Poland's president has led state ceremonies honoring the heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, young Jews who took up arms to fight against Nazi German occupiers during World War II rather than be transported to a death camp.

President Andrzej Duda led the ceremonies Tuesday on the 73th anniversary of the start of the uprising, April 19, 1943. As every year, the main state ceremonies were held in front of a memorial to the Jewish fighters in the heart of the former Warsaw Ghetto.

Duda said he was paying homage to "heroes who wanted to fight for their freedom and even though they knew they would die, they wanted to die in battle with a raised head." He added that the ceremonies also paid homage to their "great dignity."