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'Warsaw Calling: Uprising 1944' Exhibition

Bush House Arcade, London

20JulWarsaw Uprising Exhibition 780x440

On 1 August 1944, the Polish resistance fighting the Nazis launched the Warsaw Uprising — one of the biggest acts of rebellion against Hitler’s rule in occupied Europe. Seeking to exploit Soviet military advances to the east of Warsaw and establish control ahead of the Red Army’s arrival, the Armia Krajowa — ‘Home Army’ — was outnumbered and outgunned, battling German troops for two months, before being forced to surrender, while Moscow’s military paused its offensive. The Nazis killed an estimated 200,000 combatants and civilians, and destroyed the city.

This dramatic story is told in 'Warsaw Calling: Uprising 1944', a free exhibition at King’s College London, to feature personal stories of those involved in this terrible battle — the fighters and the civilians caught up in the conflict. The suffering, the courage and the despair of those involved resonate widely in today’s world with its multiple violent conflicts.

The exhibition also highlights the key role played by London in the uprising. The Polish Government, based there for most of World War Two, and the Polish military headquarters directed the fighting via encrypted radio links with the Warsaw commanders. Secret messages went back and forth daily between Britain and the Polish capital. There was also limited practical support with airdropped supplies from Britain, while the BBC was significant — with the Polish service broadcasts significant, but also subject to censorship and institutional tussles.

The exhibition runs from 20 July to 8 August at The Arcade, Bush House, King’s College London, with a subsequent display at the Polish Cultural and Social Centre (POSK) from 10 August to 30 August.

The Arcade at Bush House is accessible Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM.

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