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Poles, Germans look back to tragic 1944 Warsaw Uprising

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  • Lucyna Artymiuk
    Poles, Germans look back to tragic 1944 Warsaw Uprising Deutsche Presse-Agentur Mar 30, 2007 Warsaw - Historians from Poland and Germany on Friday opened a
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31, 2007
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      Poles, Germans look back to tragic 1944 Warsaw Uprising
      Deutsche Presse-Agentur
      Mar 30, 2007

      Warsaw - Historians from Poland and Germany on Friday opened a three-
      day 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.

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