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Poland remembers Warsaw Uprising 74 years later

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Several memorial events were planned across Poland on Wednesday to commemorate the Warsaw Uprising against German occupation during World War II.

Polish President Andrzej Duda (front, right) hands out a medal to Jadwiga Chrusciel, a former member of the Polish Scouts and participant in the Warsaw Uprising, during memorial ceremonies marking the 74th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Germans during the World War II, in Warsaw, Poland, July 29, 2018. The Warsaw Uprising broke out on Aug. 1, 1944, and was the biggest resistance operation in German-occupied Europe. Picture: Xinhua/Jaap Arriens

Warsaw (dpa) – Several memorial events were planned across Poland on Wednesday to commemorate the Warsaw Uprising against German occupation during World War II.

President Andrzej Duda laid a wreath in front of a monument to the numerous civilian casualties incurred in the 63-day struggle that began on August 1, 1944.

“This place symbolizes the suffering of the civilian population of Warsaw,” said Duda while at the site.

The Polish underground rebellion led by fighters from the Home Army was crushed in October 1944. Almost 200,000 people were killed, most of them civilians.

During the uprising, German soldiers massacred the civilian population, and the city of Warsaw was systematically destroyed after the bloody crackdown. The Soviet Red Army, which by then had already reached the city, did not intervene.

At a ceremony in the Warsaw Uprising Museum, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also paid tribute to events 74 years ago. “It is not only important where we go, but where we come from,” said Morawiecki.

Commemorations were held in the Polish capital, with events planned through Wednesday evening.

Differing views of the uprising continue to divide Poland to the present day. For some it was an expression of heroism, for others it merely resulted in senseless bloodshed. – dpa