Warsaw 1 August filled everyone with pride and returned hope. I was among crowds of people going on foot through Warsaw to the Military Graveyard to graves of heroes.
Families with children, lots of young people, some of them in insurgent clothes, looked like those ones of August ’44. Buses going to the graveyard, very crowded, were going slowly in the traffic jam, some people got off and were running in order to be on time at the ‘W’ hour to insurgents. It was a touching view of people running with flags, flowers and grave candles, along the whole Powiązkowska street, in order to be at 5 p.m. there. Here one can see different Warsaw which seemed not to exist in everyday life. Finally the ‘W’ hour – Warsaw dies in stillness, sirens are howling, horns of all vehicles, cars, trains are heard as if the whole city was calling: We remember ! We thank! We are proud! Not long time ago did some people stop as it was the date and time completely unfamiliar, but teaching and giving example mean a lot. Somebody said that ‘on the Warsaw graveyard on 1 August Poland becomes independent, and here we do not need any ‘patriots fulfilling their duties’ ‘. When the president and the prime minister accompanied by other people appeared, one could hear the voices: ‘Disgrace, traitors, off to Berlin and to Moscow…’(!). It is not funny for any of the parties and we, ordinary Poles who would like to live in a normal country governed by ‘good, wise people’, as a poet wrote, are worried by it.
When one walks among grave lights, boards with written surnames of insurgents, who died at their young age, hearts beat stronger and emotions come very easily. It is clear that we owe a lot to those who died and we must not waste it. ‘If Poland becomes independent, it will become so only from our blood’ - wrote young poets during the war occupation.
In order to understand better the essence of the uprising and those generations, one should read other issues of the magazine published during the war occupation: ‘Art and the nation’, as it was written and created by those who chose the fight and were killed. All creators, poets concentrated on this magazine: Kopczyński, Mencel, Trzebiński, Gajcy, Stroiński, Bojarski – did not survive the uprising. Now, when so many alleged experts of the issue express their opinion about the uprising, it is worth quoting the text of Józef Mackiewicz ‘Warsaw Uprising from another side’ from 1947, that is, written just after the uprising and published in the ‘News’: ‘On 30 July German caravans started withdrawing from Jerozolimskie Aleje and later war tanks started moving beyond the Vistula. In the streets there were still announcements of the Underground Delegation. (…) In such conditions the uprising (…) could hope for a complete success and minimal losses, only in fights with withdrawing rear guards. Formally, before the dawn, Warsaw would be freed by the Polish army, and the new invader would be welcomed by the sovereign flag stuck in the sovereign, free capital city. The Bolshevik wanted to avoid it at any cost. (…) It is known that Warsaw was a personal issue of Hitler. (…) Similarly as in the year 1939, the anti-Polish Soviet-German –pact was renewed, not signed but palpable and the bloodiest. Hitler was right to name the Uprising ‘another Katyń’ (…) but with the difference that it was not caused by the NKVD, but the Germans. It was a mistake from the Germans, it is difficult to blame the directors of the Uprising for not having foreseen it’.
In order to uncover the truth about the uprising and understand properly the character, personalities of participants, it is worth seeing an excellent exhibition in the Literature Museum on the Old City Market in Warsaw, as well as looking at the beautiful album ‘Insurgents 1944 – 70 – 2014’. It is worth reading memories, looking at faces and reflecting on it, before one starts speaking publicly. All this is not to let those fights and life devoted by excellent Poles be in vain.