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41. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Andrew Targowski Reflections about the Warsaw Uprising 1944: Intergenerational Dialogue
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Reflections call for dialogue. The various generations of Poles: the Bridge Generation (the author’s), the Fathers’ Generation and the Generation of Columbuses all differ on the logic of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising 1944. This issue is taboo in Polish history while the participants of the Uprising remain alive because they defend the rightness of their actions, regardless of rationality. The War’s facts on the ground were such that the Allies and Resistance had no chance to beat the Axis. Many view the 1944 Uprising as the most tragic event in Poland’s history. The author bases his opinion on his childhood experience in 1944 Warsaw and discussions on behalf of all victims with the advocates of this Uprising. At the end of this dialogue, examples are provided of past political and military mistakes throughout Polish history that must serve as warnings to future generations of Poles. The study has a universal character, as the Polish experience is not so unique that it cannot be applied to other geopolitical realities where subjectivism dominates objectivism, ignorance prevails over wisdom, and tragedy overcomes happiness.
42. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Stanisław Likiernik, Maciej Bańkowski I Did Not Want to Die for Nothing
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In this interview a Warsaw Uprising fighter speaks about his work for the Diversionary Directorate of the Home Army (“Kedyw”) and recalls the dramatic moments of the Uprising and his feelings about the meaning and consequences of this memorable event.
43. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Andrzej Grzegorczyk, Marek Gołębiowski A Philosophy for That Time: The Philosophy of Selflessness
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The author reflects on the moral attitudes displayed by Poles fighting in the Warsaw Uprising. He believes that the sacrifice and selflessness with which Varsovians battled for their city had its roots in the general mentality of the Poles, who for generations had been raised in the spirit of “mutual and willing endowment”. He also notes that the noble ideals of the wartime generations have today been largely replaced by mercenary selfishness.
44. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Andrzej Stelmachowski Reflections on the Triumph of Warsaw Uprising Ideals
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The author reflects on the Warsaw Uprising and its effects on his contemporaries and subsequent generations. The Uprising has evoked conflicting emotions, the hottest debates whether it was justified in light of the ensuing losses and the destruction of Warsaw. A frequently-asked question is whether it was worth sacrificing so many people for an obviously lost cause.The Warsaw Uprising also functions as a national legend of selflessness, sacrifice, solidarity, and courage, its protagonists displaying uncommon determination and perseverence in their struggle to free their country. A legend which successive generations of Poles have kept alive despite the years that have elapsed.
45. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Józef Szajna, Agata Trzcińska Sense and Nonsense
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These are reflections of an outstanding artist on his traumatic experience in the time of war and hatred through overcoming suffering and anguish towards a radical change of mentality: reconciliation is what we vitally need today as we are all responsible for the fate of the world.
46. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Aleksander Gieysztor, Aleksandra Rodzińska-Chojnowska The Warsaw Uprising in the Europe of 1944
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The debate on the Warsaw uprising has been conducted for fifty years now, showing deep differences of attitudes and judgments. To explain a defeat is always difficult. For sure—as in the case of the partitions of Poland’s territory at the end of the eighteenth century—some of the reasons for the defeat lie in the fact that the two invaders drastically outnumbered Polish forces. Other reasons may be due to those macro-political decisions which, once made, sentenced Poland to the fate of a satellite within the eastern empire. What could be called the official stance on this subject proclaimed in the country, was reduced to stigmatizing the irresponsible, but tragic in its consequences—quotation from Stalin—“political adventure”. The political leaders and military commanders were unequivocally condemned. At the same time, the legend of the Warsaw Uprising first smoldered, and then started growing. At first, based on the oral tradition, later, fighting its way to publication, being revealed in exile, persevering in the country, the legend, which sought in the uprising the values worth passing to sons and latergrandsons. A complicated and different picture of the uprising’s motivations has been formulated in journalistic publications, hundreds of memoirs, scientific papers, and during meetings with the growing participation of younger historians.
47. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Zbigniew Ścibor-Rylski, Michał Cytrycki Reminiscences of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944
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The author, during the Warsaw Uprising a commanding officer in the Home Army’s “Radosław” unit, recounts the first days of the fighting and subsequent battles, including the seizing of “Gęsiówka” and a landing by General Berling’s troops. Ścibor-Rylski also underscores the solidarity between Poles fighting their occupants, a solidarity inspired by a love of freedom.
48. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Zbigniew Klejn Triad
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The idealistic, political and military causes and effects of the Warsaw Uprising are discussed by the author against a historical background and on the basis of his own experience as a participant in the fighting. Portrayed are its instigators’ and participants’ reasoning and ambitions as well as the revolt’s ultimate political and military defeat, whose tragic aftermath evoked heated discussions and mutual accusations among Poles. Klejn also dwells on the deep meaning of the uprising, whose ideals gradually led to the 1989 changes in Poland. In his opinion, the tragic fate of Warsaw and its inhabitants was decided, but the consequences and conclusions of this longest uprising of the Second World War have become values that shaped the modern Polish nation and that constitute its contribution for the newly created European order.
49. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Wojciech Militz, Maciej Bańkowski In the “Baszta” Unit
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This is an account of the Uprising fights of a young machinegunner of the “Baszta” Unit from the “W” hour (5 p.m. on August 1) to the honorable surrender at the end of September.
50. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Witold Kieżun Virtuti Militari
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During the 1944 Warsaw Uprising Witold Kieżun served in the Home Army’s “Harnaś” [Highlander] Special Unit. During an assault on the Polish Post he personally took 14 Germans prisoner, seizing large quantities of arms. He also singlehandedly damaged a German tank in the district Wola. A unit under his command captured the parish office of the Holy Cross Church and a heavy machinegun, and was the first to enter the city’s police headquarters, where it seized another heavy gun.During the Uprising Witold Kieżun was decorated with the Cross of Valor, he also received the Virtuti Militari from the hands of the Home Army Supreme Commander.
51. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Ashes and Diamonds of European Historicity
52. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Andrzej Tymowski, Mark Znidericz “…and She also is Not Here”
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The story of a boy soldier who loses a leg in the first days of the Warsaw Uprising. His bitterness at being unfit to fight is steeped by his helplessness to prevent the Nazis massacring the wounded in the hospital to which he was brought. His only source of consolation is his nurse Liljanka.
53. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Stefan Bałuk Home Army Paratroopers in the Warsaw Uprising
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An account of the Home Army’s elite paratrooper unit, formed at the outset of the war under orders of General Sikorski. The article recounts the unit’s formation and subsequent operations.
54. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Tadeusz Targoński, Zbigniew Prokopiuk Arm in Arm with Death
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Description of painful experience in the Warsaw Uprising of an 18-year-old corporal of the 1st Polish Army which participated, together with the Soviet armies, in seizing the right-bank part of Warsaw. Together with a part of his regiment he supported the dying out Uprising in the district adjacent to the Vistula. The author cast in his lot with the most dramatic history of the Uprising.
55. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Stefan Morawski, Maciej Bańkowski Selected Frayed Memories (Aug. 2–Sept. 6, 1944)
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Recalling his Warsaw Uprising days after years and from a considerable distance, Morawski reflects on human behavior during the fighting and the degree to which it was justified, simultaneously wondering whether humans had the right to take the lives of other humans. He also dwells on the erroneousness of memories recalled after years. The text is full of critical reflection on the Uprising and human attitudes during the battles.
56. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Walter Jajko The Warsaw Rising from the Contemporary American Perspective
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Sixty years is a sufficient lapse of time to examine dispassionately the Warsaw Rising of 1944. The Rising is one of the several exceptionally destructive tragedies that indelibly stamp Poland’s struggle for survival from 1772 to 1989. The Warsaw Rising is also a major milestone in European and World History, having affected what became the superpower balance of power. During World War II, Anglo-American diplomacy vis-à-vis Poland was an inept combination of pretense, self-delusion, and deceit, dishonesty added to betrayal. The US conspired in consigning half of Europe to captivity. As a result, Russia, not the US, won the war in Europe. The destruction of the Warsaw Rising by Germany, facilitated by Russia, had long term, evil consequences. The destruction of Poland’s political and intellectual class finished the Underground State as an existing alternative, democratic government. The destruction of the Home Army prevented armed opposition to Sovietization. The defeat of the Rising was the primary, initiatory, and necessary antecedent to the Sovietization of Eastern Europe. The capture of Poland ensured the half-century-long impoverishment of half of historic Europe, for whose social, economic, and demographic consequences we will be paying for years to come. The capture also ensured the moral and ethical impoverishment of half of Europe, which will take generations to set right.
57. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Stanisław Nałęcz-Komornicki, Anna Tchórzewska Cadet “Storm Wind”
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In his short stories describing tragic events during the Warsaw Uprising the author, himself a participant in the fighting, recalls fallen comrades, particularly cadet “Storm Wind”. This concise tale paints a moving picture of the insurgent’s heroic stance and the horrors of war.
58. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Bronisław Troński Notes of an Insurgent
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This running account of the fighting shows the complex circumstances that surrounded the Warsaw Uprising and its tragic finale. The author recounts the frontline atmosphere, the fighting frequently taking place between two floors—even two rooms—of one house, the scant living space and the terrible air-raids on hospitals and clinics. A look back at sixty-three days in which superhuman courage and sacrifice walked hand in hand with fear and dejection.
59. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Wiesław Chrzanowski, Magdalena Grala “Who Needed That Sacrifice?” (An Interview with Wiesław Chrzanowski)
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An interview with Wiesław Chrzanowski, a member of the Home Army’s “Gustaw” unit. Chrzanowski recounts the political situation in Europe at the time and the Soviet Union’s and Allies’ stance towards the Warsaw Uprising. He is also critical towards the uprising’s commanders, who launched it without adequate preparation.
60. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Andrzej Krzysztof Kunert, Maciej Bańkowski Colonel Ignacy Matuszewski Remembers the Warsaw Uprising
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Two important essays on the Warsaw Uprising, both written in distant New York, the first completed after the Uprising’s October, 1944 fall, the second shortly before the second anniversary of its outbreak and days before the author’s death. They came from under the pen of Colonel Ignacy Matuszewski, before the war a member of Poland’s ruling elites and during the war years a leading journalistic voice for Poland’s independence (the poet Jan Lechoń even called him “the Mochnacki of the post-September émigré community”).Both texts belong to the most important Warsaw Uprising accounts and contain a personal note—the title’s “Mewa” (seagull) was the codename carried by Colonel Matuszewski’s 25-year-old daughter Ewa Matuszewska, a Home Army medic who died in the fighting.