August 1st marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising (Powstanie/Uprising Warszawskie/Warsaw’s) – a large-scale uprising in the city at the tail end of WW II, in 1944. There is an extensive wikipedia article on the subject, and if you find the whole thing compelling, historian Norman Davis wrote a rather interesting book about it called Rising ’44 (Guardian’s review here).
The discussion about the merits and results of the Uprising has mostly quieted down by now – after all it’s been 68 years and there is no accounting for history. It is still celebrated as part of Warsaw’s history and testimony to Polish stubborn resistance during the war.
So if you find yourself in the city today all of a sudden hearing sirens every where, this is what is happening (short and sweet, if slightly tacky vide):
The W-hour, set as the start, was 5 p.m.
Personally, I think the most interesting and telling thing you can see about the uprising, is “City of Ruins” a 3D digital reconstruction of the city in the immediate aftermath of the event, based on photos taken from a Russian plane. It was made by a very talented Polish company Platige Image, and can be seen in full glory in the Warsaw Uprising museum. The making of is pretty well documented on Behance, you can watch a cristal quality trailer on the official page, and the full version in varying quality is available on youtube (this is probably as good as it gets).