Miasto Stoleczne Warszawa

Dziesiątki miejsc na poranne spacery

76th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising

published: 2020-08-10 06:59, kklimczak

Warsaw prepared itself to this year’s commemoration in a different way as usual. Many events were not held in traditional form due to the pandemics. There is more space for personal reveries and individual celebrations.

Two things remain unchanged – the “W” hour when all of us are put on hold, honouring the memory of the heroes, and traces of the uprising that have survived in our city.

Wounds of memory

During the 2nd World War, Warsaw was destroyed several times: in 1939, 1943, 1944 and in the time of post-war demolitions. After the war, as a result of destruction from the period of the Warsaw Uprising and later, German demolitions, 80 per cent of the city was destroyed, including 94 per cent of monumental buildings. The estimates are that 20 million cubic metres of rubble was deposited around Warsaw in the middle of 1945.

After the period of reconstruction and dynamic development of Warsaw, the remains of battles from the period of the uprising are still visible. They are perfectly traceable – not only on buildings in the main streets but also on the facades of houses or metal fences hidden in courtyards or small alleys. These bullet holes add the tenements – often of no architectonic value – a historic significance as they were the silent witnesses of the events. Some of those holes can be linked with particular events or battles, the specific dates and participants of those events – the insurgents who were there.

Bullet holes on facades

The facades with preserved bullet holes are the extraordinarily powerful element of the cultural landscape of Warsaw. The necessity of preserving them is indisputable, but the repairs eliminated them. The examples of their presence are still visible, among the others at 73B Chmielna Street – in the so-called Railway House, where the investor stopped plastering of bullet holes after protests of the community activists. The similar situation took place at 14 Smolna Street, where only a fragment with holes in the tenement’s plinth was preserved. In other cases, a part of facade with bullet holes was left unchanged intentionally, sometimes these are covered with a glazed panel, and the remaining part of the building