Warsaw Uprising: NAZI Razeing the City (August-October 1944)

Figure 1.--This April 1946 photograph shows what Warsaw looked like after the NAZIs were forced to withdraw from it. Here the caption reveals what happened in Warsaw was not well understood in the West. The press caption read, "Still smiling in the 'Ghost City' of Europe Warsaw, Poland. This one-legged boy standing alone against a background of ruins is only one of the countless inhabitants of Warsaw, once thriving capital of Poland, who have suffered by the terrific bombings of World War II. The city once had a population of 1,265,000 and many modern buildings, has only a fraction of its former population and its buildings are all but completely razed to the ground. These are the first and exclusive pictures of the ruins of Warsaw." Photo by Hans Reinhrt.

Hitler did not just take out his vengence on the people of Warsaw. He wanted the city absolutely obliterated. Warsaw had already been heavily damaged during the German invasion (September 1939). Most of the damage was from Luftwaffe bombardment, but the city was also heavily shelled by artillery. Little of the damage was repaired. There was also damage during the NAZI suppresion of the Warsaw Ghetto, but here the damage was alnost entirely within the Ghetto. The fighting during the Warsaw uprising in 1944 covered a wide area of the city. Abd even after the Germans suppressed the uprising, they set about destroying what ever remained standing. Special commando units methodically moved blocked by block to destroy buildings that remained standing. The Royal Castle was destroyed by demolition charges. The NAZIs succeeded in destroyng about 80 percent of Warsaw buildings west of the Vistula. After the Germans clear out the AK fightrs and civilans. The Germans then on Hitler's personal orders razed whatever building that were still standing. Hitler had plans to totaly destroy other cities, including Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad. It is difficuklt to imagine how a great city could be actually razed. Hitler showed in Warsaw just what he and the Whermacht was capable of accomplishing. What they did to Warsaw is what they would have done in these as well as other cities had they won the War. He also ordered the destruction of Paris, but the German commander their refused to comply. One can oly wonder if the NAZI commanders who razed Warsaw thought about what the Soviets and Western Allies would do when the reached the Reich.


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Created: 3:18 AM 4/17/2008
Last updated: 8:05 AM 11/29/2008