Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 14, Issue 5/6, 2004

Warsaw Uprising 1944: Part One

Walter Jajko
Pages 247-250

The Warsaw Rising from the Contemporary American Perspective

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.