Travels

The city that died for freedom, the Warsaw uprising

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Poster in the Warsaw Uprising Museum

Traveling to Warsaw is to visit a reconstructed city, slowly and painfully, since 1945 when in the course of a few weeks 85% of its buildings were destroyed viciously and the population was decimated, going from one million people to almost zero. October 2 is a special date on the Polish calendar and the right time, if one were needed, to visit the Warsaw Uprising Museum (Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego).

October 2 has tragic dyes for being the end of a dream that began with determination on August 1, 1944, when the Polish resistance and the civilians of Warsaw they rose against the German troops who had invaded their country 4 years and 11 months before. It was a fight of almost biblical proportions, of a David without heavy weapons, weak and exhausted by years of occupation, against a Goliath who, despite the defeats on the battlefields of Russia and the recent Landing of Normandy, still struck with fists wreckers.

In the Warsaw Uprising Museum, the events that occurred before, during and shortly after the 2 months and 1 day that were fought in the city streets, under them and on the banks of the Vistula River that crossed it were documented. From the other side of it, beyond testimonial shots, the Red Army did not move a single finger to help fighters or Polish civilians.

Interior of the Warsaw Uprising Museum

Poland had lived in the middle of two totalitarianisms since the early 1930s. Despite this, arts and democracy flourished, being an advanced and prosperous nation at the level of others in Europe. However, its borders were tainted on September 1 by Germany from the West and a couple of weeks later by the USSR from the East.

Hitler and Stalin, two tyrants with more coincidences than differences, divided the country that could hardly cope with a double and massive attack. World War II had begun and Western and Eastern Europe fell under the Nazi boot that soon crossed the Mediterranean.

But before five years passed, the situation had completely changed for Germany and his worn out military apparatus was beating in retreat in Africa, Italy, France and Eastern Europe. The Soviet Union, once a comrade of arms but since 1941 - when it had been attacked by the Axis - enemy troops, recovered the lost ground based on cannon fodder and arrived in mid-July to the old Polish border.

Interior of the Warsaw Uprising Museum (II)

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