Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Warsaw Uprising

Dec 15 2020 - Dec 15 2020

Hozjusza 2

  • Dec 15 2020 - Dec 15 2020


Varsovians typically associate St. Stanisław Kostka church in Żoliborz with more recent events. It held monthly services in the intention of their homeland – led by Jerzy Popiełuszko, among others – which quickly turned into patriotic, anti-communist demonstrations. These events attracted thousands of devoted Catholics from different parts of the country. The NSZZ “Solidarity” banner for the Warsaw Foundry was blessed here, and in 1983, funeral rites were held for Grzegorz Przemyk, a high-school graduate beaten to death by the militia. On the 3rd of November 1984, crowds of people gathered to bid farewell to Jerzy Popiełuszko at his funeral in the church of St. Stanisław Kostka.

The construction of the temple according to a project by Łukasz Wolski started in 1930. In September 1939, the recently completed building was damaged by artillery fire and air raids during the Siege of Warsaw.

In the midst of the chaos of the Warsaw Uprising, the church, like many others, was converted into a field hospital. According to the report of 2nd Lieutenant Henryk “Grzymała” Rosik, the temple was occupied by almost 600 people at some point. New soldiers took their oath here and were sworn in to the insurgent forces.

For a while, the temple played an important strategic role for the insurgency as a weapon arsenal. It was mainly for this reason that heavy fighting took place in the area, which led to further damage to the structure of the church, especially its façade.

The repair work began in the 1940s. One of the first objectives was to restore the building to its previous, pre-war condition. This included the repair of bullet-holes caused by the armed conflict. Only the holes in the fence surrounding the church remain untouched.

Inside the temple and in its immediate surroundings we can find many reminders of the battles that took place here and of the people who participated in them. Several votive tablets dedicated to the soldiers and leaders of the Warsaw Uprising are embedded inside the church, and a memorial wall commemorating the martyrdom of Polish citizens is located outside. In front of it stands a statue of the youngest participants of the insurgency. The sculpture, which shows two boys leaning on each other in uniforms, has been designed by Jadwiga “Jadźka” Zboińska-Załuska, who experienced the events of 1944 first-hand.


Kardynała Stanisława Hozjusza 2

key figures

2nd Lieutenant Henryk Rosik, „Grzymała”, Corporal Andrzej Wiczyński „Antek”

wartime fate

In September 1939 the church was damaged by air bombs. During the uprising there was a field hospital and an arms warehouse.

modern-day fate

The church survived the war. Since October 1980, masses for the homeland have been held here every month – led by Jerzy Popiełuszko, among others –

„As a result, the armored train started firing from Gdański Station towards the church known today as Stanislaw Kostka’s. That’s because the entrance to Słowackiego Street was hidden behind the edifice. Germans did what they could to demolish the church but to no avail, the shells kind of passed through it. The building still stands after the war.”
Zbigniew Janusz Stalewskicivilian

„I don’t remember who was helping me carry that person who’d lost half of his skull – a nasty wound. It was on Hozjusza Street. We’re passing by St. Kostka’s, hauling the injured – not sure where to – when a priest approaches us with sacramental bread and jams it into that mush, into his unbleeding, split skull. I had dreams of that scene.”
Maria Radomska „Wacka”corpswoman, Sub-district II of Żoliborz – „Obwód II Żywiciel”

„During the Uprising I’ve lost… six boys, I think. A couple of them died soon after the war, some of them during the fighting. I say “my boys” because that is how I remember them – they’re older men now, and I’m pretty old myself. We still meet once a year on the 30th of September, the anniversary of our capitulation, for mass in the church of St. Stanisław Kostka in Żoliborz. Afterwards, we go together to our insurrectionist society, which in the past was located in Żoliborski Club.”
Andrzej Wiczyński „Antek”Corporal, Sub-district II of Żoliborz – „Obwód II Żywiciel”, commander of the 22nd Grey Ranks Platoon

memory collection

The building


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