Prime Minister honours Warsaw Uprising fighters

Prime Minister honours Warsaw Uprising fighters. Paweł Supernak/PAP

On the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 against Poland’s Nazi German occupiers, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki paid tribute to the insurgents during commemorative ceremonies held in Warsaw on Thursday.

Morawiecki said that the fighters in the Warsaw Uprising "lead the pantheon of all our heroes," and that Poles owe them not only memory but also gratitude.

"At that time they defended humanity, and fought not only for survival, honour and the future of the nation, they fought for elementary principles, values such as love for their homeland, fidelity and truth," the prime minister said.

He added that he believes "there would be no free Poland without that enduring attitude, without a fight against the beast, against the German beast, a beast that dug its fangs into Warsaw, dug its fangs into Poland."

In Morawiecki's view, the Warsaw Uprising, "was not an ordinary fight." "It was a fight for the future of not only Poland - for the future of the world (...) for a better world."

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

The Warsaw Uprising broke out on August 1, 1944, as the biggest resistance operation in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. Some 40,000-50,000 members of the Polish underground Home Army spilled into the streets to liberate the city from its Nazi occupiers. Initially intended to last several days, it continued for over two months before being suppressed by the Germans. For 63 days, the Poles fought on their own, receiving only a small amount of support as part of airdrops by the Allies. The uprising claimed the lives of 18,000 insurgents and around 180,000 civilians.