In the interest of expediency, here is an excerpt from the Lonely Planet Poland chapter on Warsaw:
“German bombs began to fall on 1 September 1939 and a week later the city was besieged; despite brave resistance, Warsaw fell in a month. The conquerors instantly set about terrorizing the local population with arrests, executions and deportations, and a Jewish ghetto was built.
The city’s residents rebelled against the Germans twice; first came an eruption in the Jewish ghetto in April 1943 and second, a general city uprising in August 1944. Both rebellions were crushed.
At the end of the war, the city of Warsaw lay in ruins and 800,000 people – more than half of the pre-war population – had perished.”
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
We felt compelled to pay a visit to this modern museum, especially when we read that it does an admiral job of instilling visitors with a sense of the desperation that the residents of Warsaw faced during World War II. We have both read books, and seen movies and documentaries about the war, but it’s hard to remember which stories related specifically to the city of Warsaw.
We knew of the forced confinement of the Jewish citizens in the ghetto, and a little of the resistance they mounted, but it I don’t think we were aware of a separate uprising by the rest of the population, nor the impact their failure had on the city.
It was very moving to see a Liberator bomber suspended from the ceiling of the museum. The plane is similar to those used to drop supplies to the insurgents during the Rising. Over 25% of the aircraft that undertook the dangerous missions over enemy territory were shot down.
I was telling my friend Cathy about our visit to Warsaw, and she told me about this short video related to the Warsaw Uprising. It was very moving to see it, I recognized all the places featured in the clip: