Loading

***

The Kotwica ("Anchor") was was a World War II emblem of the Polish Underground State and Armia Krajowa (Home Army, or AK). It was created in 1942 by members of the AK Wawer Minor sabotage unit, as an easily usable emblem for the Polish struggle to regain independence. The initial meaning of the initials PW was Pomścimy Wawer ("We shall avenge Wawer"). This was a reference to the Wawer massacre (26–27 December 1939), which was considered to be one of the first large scale massacres of Polish civilians by German troops in occupied Poland.

Over time the letters PW came to symbolize the phrase Polska Walcząca ("Fighting Poland").

Early in 1942, the AK organised a contest to design an emblem to represent the resistance movement, and the winning design by Anna Smoleńska, a member of the Gray Ranks who herself participated in minor sabotage operations, combined the letters P and W into the Kotwica.
Smoleńska was arrested by the Gestapo in November 1942 and died in Auschwitz in March 1943, at the age of twenty-three.

The Kotwica was first painted on walls in Warsaw, as a psychological-warfare tactic against the occupying Germans, by Polish boy scouts on 20 March 1942.

Then it was painted on the walls of Polish cities, stamped on German banknotes and post stamps, printed on the headers of underground newspapers and books, and it also became one of the symbols of the Warsaw Uprising (the letters P and W are also abbreviations of Powstanie Warszawskie ("Warsaw Uprising") and Wojsko Polskie ("Polish Army").


I took this photo half an year ago, at a place that most certainly remembers those cruel years.
This ruined house witnessed the Wola massacre.
From 5 to 12 August 1944, tens of thousands of Polish civilians along with captured Home Army resistance fighters were brutally and systematically murdered by the Germans in organised mass executions throughout Wola. Whole families perished including babies, children and old people. Germans murdered patients in hospitals, killing them in their beds. Doctors and nurses caring for them were also killed. Dead bodies were piled up to be burned. Before burning, dogs were let loose to check if anybody was still alive. If found alive they were killed on the spot. Black fires from the burning of thousands of bodies covered the whole suburb. Hundreds of women were raped and then killed. Parents were made to watch their children being killed and priests trying to protect those who sought refuge in churches were murdered, some at the altar.

So whoever put those emblems there in past years made a statement: "Always remember".

Today we commemorate the 76th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising.
The Uprising began on 1 August 1944. The exact time was 5:00 PM, 1 August 1944.

-----
Olympus XA + Kentmere Pan 400 + Kodak HC-110 (Dil.B)
Visible by: Everyone
(more information)

More information

Visible by: Everyone

All rights reserved

Report this photo as inappropriate

9 comments

Typo93 said:

Sad memories of a sad time.
8 weeks ago

Marta Wojtkowska replied to Typo93:

These memories are still strong.
Thank you!
8 weeks ago

Léopold said:

Where the flies have no obstacles .....

Gdzie muchy nie mają przeszkód .....

Là où les mouches n'ont pas de contraintes à y entrer et sortir à leur gré.....
8 weeks ago ( translate )

Marta Wojtkowska replied to Léopold:

Flies and rodents ;)

And, oh, thank you Léopold for so many invitations to different groups.
I accepted those where you are and admin.
I am nor sure about the rest though...
8 weeks ago

Boarischa Krautmo said:

despite of the memories: good picture.
8 weeks ago

Marta Wojtkowska replied to Boarischa Krautmo:

Thanks!
8 weeks ago

Annemarie said:

Both so beautiful!
8 weeks ago

Annemarie said:

Hietory!
8 weeks ago

Rod Burkey said:

History makes sure we never forget.
Thank you for the image and very interesting description.
Photography and words combining here perfectly.
We need to “always remember”.
36 hours ago