Warsaw – Mały Powstaniec (Little Insurrectionist Statue)

This statue has become something of an icon of Warsaw in recent years and is located just outside of the external defensive  wall of the Old Town. The imagery was designed by Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz in 1944, before later being used in this statue.

The monument commemorates those child soldiers who found themselves in the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. The helmet is deliberately over-large, to show the innocence of youth.

The military equipment is German and was used by those in the Polish Home Army after they had seized it from the occupiers as part of the Warsaw Uprising.

The old town wall is visible in the background and the statue is located on the former eighth tower of the perimeter.

The bronze statue was funded by the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association, hence the plaque on the side. Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz, the original artist, allowed the imagery to be used for free, with the Scouts collecting 1 million zloty (around £200,000) from fundraising to pay for it.

The plaque which notes that the statue was unveiled on 1 October 1984 and the guest of honour was Jerzy Świderski (1929-2017) who fought in the Home Army at the age of just 14. Jerzy lost his brother Bohdan Świderski during the Warsaw Uprising, but he survived it and became a Professor of Medical Science. It was unusual for the Soviet authorities at the time to allow this sort of imagery and depiction of the Warsaw Uprising, they’d spent some decades trying to belittle the bravery of the Polish Home Army.