German president visits Warsaw Uprising museum

5th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

5 January 2007, Warsaw (dpa) - Former German president Richard von Weizsaecker on Monday visited the 1944 Warsaw Uprising Museum commemorating the doomed World War II Polish partisan revolt against Nazi German occupying forces. "We can only be thankful this museum was created - it has great meaning for all Germans," Weizsaecker said, adding it served as a reminder of the tragic fate suffered by Polish partisans at the hands of the Nazis. Weizsaecker, who is due to meet Polish President Lech Kaczynski, deli

5 January 2007

Warsaw (dpa) - Former German president Richard von Weizsaecker on Monday visited the 1944 Warsaw Uprising Museum commemorating the doomed World War II Polish partisan revolt against Nazi German occupying forces.

"We can only be thankful this museum was created - it has great meaning for all Germans," Weizsaecker said, adding it served as a reminder of the tragic fate suffered by Polish partisans at the hands of the Nazis.

Weizsaecker, who is due to meet Polish President Lech Kaczynski, delivered a speech focused on German-Polish relations within the framework of a united Europe during the visit to the museum.

He called for the EU to maintain a strong security alliance with the United States and speak with one voice on matters of foreign policy especially regarding Russia, which he termed a "difficult neighbour, but not an enemy."

The former German president is a Christian Democrat. As the German head of state between 1984-1994 his term in office saw the dramatic collapse of communism in eastern Germany and German reunification.

Weizsaecker's visit precedes the arrival of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Poland later this month, when she is expected to rally support for reviving work on the proposed EU blanket constitution in talks with President Kaczynski.

The 1944 Warsaw Uprising remains one of the most tragic chapters in Poland's difficult history.

Fought in a bid to secure the country's post-war independence, the uprising was launched by AK commanders loyal to the Polish government-in-exile in Britain on 1 August 1944 by a largely unarmed force of nearly 40,000 Polish partisans, including children.

Despite minor victories, it was crushed by the Nazis after 63 days of fierce fighting. Nearly half of the AK insurgents and at least 100,000 civilians were slaughtered. The rag-tag partisan units had fought a well-armed force of 50,000 Nazi troops.

The battle is widely regarded as the bloodiest in Poland's turbulent history.

The 1944 Warsaw Uprising Museum was created in 2004 to mark the 60th anniversary of the revolt, which was marginalised in the post war period by Poland's Soviet-imposed communist regime due to its drive for Polish sovereignty.

DPA

Subject: German news

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