Letter: Will the Russians be coming?

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The Independent Online
YOUR article on anniversaries ('You must remember this', 24 April) mistakenly refers to the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 as 'the Warsaw ghetto rising'. There were two Warsaw risings. The first, that of the Warsaw ghetto, began on 19 April 1943, when remnants of the city's Jewish population (the ghetto initially numbered around 500,000 people) fought a desperate and heroic battle against total annihilation by the Nazis. The second, the Warsaw Uprising, started on 1 August 1944 and lasted 63 days. It ended on 2 October, not 3 October, as you claim. It was a desperate bid by the city's population to oust the Germans and take control of the capital before the arrival of the Soviet army. Nearly a quarter of a million Poles were slaughtered and, on Hitler's orders, the city blown up block by block in reprisal. Meanwhile, the Red Army sat idly watching the destruction from the Vistula.

Both are significant and painful anniversaries in Polish, Jewish and wartime history, and should be commemorated as such. Imagine the uproar if similar factual errors were made over the D-Day landings.

Bernadeta Tendyra

London NW10

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