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Poland honors fighters on 70th anniversary of Warsaw Uprising against Nazi Germans

Poland Warsaw Uprising-1.jpg

A cyclist rides past a mural dedicated to the Warsaw Uprising 1944 insurgents in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, July 31, 2014, on the eve of state ceremonies marking 70 years since the thousands of young Warsaw residents put up a fight against the occupying Nazis. The poorly armed insurgents, mostly with little military training, held on for 63 days in the cut-off city, inflicting heavy losses on the well-armed and trained German troops before being forced to surrender. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) (The Associated Press)

On the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, Poland is honoring the fighters and victims of the rebellion against Nazi Germans by laying wreaths, sounding sirens and singing insurgent tunes.

On Aug. 1, 1944, thousands of poorly-armed city residents rose up against the German forces to try to take control of the city ahead of the advancing Soviet army. They held on for 63 days before being forced to surrender. Almost 200,000 people were killed. The Nazis expelled the survivors and set the city ablaze.

President Bronislaw Komorowski laid flowers Friday at the graves of the revolt's commanders and will attend other ceremonies during the day.

The Warsaw Uprising was a taboo subject until the fall of communism in 1989. It has been honored ever since.