Warsaw (AP) - Poland commemorated the Warsaw Uprising against the German occupying powers 76 years ago. On Saturday, church bells rang nationwide in memory of the victims. The sirens also howled.

The German embassy in the capital, Warsaw, set the flags at half-mast as a symbol of the "deep sadness and shame over the cruel crimes of the German occupiers in the fight against the Warsaw". Because of the corona pandemic, there were fewer commemorative events this year than usual.

On August 1, 1944, the Armia Krajowa - the Polish Home Army - rose against the occupying powers of the Nazis. After 63 days, the Warsaw Uprising was bloodily crushed. Around 200,000 Polish soldiers and civilians were killed in the fighting, and around half a million were subsequently deported. As revenge, the Polish capital was almost completely razed by the Nazis.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki recalled the cruel behavior of the Germans. German tanks were rolled over civilians. "That is the truth about the Warsaw Uprising, about the German occupation," he said, praising the actions of his countrymen: "It was an uprising that should bring freedom back not only to the capital but to all of Poland."

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