Victory Service, founded on 27 September 1939. As an extension of the legitimate Polish authorities, the Polish Underground State operated on the entire territory of the country.
“This monument symbolises the combined military and civilian efforts of people for whom the good of their homeland was of paramount importance. May the wreaths laid before this obelisk be our tribute and token of gratitude to them, as well as a gesture of remembrance for the sake of the future generations“, said Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz.

The residents of Warsaw visited the Powązki Cemetery from the early morning to place vigil lights on the insurgents' tombstones. After the alarm sirens announcing 5 p.m had died away, the Mayor of Warsaw laid flowers before the Gloria Victis monument on behalf of all Varsovians.

Almost 200,000 people were killed in the Warsaw Rising. The graves of 104,000 of them are located in the Wola District, in the Warsaw Insurgents Cemetery. The memory of the insurgents has been fostered by Wanda Traczyk-Stawska, who thanked the Mayor during the ceremony at the cemetery for donating a 6-ha park adjacent to the necropolis. A memorial wall will be erected on this piece of land. The wall will be engraved with the names of the slain Varsovians, mostly residents of the Wola District. A museum facility, apprising on the hecatomb of Warsaw, will also be built there.
“The nameless fallen and murdered people rest here in mass graves in one of the biggest military cemeteries in Europe. The cemetery also hosts the remains of the victims of the 1939-45 occupation, the graves of the Warsaw defenders of 1939, the ashes of the resistance fighters exhumed from various districts of the destroyed city, the Pawiak Prison inmates, the people murdered at the Gestapo headquarters on Szucha Street, and Jews executed by firing squads at the Skra Stadium in the years 1940-1943”, reminisced     Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz.
The Wola Massacre became the harbinger of the annihilation of the whole city, the cruel fate and exodus of its residents”, added the Mayor during her speech near the Fallen Unconquerable monument.
The Warsaw Rising celebrations on 1 August in Warsaw concluded with the ceremony of lighting the memorial fire on the Warsaw Rising Mound, which was built using the rubble left after the destruction of the city. The fire will burn for 63 days.

The Powązki Cemetery. Fot. R. Motyl
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The Monument to the Polish Underground State and Home Army.
The Warsaw Insurgents Cemetery.