The following week of daily posts will be devoted to Global Mom’s recent trip to Poland. The text is minimalist, the images large format. I hope you enjoy the journey and share this collection with your family and friends.
Easter, for many the world over, summons images of death and rebirth. Warsaw does something similar in me. The Polish capital has been destroyed many times, only to rise up again, and again and again.
© Melissa Dalton-Bradford and melissadaltonbradford.wordpress.com, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melissa Dalton-Bradford and melissadaltonbradford.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Old Town Square, Warsaw, a UNESCO Heritage site, showcasing architecture dating to the 13th century, reconstructed after the Nazi’s targeted terror bombings of WWII
A cast iron model of Old Warsaw in the foreground, with the reconstructed royal castle in the background
Warsaw has witnessed several uprisings: The Warsaw Uprising of 1794. . .
The November Uprising. . .
The January Uprising. . .
The Jewish Ghetto Uprising of April 1943. This is a marker embedded in the sidewalk, showing the precise location of the ghetto wall
The monument to the Jewish Ghetto Uprising
The Jewish Ghetto Uprising was led by Mordecai Anielewicz, who, with fellow insurgents, took his own life when the Germans finally quashed their grass roots rebellion.
The Warsaw Uprising led by the Home Army, late summer, 1943
Civilians and soldiers fought side-by-side against the Red Army under direction of the Polish government in exile in London. They were forced to capitulate, and any surviving Poles were sent to POW or extermination camps, and to Siberia
Warsaw, following the Nazi’s “Burn and Destroy” campaign. Between 170,000 and 200,000 civilians were killed, and remaining others were sent to “transit camps”. Over 1,100,000 Jews had already been sent to nearby concentration/extermination camps. . .
The Russian forces overtook when Germany retreated at the end of the war, and began a massive reconstruction campaign amid the ruins. This consisted primarily of “modernizing” the razed city, and erecting Stalinesque buildings like this, the enormous Culture and Science Museum
The old city square and royal road were spared, and rebuilt on the mounds of the ghetto rubble. In some places, as in the foundation of this building, one can see how old buildings were rebuilt right on top of piles of debris
Based on the 18th century canvases of Italian painter Bernardo Bellotto, the old square was meticulously rebuilt, using as many pieces of scrap, paint chips and ornamentation as could be retrieved from the ruins
It was completed to perfection in 1953
Right on the old square, the home of Marie Salomea Sklodowska Curie, 1911 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for her theory of radioactivity
More tomorrow on the beautiful architecture, Easter rituals and people of Warsaw. . .