The Warsaw Uprising of World War II was a united attempt on the part of the Polish Home Army, with little to no outside help, to rid Warsaw of the Nazi occupation. The nationwide uprising officially commenced on August 1, 1944, and lasted for 63 days, resulting in casualties of around 200,000 commoners and soldiers.
Since then, every year on August 1, citizens of the capital city of Poland observe one minute of silence, as a way of remembering the nation’s unfortunate past. In fact, on August 1, 1989, the Warsaw Uprising monument was erected at the Krasiński Square to commemorate the victims.
This year marked the 70th anniversary of the uprising, with hundreds of civilians and the veteran members of the Polish resistance gathering in the Mokotow district to pay tribute to the dead. The event has also been broadcast on the Facebook page of the Warsaw Uprising Museum.
One observes a similar scene at Israel’s annually held Holocaust Remembrance Day, also called Yom Hashoah, where the busy city streets come to a screeching halt for two minutes, as a way of paying homage to the six million Jews who lost their lives in the Holocaust.
Below is a viral video of the 2011 anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, containing a moving portrayal of the bustling pedestrian traffic of a busy modern city coming to an immediate stop at the sound of sirens. The video has received over 3.4 million views on youtube.