Poles, Germans look back to Warsaw Uprising

1st April 2007, Comments 0 comments

2 April 2007, Warsaw (dpa) - Historians from Poland and Germany on Friday held a conference in Warsaw focused on the tragic 1944 Warsaw Uprising which saw Polish partisan stage a doomed insurrection against occupying Nazi German forces. "Truth, Memory and Responsibility - The Warsaw Uprising in the context of Polish-German relations", runs through to Sunday. The conference is held under the patronage of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and German President Horst Koehler in conjunction with the Warsaw Uprisi

2 April 2007

Warsaw (dpa) - Historians from Poland and Germany on Friday held a conference in Warsaw focused on the tragic 1944 Warsaw Uprising which saw Polish partisan stage a doomed insurrection against occupying Nazi German forces.

"Truth, Memory and Responsibility - The Warsaw Uprising in the context of Polish-German relations", runs through to Sunday.

The conference is held under the patronage of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and German President Horst Koehler in conjunction with the Warsaw Uprising Museum and the Polish-German Reconciliation Foundation.

Speakers include renowned British historian and Poland expert Professor Norman Davies, Polish Warsaw Uprising expert Professor Tomasz Szarota and Germany's Professor Hans Ottomeyer from Berlin's German Historical Museum.

Debates are to focus on Polish and German perceptions regarding the Uprising, an event which Poland's post-war communist authorities marginalised for ideological reasons.

"Real knowledge about the past should enrich social and political discourse," Polish President Lech Kaczynski wrote in address opening the conference. "Thanks to this we can base international relations on a foundation of truth," he said.

Fought in a bid to secure Poland's post-war independence, the Warsaw Uprising was launched by Polish Home Army (AK) commanders loyal to the Polish government-in-exile in Great Britain August 1, 1944 by a largely unarmed force of nearly 40,000 Polish partisans.

Despite small victories, the rising was crushed by the Nazis after 63 days of savage battles. Nearly half of the AK insurgents and up to 200,000 civilians were slaughtered. The rag-tag partisan units had fought a well-armed force of 50,000 German troops of whom some 16,000 died in action.

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

The Nazis deported an estimated half million Polish civilians from Warsaw after the collapse of the Uprising, mostly to detention camps in Germany.

They then systematically plundered and destroyed what little was left of the Polish capital.

DPA

Subject: German news

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