Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Warsaw Uprising

Dec 16 2020 - Dec 16 2020

Solidarności 58

  • Dec 16 2020 - Dec 16 2020


The building known as the Mortgage House (Gmach Hipoteki) witnessed every major battle in and around Old City. This includes a dramatic attempt “Radosław” and “Sosna” units made to break out of Old City and reach Śródmieście. The building was erected according to Henryk J. Gay’s and Mikołaj Możdzeński’s project. Adorned with reliefs created by Zygmunt Otto, this monumental building still bears the signs of the struggles that took place here in the last days of August and beginning of September 1944.

Three weeks after the Warsaw Uprising began, the situation of insurgent forces fighting for Old Town, a district cut off from the rest of the city by German troops, became dire. Constant air raids stripped the remaining population of shelter, forcing people to flock to the increasingly overpopulated cellars. Insurgent troops, decimated and fighting for survival, were being pushed back further and further into Old City. They held out, waiting for outside support, which never came.

On 28th of August 1944, the commanding officer of “Połnoc” Group Colonel Karol “Wachnowski” Ziemski decided it is necessary to lead as many soldiers as possible out of the Old Town area. His plan proved impossible to realize.

The operation was supposed to begin on the night of August 30/31. The operation was supposed to begin on the night of August 30/31. A squad under Jan “Radosław” Mazurkiewicz, who had to be replaced due to injuries by Major Jan Andrzejewski, was to move out from the vicinity of the Mortage House and Polish Bank building. Because of a great deal of confusion and panic that struck the civilian populace, a group of soldiers under Major “Sosna” regrettably failed to reach their position on the right column of the insurgent force.

It took three hours more than expected for the first and second company (respectively “Maciek” and “Rudy”) of “Zośka” Battalion to move out. Second Lieutenant Andrzej “Morro” Romocki, a subordinate of Jan “Rudy” Bytnar and Tadeusz “Zośka” Zawadzki in the underground movement, commanded the second company. Soldiers under Cpt Eugeniusz “Trzaska” Konopacki advanced with him. They reached Bielańska Street but were quickly pushed back to their original positions. In the early hours of the morning, “Radosław” informed “Wachnowski” that the assault collapsed, leaving many injured or dead. After he refused to pass on an order to resume the attack, the operation was called off. A hundred soldiers fell during this failed attempt at reaching Śródmieście, including many commanding officers (among others, Major Jan Andrzejewski).


Solidarności 58

key figures

Jan Mazurkiewicz “Radosław”, Major Jan Andrzejewski “Jan”

date of event

30/31 August 1944 – one of the insurgents’ attempts to break through from the Old Town to Srodmiescie took place in the immediate vicinity.

wartime fate

The building was located in the heart of the insurgent fighting for the Old Town. It was repeatedly fired upon and bombed.

modern-day fate

Currently the District Court for Warsaw Mokotów is located here.

„And later, I’m pretty sure – I don’t remember everything clearly – they sent me to the Mortgage House. The building was being shot at from the Helskie Wybrzeże Street. That famous “szafa“ or “krowa” [insurgent nicknames for the German Nebelwerfer rocket launcher] stood there. A firefight broke out. […] That place holds a lot of bad memories. The Mortgage House was terrifying. The things that happened there…”
Halina Iwona “Iwonka” Sobczakliaison officer, Sub-district I of Śródmieście

„The Stukas really did a number on the Old Town. It was the same with the Arsenal area and the Mortgage building – both these places came under heavy bombardment. And Simons passage too… The Stukas had a field day. The insurgency didn’t have any anti-aircraft weaponry.”
Mirosław Pastwaliaison officer

memory collection

The building


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