We Do Not Beg for Freedom, We Fight for Freedom

 

My flag will be out on the 78th Anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising.

As the little man in Moscow seeks to restore the Soviet Empire in Europe, the Poles have not forgotten the Russian agreement to divide Poland with Germany.

They have not forgotten the hell holes of the Gestapo or the NKVD. The Poles have not forgiven Russia for the Katyn Forest massacres. They still remember the betrayal of the Yalta Conference.

On August 1 at 5 p.m., they remember the start of the Warsaw Uprising. Warsaw and cities across Poland come to a stop at 5 p.m. to honor the men, women, and children that started the greatest uprising in Nazi-occupied Europe.

The Russian occupiers did not leave Poland until 1992, and until they left, Poles were not allowed to honor the Warsaw Uprising. That has not been forgotten.

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  1. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Never Forget.  The role of Poland in the Ukraine War has been inspiring.  Poland has never forgotten being overrun by the Germans and then the Russians.

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Niech Bóg błogosławi Polskę!

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Thank you for bringing attention to this event. With all its horror, I am always inspired to be reminded that the Jews, this time, fought back.

    • #3
  4. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Thank you for bringing attention to this event. With all its horror, I am always inspired to be reminded that the Jews, this time, fought back.

    The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising occurred from April 19 to May 16, 1943. Next year my flag will be out for that. The Polish government in exile to their credit formed the only movement in Europe to support Polish Jews in Poland.

    • #4
  5. jzdro Member
    jzdro
    @jzdro

    Thanks, Doug.  BTW have you been to Warsaw?  Anybody in R been to Warsaw? Not me; I am interested in travelers’tales. 

    In your first vid, this famous photo shows up towards the start, along with a full-screen shot of the oath the people took on joining the AK, the Home Army.

    Here is a translation of that oath:

    “Before God Almighty and Mary the Virgin, Queen of the Polish Crown, I pledge allegiance to my Country, the Republic of Poland. I swear firmly to keep his honor and fight for his release with all my might, even to the point of sacrificing my own life if necessary.”

    • #5
  6. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    jzdro (View Comment):

    Thanks, Doug. BTW have you been to Warsaw? Anybody in R been to Warsaw? Not me; I am interested in travelers’tales.

    In your first vid, this famous photo shows up towards the start, along with a full-screen shot of the oath the people took on joining the AK, the Home Army.

    Here is a translation of that oath:

    “Before God Almighty and Mary the Virgin, Queen of the Polish Crown, I pledge allegiance to my Country, the Republic of Poland. I swear firmly to keep his honor and fight for his release with all my might, even to the point of sacrificing my own life if necessary.”

    I have not been to Warsaw. Perhaps someday I will get that chance to see Warsaw for myself.

    • #6
  7. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    jzdro (View Comment):
    Anybody in R been to Warsaw?

    Yes. I’ve been to the site of that memorial by the old sewer entrance. 

    • #7
  8. jzdro Member
    jzdro
    @jzdro

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    jzdro (View Comment):
    Anybody in R been to Warsaw?

    Yes. I’ve been to the site of that memorial by the old sewer entrance.

    Got any  pics?

     

    • #8
  9. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    jzdro (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    jzdro (View Comment):
    Anybody in R been to Warsaw?

    Yes. I’ve been to the site of that memorial by the old sewer entrance.

    Got any pics?

     

    There is this one of the same memorial that I apparently posted on Ricochet once before. Well, maybe not because I can’t find it in the media library right now.

    We were spending a day wandering around to tourist places in Warsaw, and had just had lunch in the old market square (completely rebuilt after the war) when we came on this memorial. I didn’t know what it commemorated, but I did wonder if it had anything to do with the uprising.  I had just learned that there had been two uprisings, not just one.  I hadn’t known that the Jewish Ghetto Uprising had been a different battle from the uprising the next year. Most of what I know about those uprisings came from books I read after we returned home.

    On our way back to our hotel we took a walk to the museum of the History of Polish Jews, but didn’t go in because we didn’t want to spend more time in museums on this day. (We had just visited a museum that had a lot of photograph exhibits of old Warsaw.) We did go to several places where the location of the ghetto wall is marked, and finally to a remnant of the old ghetto wall.   To get to the latter we had to go through a gate under an apartment complex into the apartment courtyard.  There were a few people of obvious Jewish heritage paying their respects there, too, and a man on the other side of a fence was scowling at all the visitors. 

    This wasn’t too far from the Palace of Culture, Stalin’s “gift” to Warsaw.  

    I’d post more photos of all of this, but I’m at a place where uploading is too slow right now. 

    On this day I told my wife that we should never come back to Warsaw, because this was too good a day and anything after it would be anti-climactic.  But we’d like to go back anyway.   Covid hasn’t been a friend to that idea.  I had wanted to visit Ukraine, too, but Putin’s invasion put a stop to that idea for now. 

    My grandmother’s village was downstream on the Vistula River from Warsaw, about 85 miles away by car these days.  She came to America a few years before WWI started.  (Hers was a German village in Russian-ruled Poland. She went to school where there were Polish and Russian children, too.)

    Warsaw was a pleasant city to visit.  If you’re interested in such things, on YouTube you might want to check out the channel of Planet James, who now lives in Warsaw. He was born and raised in Ukraine, and has lived in New York, Vilnius, South America and I don’t know where all else. But he goes into childlike raptures about how livable Warsaw is compared to other cities, and how much easier it is to start a sideline business in Poland than in other countries.  Although he takes his own childlike pleasure in his surroundings, he and his wife just had their first child in early July.   His wife’s mother had come from Kharkiv to visit and be there for the birth. It was her first ever trip outside of Ukraine, and she enjoyed the city, too. But she is now back in Kharkiv, which is not exactly one of the safest cities to be these days.

     

    • #9
  10. jzdro Member
    jzdro
    @jzdro

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    Most of what I know about those uprisings came from books I read after we returned home.

    Doing things in that order can be satisfyingly instructive: while at the place, you are all eyes and ears, giving full, wondering attention, not diverting any mental energy in trying to remember what you have read!  Then when you get home and read, you can perhaps remember more of what you saw.

    Do you have any book recommendations on this subject? I can recommend a couple.

    Warsaw 1944: Hitler, Himmler, and the Warsaw Uprising, Alexandra Richie, 2019;

    A Memoir of the Warsaw Uprising, Miron Białoszewski, written in 1970 but only translated into English in 2015.

    I learned about the Białoszewski book from a Polish outreach effort called Culture.pl, which sends an online newsletter by subscription.

    Incidentally, a Culture.pl article about famous photos from the Uprising starts off with one included in Doug’s first video. It’s the one with the fighters lined up next to a building and approaching a street corner. It was staged! But, like the man said, That’s ok.

     

    • #10
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