One Side of Warsaw

The tourist information office of Warsaw proposes various trails you can follow in the Polish capital. Ingrid and I chose the theme of “Warsaw Judaica”, with three trails. Here are our highlights.

The ghetto of Warsaw

When the Germans invaded Poland, they treated the Jews of Warsaw in the same way as in other cities. They put them in a ghetto in October 1940. Traces of that awful event – with or without a memorial – can be found in various places. All you have to is to look around and to look down:

Pawiak

According to Wikipedia,

Pawiak (Polish pronunciation: [ˈpavjak]) was a prison built in 1835 in Warsaw, Poland.

During the January 1863 Uprising, it served as a transfer camp for Poles sentenced by Imperial Russia to deportation to Siberia.

During the World War IIGerman occupation of Poland, it became part of the Warsaw concentration camp. In 1944 it was destroyed by the Germans.

Not a happy place either… In summer 1942, the Germans started deporting Jews from the ghetto to concentration camps. Tens of thousands stayed behind, fighting against the Nazis during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943. Pawiak became the place where the Germans fought back.

All that is left now is a memorial tree and the Museum of Independence (which was closed when we were there).

Umschlagplatz

Or what the Germans called the “transfer site”. It was here that tens of thousands of Jews were deported to the concentration camps. The monument has almost 450 names and a verse from the Bible, commemorating this event.

Monument to the Ghetto Heroes

This monument was unveiled at the 5th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In 1970, Willy Brand, Chancellor of Germany, knelt in front of it, thus asking forgiveness for the crimes of Germany against the (Polish) Jews.

By the way, the big building opposite the monument is the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

The Jewish Cemetery

Here I think the pictures speak for themselves… I only selected a few of them and later this weekend, I will upload all of them on Flickr.

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