As Antony Beevor cast new light on the Battle of Stalingrad, Alexandra Richie here unearths the traumatic story of one of the last major battles of World War II, in which the Poles fought off German troops, street by street, for sixty-three days.
The Warsaw Uprising of 1944 was a shocking event in a hideous war. This is the first account to recall the tragedy from both German and Polish perspectives and asks why, when the war was nearly lost, Hitler and Himmler returned to Warsaw bent on murder, deportation, and destruction.
For the only time in European history a capital was entirely razed. Hundreds were thrown from windows, burned alive, shot and trampled to death. 40,000 were murdered on 5th August – the largest battlefield massacre of the war.
Using the vast archive of her combatant father-in-law Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, Alexandra Richie interweaves testimonies from all sides. Charting the crimes of the SS and then their final break-down of morale, ‘Warsaw 1944’ reveals how the Nazis had hoped that Allied divisions over Warsaw would lead to a Third World War, while Stalin’s refusal to help changed the fate of post-war Europe. But above all else ‘Warsaw 1944’ is the story of a city’s unbreakable spirit, in the face of unspeakable barbarism.