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Warsaw Paths Group
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Most Famous Warsaw Uprising Photos – Prudential

Most Famous Warsaw Uprising Photos – Prudential
November 20, 2015 Warsaw Paths

Today we start a new series in our blog. We titled it Most Famous Warsaw Uprising ’44 Photos since we aim to share and describe those selected that are most dramatic and impressive in our opinion.

We begin with well known picture of Prudential building being hit by heavy mortar projectile.

This is probably the most famous image of the Warsaw Uprising, known from the covers of books and hundreds of publications. It shows the highest building in pre-war Poland – a 16-storey skyscraper of insurance company Prudential at Napoleon’s Square (todays Warsaw Insurgents Square) when a heavy caliber mortar shell struck it. Starting from August 1st 1944 the building was in the hands of the insurgents. It was taken by soldiers of the famous battalion “Kilinski”. On top of antenna’s tower they hanged Polish flag and used upper floors as observation deck for AK. On August 28th Germans cannonaded the skyscraper. In that very moment photojournalist Sylwester Braun, nicknamed “Kris” took a series of photos.

Years later he described the situation:

I settled on the roof of the building at 28 Copernicus street. Weather was beautiful, clear morning sun, time passing by. After an hour my eye captured a yellow streak of a missile against blue sky. In the viewfinder of my camera I saw the hit of the Prudential and blossoming explosion. Within three seconds I shot six pictures.
Steel structure of the high-rise building, the work of the engineer Stefan Bryla, survived the cannonade – it just shook from the enormous hit. It also survived city destruction after the fall of Uprising and was successfully rebuilt after war as a hotel named “Warsaw”.

Today the building returned to the Prudential insurance company.

We visit the very same place during our North Downtown – Warsaw Uprising 1994 tour. Please join us to see it and listen to the full story.


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