Polish officials, war veterans and regular citizens are marking the 72nd anniversary of the start of the Warsaw Uprising, a struggle against Nazi Germany in 1944 that lasted 63 days and ended tragically for the Poles.

Commemorations are taking place on Monday, exactly 72 years after the revolt began on August 1, 1944.

The Warsaw Uprising was the largest act of resistance by any nation under the German occupation during World War II, and the heroism of the insurgents remains a defining element in Polish national identity.

The Germans put the rebellion down brutally, destroying most of Warsaw and killing around 200,000, most of them civilians.

Poles also felt betrayed by the Soviets, whose troops sat on the Warsaw outskirts without helping the Poles — allegedly their allies.