Every year at 17:00, alarm sirens are heard on the streets of Warsaw. The city comes to a standstill. The inhabitants of Warsaw pay homage to the fallen and surviving partisans.

Events marking the 73rd anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising began on 31 July.

The ceremonies took place at the Warsaw Uprising Museum and Krasinski Square, where Holy Mass was held in the evening in front of the Warsaw Uprising Monument.

Among the participants of the Mass were President Andrzej Duda and representatives of the government including deputy prime ministers Piotr Gliński and Mateusz Morawiecki. Also in attendance were participants of the Warsaw Uprising, soldiers of the Home Army, combatants, representatives of the army, scouts and Warsaw residents.

“An uprising that led to the creation of a free Poland cannot be regarded as lost,” President Andrzej Duda said in his speech during the Appeal for Remembrance.

The whole of Poland remembers the Warsaw Uprising, however the capital commemorates its commencement in a most unique way. It pays tribute to the event with the “W-Hour” – at 17.00. At this moment, alarm sirens are activated and a one-minute long continuous signal is sounded. Public transport, cars and residents of Warsaw stop in their tracks in order to pay homage to the resistance fighters and murdered inhabitants of the city.

The Warsaw Uprising broke out on August 1, 1944, lasted 63 days and was the largest struggle for freedom in World War II. Nearly 50,000 insurgents of the Home Army fought against the Germans. The fighting covered all districts of Warsaw. About 16,000 insurgents from the Home Army and 150,000 civilians were killed in the uprising.

MFA Press Office

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