Warsaw, Poland, July 30 - August 2, 2004

The observances, stretching over four very intense days, were an emotionally draining but a truly moving experience. According to the participants of the Uprising who were present as the stars of the event, this was the greatest celebration ever finally, after more than half a century, they felt adequately appreciated. Even though, ten years ago, the 50th anniversary was observed in a free Poland under the presidency of Lech Walesa. But this one was on a much grander scale, and the participants of the Uprising were personally invited and could have their expenses covered by the city of Warsaw.

The city spared no expense, closing streets for parades, providing buses for transporting the guests and engaging top-flight talent for the artistic presentations. An information booklet about the observances listed all of the many events in all parts of the city, and included letters from the ambassadors of France, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, the United States and Russia. This last caused an uproar in the press, because it mentioned "the fight against our common foe" and "the fruits of our shared victory." President Putin later sent another, less controversial letter, but it too did not address the Soviet role in inciting and then abandoning the Uprising.

Capsule descriptions of the main events are on pages under each day's link.

Friday, July 30:

  • Funeral mass and interment of Gen. Antoni Chrusciel ("Monter"), AK commander of the Uprising
  • Meeting at City Hall, greeting by Lech Kaczynski
  • March through the streets to Plaza of Warsaw Insurgents
  • Opening concert

Saturday, July 31:

  • Opening of the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising
  • City Council session at the Royal Castle
  • Meeting at the Presidential Palace
  • Mass at the Uprising Monument, roll call of the fallen
  • Outdoor showing of films

Sunday, August 1:

  • Laying of wreaths at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at the monument to the Underground State, at Powazki Cemetery, at Wolski Cemetery
  • Moment of silence at 5:00 PM
  • Addresses by foreign delegations and closing concert

Monday, August 2:

  • Meeting with Leon Kieres at the Institute of National Remembrance
  • Dinner at Wspolnota Polska given by Andrzej Stelmachowski