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Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Warsaw, April 19, 2018 (AP photo by Czarek Sokolowski).

The Struggle for Poland’s Future Is Playing Out on the Battlefield of History

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

WARSAW—On April 19, the Polish capital paused to remember the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943, when Jews took up arms against the Nazi Germans. The 75th anniversary of the start of the uprising was observed in ceremonies led by Jewish leaders as well as officials from the highest levels of government. At one event held at the city’s Monument to the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes, addressing a crowd that included Holocaust survivors, President Andrzej Duda hailed those who rose up to resist the Nazi occupiers. “We bow our heads low to their heroism, their bravery, their determination and courage,” he said.

Yet some Warsaw residents opted to forgo these ceremonies in favor of grassroots commemorations. They did so out of disdain for Duda and the ruling Law and Justice party. “I am not attending the official ceremonies this year because the government is supporting the rise of a dangerous nationalism,” one resident who lost relatives in the Holocaust told The Associated Press. “We cannot agree to this.” ...

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