Poland's capital came to a standstill Wednesday as the country marked the 63rd anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising - an ill-fated revolt against Nazi Germany.

Warsaw residents stood silently and sirens wailed at 5 p.m. local time, the exact hour when Polish fighters rose up against the city's Nazi occupiers on August 1, 1944.

Nazi forces crushed the 63-day rebellion, killing at least 200,000 Poles, mostly civilians. About 20,000 Nazi troops also were killed.

The Nazis later expelled Warsaw's surviving residents and systematically razed the city.

The uprising also was aimed at underscoring Polish sovereignty and preventing a takeover of Warsaw by Soviet troops, who had reached the city's edge. The Soviet Red Army stood by during the failed rebellion, infuriating many Poles and others.

Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said Wednesday the Warsaw Uprising is one of the greatest events in Poland's history. He says the country would be weaker today if it had not happened.