WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Maria Mostowska was a young pediatric nurse when the Warsaw Rising against the Nazi Germans occupying Poland broke out on Aug.1, 1944.
Seventy-five years on, she still vividly remembers how German troops put her against a wall and aimed a machine gun. She recalled how quickly the hospital filled with wounded resistance fighters and civilians, and how the Nazis destroyed the capital city.
Some 50,000 fighters of Poland’s clandestine Home Army — most of them poorly armed — fought the Germans for 63 days before surrendering, in the biggest single act of resistance in occupied Europe during World War II. Some 18,000 insurgents were killed and another 25,000 were injured.
On Thursday, Warsaw honors the failed rising, which had been a taboo topic during four decades of communist rule.