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Only eight out of 600 defenders of the PWPW Redoubt are living

Polish Security Printing Works paid homage to the defenders of the PWPW Redoubt. The last ones of the living participants of the dramatic fighting that lasted from 2 to 28 August 1944, took part in the celebrations. They were accompanied by their families, representatives of veterans’ associations, patriotic organisations and representatives of the State authorities and the Polish Army.

The Works and the residential building for its employees, occupied by the Germans, were captured by the insurgents on the second day of the uprising. The attack on PWPW was carried out with three strike groups. One attacked from the side, the second – from the rears, and the third one – from the inside, using the “Trojan horse” method by group PWB/17/S under command of Lieutenant Czesław Lech “Biały”.

A huge reinforced-concrete complex with underground shelters became a very important, strategic stronghold that guarded the Old Town from the north-eastern side, as well as a shelter for wounded people, almost one thousand civilians, and a place well equipped with food stocks.

Fierce resistance of the insurgents collapsed only on 28 August after repeated infantry and tank attacks, bombing and shelling, including from “Nebelwerfer” mortars and assault guns.

The remaining soldiers fighting in the PWPW complex retreated to the Old Town. The civilians and wounded from the field hospital were captured by the Germans. Those of them who participated in the defence, were shot. As the last shelter in PWPW was being captured, the occupiers killed defenceless Dr Hanna Petrynowska “Rana” who managed the hospital.

During celebrations, the profiles of still living defenders of the PWPW Redoubt, nurses and liaisons were presented: Kazimierz Gabara pseudonym “Łuk”, Juliusz Kulesza pseudonym “Julek”, Krystyna Nowacka-Wróblewska pseudonym “Kinga”, Ryszard Nowicki pseudonym “Sokół”, Barbara Wilczyńska-Sekulska pseudonym “Penelopa”, Lucyna Żebrowska-Petrus, pseudonym “Luc” and Renisław Kowalski, pseudonym “Czerkies” who died one month ago.

“Owing to the greatness of the insurgents and of the Warsaw Rising, we are able, after 73 years, to get inspired by the lives of the heroes, to our personal benefit and to the benefit of the national community that we form” – noted Mr Piotr Woyciechowski, President of PWPW S.A.

Mr Jan Józef Kasprzyk, acting Head of the Office For War Veterans and Victims of Oppression, thanked to the insurgents that they strived to restore in Poland and in Europe, the “order trampled by a single aggressor, the German aggressor” and that they “resisted with full force – as far as possible – against Poland becoming the 17 th Soviet republic, against becoming another country enslaved by the soviet union, by the second worst totalitarianism”.

According to Minister Kasprzyk, we can say that thanks to the Insurgents Poland won and is free.

“You won after many, many years. Entire generations got inspired by your conduct, your strength, your power” – said Mr Jan Józef Kasprzyk. He stressed that also the young generation of the Poles “found their point of reference” and “source of values” in the generation of Warsaw Insurgents.

Mr Tomasz Zdzikot, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of the Interior and Administration reminded that Warsaw and PWPW were to be razed to the ground. He emphasised that the city could be rebuilt due to the fact that “only walls were destroyed”, but – as he added turning to the Insurgents – “the spirit of the city, the spirit of Polish identity, the spirit of free Poland here, at the heart of our country, was preserved due to your hardship, dedication and effort”.

According to him, Warsaw Insurgents have never been defeated, because thanks to them Poland is free, safe and affluent. He also noted that “we live in special times”, in which – as he noted – “we have the honour and privilege to take our hats off in front of you” and it may be the last generation that still has such opportunity.

“It is a great honour and privilege for us to stand here today in front of you and say our thanks, to express gratitude for your hardship, effort ... that thanks to you the spirit of free Poland has survived” – said Mr Tomasz Zdzikot.

Material developed in cooperation with PWPW S.A.
Source of information: PAP Press Centre


PWPW (Polish Security Printing Works)

1 R. Sanguszki Street
00-222 Warsaw, Poland
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tel. (+48) 22 235 20 00
fax (+48) 22 235 24 50