Why This City Stops For 1 Minute Every Year On August 1st
by Mike Hsu,posted Aug 1 2012 9:27AM
While trolling for videos of people getting their balls crushed trying to jump their bike over a moving car or a fight at a college football game, I found this video and was moved. Every August 1st the City Of Warsaw, Poland stops for 60 seconds to pay tribute to the 200,000 people who died during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. The Polish resistance tried to take the city from the Germans as the Soviet Army approached. It ended in disaster for several different reasons. All of which you can read about here. The suppression of the uprising caused a brutal backlash by the Germans who started massacring civilians and destroying whole sections of the city. Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry about the battle:
Although the exact number of casualties remains unknown, it is estimated that about 16,000 members of the Polish resistance were killed and about 6,000 badly wounded. In addition, between 150,000 and 200,000 Polish civilians died, mostly from mass murders. Jews being harboured by Poles were exposed by German house-to-house clearances and mass evictions of entire neighbourhoods. German casualties totaled over 8,000 soldiers killed and missing, and 9,000 wounded. During the urban combat approximately 25% of Warsaw's buildings were destroyed. Following the surrender of Polish forces, German troops systematically leveled another 35% of the city block by block. Together with earlier damage suffered in the 1939 invasion of Poland and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943, over 85% of the city was destroyed by January 1945, when the Soviets entered the city.
So every year on this day they stop what they're doing in Warsaw and take a minute.