Warsaw uprising 1944

60 years ago Warsaw uprising started,thousands of very young Poles fought Germans for almost 3 months.
Uprising was instigated by home army(goverment in exile) with headquater in London.I don’t want to go into pollitical details ,but at the end of uprising 200.000 civilians died,and once big/ beautyfull city was totally destroyed.
What uprising achieved?nothing - except dead and destruction.

Where’s the debate?


I think it is a safe assumption to say that the debate is whether or not the uprising was warranted or not - obviously, it ended in disaster, and the question comes up - was it futile from the start? Was it a bad idea? Or was it necessary to stand up to the invaders? The French are constantly mocked even today for not having a large uprising against the German occupiers. Would people rather have a massive uprising a la the Warsaw rebellion that left hundreds of thousands dead?

Of course it was. Why is that important? The OP is leaving out a rather crucial detail - the majority of the “young Poles” who fought in that uprising were Polish Jews. The uprising was triggered when the Germans began the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto - and by that time, the existence of the extermination camps was no longer a secret. The resistance fighters knew what fate awaited them, and they decided they weren’t going to sell their lives cheap. If they had to die, at least they’d take some of their murderers down with them.

Take this with a grain of salt as I’m dredging up some dim memories here…

Weren’t there two uprisings, one in the Ghetto and one in the non-Jewish sections.

Also didn’t Stalin promise the non-Jewish uprising aid and then hold his troops outside while the Nazis crushed the uprising. This allowed Stalin to get rid of many Poles who would have opposed communist tyrrany without getting his own hands dirty.

You are confusing the Warsaw Ghetto uprising (April 19-May 16, 1943) with the Warsaw uprising (August 1-October 2, 1944). The OP is about the latter.

Thanks tschild, that’s what I was thinking too.

And when the Jews fought the Nazis nearly to the last man, woman and child, their Polish neighbors stood aside and watched passively, just like the Russians did for them a year later.

You’re mistaking the uprising of Warsaw ghetto and the revolt of Warsaw towards the end of the war (which is what the OP is refering to). These are two different events.

So, you’re implying that the latter deserved their fate, or something like that?

That willo teach me to read. :smack: My apologies.

One piece of background to uprising in July 44 seems to be the Poles desire to reestablish some kind of home sovereignty before the Soviets arrived. In other words, it had an anti-communist and anti-Nazi motivation.

From what I read, that is the main reason the Soviets sat it out. They preferred to let the two anti-Soviet forces bloody each other, and then come in and sort things out.

One could call this Soviet perfidy, but on the other hand, they did not want to have to deal with a non-Communist state on their border. Their plans to gobble up Easter Europe, and any other territory they occupied, were well under way.

In other words, they were fighting the war at this point not only to defeat Nazi Germany, but to advance their future interests. The Soviets lost a million soldiers after they had driven the Germans from beyond their own borders. They believed that they had paid for the land they conquered, and weren’t about to just turn it over to the locals.

It seems pretty rare in history that a nation conquers another with the full intention of leaving as soon as possible as soon as the provocation is dealt with.

You are in good company. Ten years ago the then German president made the same mistake in an interview (and he’s a distinguished academic; no MBA he.). Major foot-in-mouth incident wrt Poland.

I understand that commemorating the uprising is a major occasion of national pride for the Poles now (the uprising having been disparaged in the official history in People’s Republic times).

No, just noting the irony.

Did you watched “the pianist” ,who saved him from Germans first few years?Poles.
Do you know what would happen to you family if Germans found you were hiding
Jews?they kill you and your family.
And forward 60 years-Jews right now employ the same tactic Germans did -building ghettos for Palestinians and wall around them.!One more thing ,they blow up homes of innocent Palestinians.!

And forward 60 years-Jews right now employ the same tactic Germans did -building ghettos for Palestinians and wall around them.!One more thing ,they blow up homes of innocent Palestinians.!

I think this post contains many errorso.

First of all, Israelis have not built any ghettos for Palestinians. I have traveled much in Israel and the Palestinian territories, and I have no idea what you are talking about.

Second, the “wall” is a tiny part of a border/barrier Israel is building against terrorist infiltration. The wall section separates a main Israeli highway against snipers from two Palestinian cities – Tul Karem and Qalkilya.

The barrier in some places does surround, as far as I can see from a map, Qalkilya, but this is a far cry from what the Nazi’s did to the Jews of the Warsaw ghetto in WWII.

There is certainly much to critique of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinians, and I have seen first hand some of it, but any honest critique must begin in facts.

If you study what what happened to the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto, one finds no resemblance to what is happening on the West Bank. One thing to remember: uptil the recent intifada, Israeli had pulled out of Area A, and was planning to pull out of Area B. The vast majority of Palestinians, outside of Jerusalem, had autonomy from Israelis. Only after unrelenting terror attacks and consequent election of Sharon, has Israeli reentered the West Bank and begun building the barrier.

This is the same slander that is usually levelled against the French in WW2. Hundreds of thousands of French died in the Resistance and millions of Poles died fighting the Nazi occupiers.

Many Poles sheltered and fed Jewish refugees, to such an extent that the Nazis imposed laws, more draconian than they did in other areas, providing the death penalty for those sheltering Jews. That’s why Poland has the highest number of Righteous Gentiles, as recognized at Yad Vashem, of any country. Cite. Poland also played a huge role in exposing the full extent of the Holocaust.

The Free Poles had a major organization, called Zegota, specifically aimed at helping Polish Jews. They helped to hide Jews among the general population, and saved a great number of Jewish children.

Could they have done more? Perhaps. Were there some scum who assisted in the slaughter? Certainly, but every country had these. But they sure as hell didn’t just stand by. You should apologize for your egregious slander.

I agree with Lambchops whole heartedly about non-Jewish aid of Jews in WWII. It seems that some Jews simply lump all gentiles into one category regarding the Holocaust.

Having studied the Holocaust carefully, along with genocide and terror states, I find it the rule that people find it extraordinarily difficult to combat a terror government. Most folks just want to protect their families and survive. Few people would risk the lives of their children to save a stranger. That’s just the way it is.

Regarding French resistance: I believe Lambchop is incorrect here. I don’t think that “hundreds of thousands of French died in the Resistance”. The French Resistance effort has been far overestimated, probably due to its being over romanticized. While the Germans posted combat divisions in France for the eventuality of an allied invasion, my research tells me that less that a full division was actually assigned the job of fighting the resistance. The Resistance effect on the Nazi occupation was negligible, and they also had a negligible role in the liberation of France. Free French Forces are, of course, an entirely different matter.

Total French military KIA in WWII were about 250,000, and most of those occured in May-June 1940.

It is true that about 200,000 French civilians died, but it is not clear whether this includes deported Jews (it probably does). In any case, there is no evidence that I can find that says they were resistance fighters. I would be surprised if the number of Resistance Fighters casualties surpassed a few thousand, if that.

You know, Lynwood, I think you’re right. I probably have messed up my figures on the French Resistance. I was taking the civilians number as being French non-Jews killed by the Nazis during the occupation, and thus being in the same order of magnitude as the French Resistance dead. Looking at this now, I must have neglected some major factors.

So which is it? Large numbers of Poles exposed themselves and their families to immediate death at the hands of the Nazis in order to protect their Jewish neighbors, or sporadic, yet noteworthy exceptions? You seem to be saying two things at once here.
From my limited reading, it seems that while there were some very noble acts, the majority of Poles had no qualms about leaving the Jews to their fate.

The OP’s comparison to the Israeli response to terrorism is eerily similar to comments made today by Cardinal Glemp,Cardinal Glemp himself a rather…um…colorful character