Polish top officials pay tribute to Warsaw Uprising insurgents

The commemorations began with wreath laying ceremony at the Warsaw Uprising Monument at Krasinskich square in Warsaw. Mateusz Marek/PAP

Polish President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski paid tribute to the insurgents of the Warsaw Uprising on Friday, a day before the 76th anniversary of the uprising's outbreak.

The commemorations began with wreath laying ceremony at the Warsaw Uprising Monument at Krasinskich square in Warsaw.

Later on Friday, the state authorities and insurgents participated in a Holy Mass celebrated by Poland's field bishop Józef Guzdek in Warsaw Field Cathedral of the Polish Army.

Apart from the president, the PM and Warsaw Mayor, the mass was attended by the ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jarosław Kaczyński, Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, combatants and insurgents as well as representatives of veterans organisations.

The Warsaw Uprising was the largest underground military operation in German-occupied Europe. On August 1, 1944, around 40-50 thousand insurgents took part in the fighting. Planned to last several days, the fighting eventually lasted over two months.

During the fighting in Warsaw, about 18,000 insurgents lost their lives and 25,000 were wounded. Losses among the civilian population were huge and amounted to approx. 180,000. After the Warsaw Uprising was crushed about 500,000 surviving residents were forced to evacuate and Warsaw was almost completely razed to the ground.