To sirens and church bells, Poland marks 70th anniversary of Warsaw ghetto uprising

Sirens have wailed and church bells tolled in Warsaw as largely Roman Catholic Poland pays homage to the Jewish fighters who rose up 70 years ago against Nazi German forces in the Warsaw ghetto uprising.

The mournful sounds marked the start of state ceremonies being led Friday by Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski. He, the city mayor, one survivor of the fighting and other dignitaries gathered at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes to honor the first large-scale rebellion — and the largest — against the Germans during World War II.

Throughout Warsaw, national and city flags fluttered from city buses, trams and public buildings as authorities make an unprecedented effort to encourage Poles to remember the ghetto fighters and Jewish suffering during the war.