The Warsaw Uprising Memorial commemorates the uprising in the Warsaw in 1944, which was a final stand by the Polish resistance as the German forces retreated and the Soviet forces advanced. It was a brutal 63 days (the longest military engagement by a resistance movement – ever!) during which Germany retreated but the Soviets did very little to assist. In fact the Soviets stopped their advance to allow the Germans to raze the city before they left.
This memorial reminds us how important the sewers were to the resistance in being able travel through Warsaw undetected.
The memory of the Warsaw Ghetto is very much alive in Warsaw, and it is something we should remember. Hopefully to prevent a repeat of it in the future. While there is only 1 small piece of the ghetto wall still standing, there are plenty of reminders of the ghetto. In particular you keep coming across these brass plaques commemorating where the walls used to stand. A sad reminder of our history, and hoping it will not happen again.
Mila 18, the location of the underground bunker where most the the ghetto uprising was orchestrated from is the grave of hundreds of resistant fighters during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It is a difficult place to talk about, but it is an important remember of human suffering and the will to survive.
The plaque reads:
Grave of the fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising built from the rubble of Mi?a Street, one of the liveliest streets of pre-war Jewish Warsaw. These ruins of the bunker at 18 Mi?a Street are the place of rest of the commanders and fighters of the Jewish Combat Organization, as well as some civilians. Among them lies Mordechaj Anielewicz, the Commander in Chief. On May 8, 1943, surrounded by the Nazis after three weeks of struggle, many perished or took their own lives, refusing to perish at the hands of their enemies. There were several hundred bunkers built in the Ghetto. Found and destroyed by the Nazis, they became graves. They could not save those who sought refuge inside them, yet they remain everlasting symbols of the Warsaw Jews’ will to live. The bunker at Mi?a Street was the largest in the ghetto. It is the place of rest of over one hundred fighters, only some of whom are known by name. Here they rest, buried as they fell, to remind us that the whole earth is their grave.
If you want to read an excellent book on the subject, I highly recommend the novel of the same name written by Leon Uris.
Many of my recent posts have been about Warsaw in World War 2. The war is remembered wherever you go. They are determined to never forget what happened, and certainly they should not forget. It is recovering, and I think perhaps that it will never recover. And I don’t think that is a bad thing at all. Never ever forget.