The purpose of the Memorial Room is to promote and uphold the memory of the Warsaw Uprising. Our activity is addressed primarily to the students of our University, but also to anyone wishing to learn about the Uprising and talk to its participants. The project is also aimed at boosting the interest in the events of 1944 among young people and at encouraging them to visit the Memorial Room.
History of the "Baszta" Regiment and Ryszard Łazarski's participation in the Warsaw Uprising
The origins of the Home Army "Baszta" grouping date back to November 1939, when an underground unit was established among scouts in Żoliborz by Scout Leader Ludwik Berger. Soon, together with other Home Army units, the growing battalion was transformed into the "Baszta" regiment. Its main task was to obtain weapons and other military equipment to be used in military actions. In early 1942, "Baszta" was included in the structures of the Home Army. Its numbers swelled to around 1,500 soldiers, divided into five companies. Given the risk of discovery, a decision was made to change the regiment's name to battalion "Tatry". In the summer of 1943, the grouping was transformed into an infantry regiment comprising three battalions: "Bałtyk", "Odra" and "Karpaty" as well as auxiliary units. In case of an uprising, the regiment's operating area encompassed Upper Mokotów district from Narbutta street to the Horse Racing Track.
On 1 August 1944, the day the Warsaw Uprising began, the regiment numbered 2,200 people. Among them was the 18-year-old Ryszard Łazarski who, in years to come, was to become the Founder of Lazarski University. As soldier of B2 "Wisła", a company of the "Bałtyk" battalion, led by Eugeniusz Landenberger, Łazarski took part in a daring attack on the Handicrafts School in Narbutta street that was defended by around 400 SS soldiers. Given the overwhelming defence arsenal of the Nazis (heavy machine guns, anti-aircraft guns and tanks), the insurgents suffered heavy losses.
The next goal of Ryszard Łazarski's unit was to storme the school building in Woronicza street. The mission proved to be a success; the insurgents managed to take prisoners and acquire their weapons and equipment.
The operations in the Mokotów district lasted until 26 September. Despite great sacrifices in battle, the regiment was forced to surrender. Some of the insurgents managed to get to safer areas of the city; the rest were taken captive by Nazi Germans. Despite their promises to abide by the provisions of the Geneva Convention, the Nazis had 120 insurgents executed by a firing squad. A huge group of Poles was then transferred to concentration camps; Ryszard Łazarski was among them. He was transported first to Germany and later to Sweden. It was only after the war that he came back to Poland.
For the achievements during the Warsaw Uprising, the "Baszta" regiment was awarded the Silver Cross of the War Order of Virtuti Militari.
As member of the regiment, Ryszard Łazarski was also awarded various distinctions: Warsaw Cross of the Uprising, Partisan Cross, Home Army Cross, and Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.