The city of Warsaw stands still for one minute in this powerful video created to honor the fallen heroes who fought for freedom during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. They do it every year on Aug. 1st when the sirens blare.
Compiled from footage shot one year ago, "There is a City" shows the people of Warsaw in Poland coming to a virtual standstill as sirens alert in honor of the dead. As movement stops and flags flicker in the breeze, the quietness is a powerful reminder of the Warsaw Uprising and what it cost the city.
The uprising of 1944 was a 63-day struggle to liberate Warsaw from Nazi/German occupation in World War II. It began August 1 and ended on October 2 and was undertaken by the Home Army (Armia Krajowa, AK), and an underground Polish resistance movement.
According to Warsaw Uprising.com, the uprising failed due to a changing political climate, a lack of support and miscalculation by the Home Army. The result it said, was:
15,200 insurgents killed and missing, 5,000 wounded, 15,000 sent to POW camps. Among civilians 200,000 were dead, and approximately 700,000 expelled from the city. Approximately 55,000 civilians were sent to concentration camps, including 13,000 to Auschwitz.
On October 05 1944, three days after Warsaw fell, Lt. Peter Stölten of the 2nd Panzer Group under Gen. Heinz Guderian, said this in a letter to his father:
They came out with fully deserved honours after true heroism in battle. In truth they fought better than we did.
Eleven days later in a letter to his mother, Stölten added:
The 'Wochenschau' (newsreel) is filmed here where I am and I saw at first-hand the drama of the Polish capitulation. Let's not deceive ourselves: Warsaw fell thanks to our heavy weaponry and not to the courage of certain units, however well they fought.
And every year, for one minute on August 1, the city and the people of Warsaw remember it all.