Warsaw was the center of a Polish rebellion against Nazi occupation during the summer of 1944, late in World War II. The Warsaw Uprising, as it’s known, was timed to weaken Nazi forces ahead of a scheduled Soviet advance on the city, but the Soviet Red Army’s offensive toward the city was blocked, leaving the rebellion to fend for itself.
Polish rebels fought for more than two months, sustaining heavy casualties among both fighters and civilians. Approximately 200,000 were killed during the uprising while the city itself was left in ruins.
Warsaw and its citizens were eventually able to rebuild — but they never forgot the Warsaw Uprising. On Aug. 1 of every year, Warsaw residents pay homage to those lost during the siege by holding a city-wide moment of silence.