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About the Living Symbol for the Warsaw Uprinsing

For the past 9 years, we have been organizing a "Living  Symbol" for the Warsaw Uprising on the Castle Square in Warsaw’s old town. It has already become a tradition that on "W" Hour (5pm – the code name for hour that the uprising was to start) on Castle Square, the gathered crowd forms the shape of the insurgent’s Anchor - the anchor has always been the symbol for hope and the top is formed from the letter P for Poland, while the base is formed from the letter W, which stands for “walcząca” which means fighting. In 2014, when we organized this happening for the first time, there were a dozen of us. All we had then, was a purpose and the will to act.  Jacek Perłowski (currently the President of the Polonia Restituta Historical Association), volunteered to be the leader and head of the assembly we were planning -  and it has stayed that way. Every year, we arrange the people gathered on the Castle Square in the symbol of the insurgent's Anchor, and we send the recorded video and photographic  material around the world through all the possible channels. Previous recordings of this event can be seen on YouTube. As one of the originators of this happening, I am extremely proud that I contributed my little bit, to the memory of those brave Warsaw Insurgents from the “Armia Krajowa” (Home Army) who fought almost unaided for 63 long days and nights. In those six long weeks, 16,000 of them lost their lives and over 6,000 were injured. In addition, between 150,000 to 200,000 civilians - mainly old people, women and children were killed, mostly in mass executions. This number of fatalities, is higher than that of all the British and American troops who were killed during the five years of WW II. Warsaw was raised to the ground, while at the same time other parts of Europe celebrated their liberation. Poland is, as it has always been, a freedom loving nation and the anchor symbol is used to commemorate those who fought and died for Poland’s long awaited independence - which finally came in 1989.


Thanks to this event, every year on “Plac Zamkowy”, foreigners can find out why, on August 1st at 5pm, Warsaw  comes to a complete stand still, for one whole minute – this is to honor the defeated! It is through this “Living Symbol”, that we honor the Warsaw Insurgents, hoping that the world will understand how much Poles have always loved freedom and that they are prepared to pay the ultimate price for it - their lives!

On August 1, every year at 5 p.m., we meet on Castle Square, but we also cordially invite you to watch the transmission online on our Facebook profile.




Gabriela Słowińska

Links to photos, videos and more information about the Living Symbol (available in Polish)

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