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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.