Never forget about Wola
Two Warsaw districts, where heavily experienced by suffering, as they served as city shields.
In November 1794, during Kosciuszko Insurrection, Warsaw was attacked from east by Russian forces, under commandment of general Suvorov. Praga district, was an eastern boundary of Warsaw, therefore it suffered from really heavy Russian attack. After taking over the eastern side of Warsaw, Russian soldiers committed many rapes. Moreover, during the next few hours circa 20 000 civilians were killed. Historians called this act of inconceivable violence the "Praga Massacre".
Praga Massacre (painting by A. Orlowski)
After 150 years, history repeated itself in 1944, this time on the other side of the city. During the first days of Warsaw Uprising, German troops attacked Wola (district was western shield of Warsaw) violently. Insurgents were not able to stop German army, as they were not equipped well enough. Attackers had everything including tanks, artillery and planes. On area taken over by Germans, an fearsome massacre took place. During which Nazis murdered circa 50 000 innocent people including women and children.
Defenseless Warsaw inhabitans killed by Germans
Special squads for hiding the evidence of murders were called Verbrennungskommando, one of their duties was to burn dead bodies. Pacified district was then burned to the ground. Object of this massacre was to terrorize the rest of insurgents, and therefore to destroy their morale and will to fight. These plans has not work out however. Uprising in Warsaw lasted until the 2nd of October 1944.
This inconceivable crime cannot be forgotten. Memory about Wola massacre and suffering of its inhabitants cannot drown in the sea of forgetfulness and listlessness.
History of Wola district until 1st September 1939.
Wola defence, September 1939
Wola during the German occupation
Wola Uprising 1944
Executioners of Wola
Exhibition "Wola accuses"
For writing articles, materials from following publications were used:
- 1859 dni Warszawy - W. Bartoszewski,
- Akcje zbrojne podziemnej Warszawy 1939-1944 - T. Strzembosz,
- Barykady Powstania Warszawskiego 1944 - R. Sredniawa-Szypiowski,
- Dni Powstania - S. Kopf,
- Dzieje Woli - J. Kazimierski,
- Historia Polski 1914-2004 - W. Roszkowski,
- Historia Woli - red. K. Morawski,
- "Kedyw" Okregu Warszawskiego Armii Krajowej w latach 1943-1944 - H. Witkowski,
- Korzenia miasta t. V - J. Kasprzycki,
- Ludnosc cywilna w Powstaniu Warszawskim cz. 1 - red. Cz. Madajczyk,
- Podziemne zbrojownie polskie 1939-1944 r. - K. Satora,
- Polska była pierwsza - A. K. Kunert,
- Powstanie '44 - N. Davies,
- Powstanie Warszawskie - W. Bartoszewski,
- Przewodnik po dzielnicy Wola - M. Puternicka,
- Reduta 56 - Z. Pacak-Kuzmirski,
- Straty Warszawy 1939-1945 Raport,
- Verbrennungskommando Warschau - T. Klimaszewski,
- Warszawa w latach 1944-1949 - J. Gorski,
- Wielka Encyklopedia Powstania Warszawskiego,
- Wola warszawskie Termopile 1944 - K. Morawski, K. Oktabinski, L. Swierczak,
- Zbrodnia niemiecka w Warszawie w 1944 r. - E. Serwanski, T. Trawinska,
- Zbrodnie okupanta hitlerowskiego na ludnosci cywilnej w czasie Powstania Warszawskiego 1944 - opr. Sz Datner, K. Leszczynski,
- Z niedalekiej przeszłosci warszawskiej Woli - K. Morawski,
translation: Kamil Kornatka
Copyright © 2010 Maciej Janaszek-Seydlitz. All rights reserved.