International School History - European Schools - S6 4 hour option

S6 4hr History Last update - 09 November 2017 Official European School History S6 Syllabus: English, French, German
Optional Theme - 6.4B Culture and Society before 1945 - syllabus


Historical significance

The Warsaw Uprising  (from the 1st of August to the 2nd of October 1944) was organised by the Polish underground army against the German occupation during WW2. A few thousand young people (14-20 year olds) took part in it, either as fighters or as active supporters (nurses, messengers, colporters of underground press). The question explored in this project was the role of young people in the uprising, the driving force that made them stand up against the German occupiers, the values they were fighting for. Even though the uprising was a tremendous failure militarily, it became a symbol of Polish resistance against foreign occupation, also in post-war communist Poland.


The principal method we applied was to interview survivors of the Warsaw Uprising. We found four „uprisers“ which were interviewed in Polish in February in Warsaw. We selected a few minutes from many recordings made in Warsaw and for which we composed a narration. We also used authentic film material, produced during the uprising by the Home Army as well as scenes from a movie focusing on the young people in the uprising. Finally, we selected music related to the atmosphere of the various stages of the uprising.


The interviews with the survivors show that there was an almost unanimous drive of young people to become part of the uprising. Even those who doubted of its success did not hesitate to fight as this was considered the „obligation of any honest Pole.“ None of the interlocutors regretted having taking part in the Uprising, though they had mixed feelings in view of the 200.000 people losing their lives and the total destruction of the city.


A. Interviews with witnesses/participants in the Warsaw uprising (held in Polish language)

1. Mrs Krystyna Starczewska held in Warsaw on 8 February 2016

2. Mrs Aleksandra Markiewicz held in Warsaw   on 10 February 2016

3. Prof. Andrzej Danysz,   held in Warsaw   on 9 February 2016

4. Mr Stanislaw Czajka,  held on in Warsaw    10. February 2016


B. Film material

1. Film material produced by the Home Army during the Warsaw Uprising :  Warsaw Uprising – 87 minutes of truth, available under following link:

2. Documentary produced by German Television ZDF on the basis of the film referred to under 1. : Warschau 44 – die Dokumentation – Polens Trauma und Stolz, available under the link:

3. Movies based on historical event

3a. Warsaw 44 (Miasto), Milosc w czasach akokalipsy (Love in times of apocalypse) directed by Jan Komasa 2014 

2b. Kamiene na Szaniec, Przyjazn, Mlodosc, Wolnosc (friendship, youth, freddom) directed by Robert Glinski,  2014, information under


C. Books

Wlodzimierz Borodziej, Der Warschauer Aufstand, München 2004


D. Music

1) Raphae – On these Walls

2) Hans Zimmer – Dream is Collapsing (Inception Soundtrack)

3) Hans Zimmer – Time

4) Czeslaw Niemen – Mamo nasza mamo

5) Yann Tiersen – Summer 78 (Goodbye, Lenin Soundtrack)

6) Raphae – Flore

7) The Cinematic Orchestra – Arrival of the Birds & Transformation

8) Ludovico Einaudi- Primavera

9) Kai Engel – Floret

10) Kai Engel – Nothing (Bonus Track)

11) Frederic Chopin – Marche Funèbre

12) John Williams – Schindler’s List Theme




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