Italy, Aug 2, 2009 (AFP) – Pope Benedict XVI hailed on Sunday the heroism of those who took part in the Warsaw uprising to liberate the Polish capital from Nazi occupation 65 years ago.

Speaking in Polish, the German pope paid tribute to “all Poles” after his weekly Angelus prayer at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo near Rome.

“From the heroism of the those who took part in the uprising and the strength of the nation, was born a free Poland,” he declared.

“The sacrifice of their lives has brought the fruits of peace and prosperity for your nation. God bless Poland and each one of you.”

In Warsaw on Saturday, thousands of Poles, many of them World War II veterans, commemorated the uprising which broke out on August 1 1944 against the Nazi occupation.