Tug Hill Woman

off the porch and on the road

Author: THW (page 2 of 5)

A Long Day

October 28, 2016, 19:45 Warsaw time; 7:45 PM NY time.

I did not write yesterday. It was a long and emotional day so the blogging just didn’t get done.

Our main goal for yesterday was to visit the area that was Warsaw’s Jewish ghetto from 1940-1943 and the museums and memorials akin to it. I am sure you must remember what happened there during that time.  If not, you ought to. Look it up. We all need to know about those times.

We spent 8 hours yesterday walking to and through the area, visiting various sites, and going through the Polin museum.  That museum, just opened in 2014, is dedicated to telling the history of Poland’s Jewish population and is built within the area of the former ghetto.

The following pictures include a monument depicting the heroes of the April 19, 1943 ghetto uprising. You’ll also see a large mound with another small monument on it. That is what is left of the bunker in which those heroes held their last stand. They killed themselves rather than allow the Nazis to capture them alive. Their bodies remain entombed in the bunker, now a grassy hill and a place of pilgrimage.

There are pictures too of remnants of the wall. One section, in the back of a modern day parking lot, is not so much preserved as left untouched. A few stubborn strands of barbed wire are still atop it.

There is another picture of a monument at the Umshlagplatz–the transfer place–where people were loaded onto trains and sent to the death camps in the east.  The monument is shaped like a cattle car, and names are engraved on the inside.

I don’t have much commentary other than the above. I find whenever I visit such places, words just don’t come. Later in the trip there will be even more difficult  places we will visit.  But they are places I feel the generations must visit, both to honor those lost and to remind us what we are capable of.

Decree Ordering Formation of the Ghetto

Decree Ordering Formation of the Ghetto

Preserved Remnant of Warsaw Ghetto Wall

Preserved Remnant of Warsaw Ghetto Wall

Remants of the Warsaw Ghetto Wall

Remnant of the Warsaw Ghetto Wall

Ghetto Heroes Monument

Ghetto Heroes Monument

Ghetto Heroes Close-up

Ghetto Heroes Close-up

Ghetto Heroes Bunker and Tomb

Ghetto Heroes Bunker and Tomb

Umschlagplatz Monument Exterior

Umschlagplatz Monument Exterior

Umschalgplatz Monument, Interior

Umschalgplatz Monument, Interior

Polin Museum, Warsaw

Polin Museum, Warsaw

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Old Town Warsaw New Again

October 26, 2016,  20:30 Warsaw Time, 2:30 PM NY Time

In Old Town, Warsaw

Coolish weather here, but no rain today. After a late, leisurely start we were able to cross off a couple of the intended places, but still have Mme. Curie’s home to visit tomorrow.

It has been a day of opposites. In the Warsaw Museum we saw pictures of the city as it appeared before World War II and after. The first, a 700 year old cosmopolitan “Paris of the East,” the latter simply rubble–the city emptied and then bombed to bits as punishment for the occupants daring to rise against Hitler’s occupying force.

We learned that during the post-war years the inhabitants joined together to rebuild the city in just the way it was before the war, gathering from the rubble the same bricks and stones used to build the originals. Buildings here have two building dates inscribed on them–the date of the original construction and then of  re-construction.

Old Town Warsaw

Old Town Warsaw

Holy Cross Church, Warsaw. Resting place of Chopin's heart.

Holy Cross Church, Warsaw. Resting place of Chopin’s heart.

The Royal Castle is one of those re-constructed buildings and, though I’ve been in several castles in Europe, this was by far the most opulent. The pictures below will give you the idea I think.

Throne Room, Royal Castle, Warsaw

Throne Room, Royal Castle, Warsaw

A private dining room, Royal Castle, Warsaw

A private dining room, Royal Castle, Warsaw

King Stanislaw August Poniatowski's Bedroom - Royal Castle, Warsaw

King Stanislaw August Poniatowski’s Bedroom – Royal Castle, Warsaw

Modern Warsaw didn’t stop at simply rebuilding its old self. Today’s Warsaw architecture is almost proudly avant-garde. Its buildings are of curves and glass and light. Will get some of those to add before we leave.

Leave a comment if you’d like by clicking the word comment at the top of the page and until later, happy trails and I hope all is well with you.

Europe 2016

Oct. 26, 2016, 1 AM Warsaw time, 7 PM NY time.

Today is our first fill day in Europe.

No pictures on this first post as the camera is not even unpacked yet. Flights were the best kind – uneventful. Tiring though; we were finally able to lie down in the hotel room at 4PM Tuesday, 30 hours after we left the house on Monday.

Our flight was Syracuse to Newark to Amsterdam to Warsaw. All the airports were easily negotiable and pretty much language-neutral due to ingenious signage. So, don’t be afraid to travel because you think you can’t get through the world’s airports. Think about it, their one purpose is to make it easy for you to get to your plane. They do that very well and you can too.

Today’s plans include:

We’ll fit in a couple of  Polish hospitality stops in there too. And take a few pictures!

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