Reviews of Books

The "First Ally" under siege

Monday 05 April 2004 The New Leader, Richard C. Hottelet
Rising '44

Davies has written a detailed, complex account of the nation’s crucifixion. Somewhat disturbing in his strange practice of referring to almost all Polish figures by their different noms de guerre, nicknames and positions, or in many cases by only the initial of their family name – e.g. “Cardinal Stefan W., Primate of Poland”. Given the length of many Polish names, this may save space, but constantly consulting the index and the appendices hobbles the narrative.

Nevertheless, "Rising ’44" is moving testimony, delivered with passion. It takes its bitter theme from the final declaration of the Home Council of Ministers on the day of Warsaw’ capitulation: “We received no effective support…We have been treated worse than Hitler’s allies in Romania, Italy and Finland… (Our) Rising is going under at a time when our armies abroad are helping to liberate France, Belgium and Holland. We restrain ourselves from passing judgment on this tragedy. But may the God of Justice pronounce a verdict on the terrible wrong which the Polish nation has encountered and may He punish the perpetrators.

Read the whole review in New Leader.