Polish PM says today's generation owes much to WWII heroes

PM Mateusz Morawiecki (right) and president of the Polish underground Home Army veterans association Leszek Żukowski during the ceremony at Museum of Warsaw Uprising. Marcin Obara/PAP

During observances marking the 74th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi German occupying forces, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that "we would not be here without the WWII heroes, without the Warsaw insurgents."

The prime minister laid flowers at a bell commemorating the uprising's commander, Gen. Antoni Chruściel, nom-de-guerre Monter, and at a plaque devoted to Poland's late President Lech Kaczynski, both sites located at the Warsaw Uprising Museum.

"Where we are going is as important as where we are coming from. Would we be here without our heroes of those times, without the 16,000 people, 16,000 names that have been written on this wall? No, we would not have been here today," the head of government said.

Current generations owe their current condition and their chance to shape their own reality to the past generations, Morawiecki observed.

"We need to remember that while building a foundation for a stronger Poland," he stressed.

The prime minister said a draft law will be prepared to carry out "a comprehensive inventory, a stock-taking of all the graves" from the 19th century and World War II.

PM Morawiecki pledged to double the financial support for surviving Warsaw insurgents and to ensure state maintenance of insurgents' graves. The prime minister also announced plans to create - in collaboration with the Polish underground Home Army veterans association - a list of graves of Warsaw insurgents and underground fighters in order to extend special state protection over those burial sites.

The Association of Warsaw Insurgents and the Foundation for the Remembrance of the Warsaw Uprising Heroes last week submitted a petition to the Sejm (lower house), asking parliament to draft a law that would provide protection to the burial sites of Warsaw Uprising fighters and other national heroes.

PM's Office head Michał Dworczyk told PAP later on that the government would like such a law to be passed by the end of this summer.

Currently, the fund used to support financially-distressed veterans is worth PLN 15 mln (EUR 3.50 mln) annually.

The Home Army-organised Warsaw Uprising broke out on August 1, 1944, as the biggest resistance operation in German-occupied Europe. Initially intended to last several days, it continued for over two months before its suppression by the Germans. The uprising claimed the lives of 18,000 insurgents and around 200,000 civilians.