Warsaw layers

I often encounter the intrusion of the tragedies of WW2 into the present as I walk around Warsaw. In a glass case near the tramstop at Rakowiecka is a tattered list (the original one posted by the Nazis?) of 100 people slated for execution. The glass reflects the oblivious busyness of 2016 Warsaw: the red and yellow tram; the mountain of cauliflower clouds; a car driving by; the edge of a building. This image captures that duality of past and present in a visible palimpsest.

The nearby memorial reads “A place sanctified by the blood of Poles killed for the freedom of their homeland. Shot by Nazis: 100 Poles.” The little plaque on the side reads “If we forget them, may God in heaven forget us.”

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About morselsandscraps

A retired Australian who spends a lot of time in Warsaw, and blogs as a way of life.
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13 Responses to Warsaw layers

  1. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Your photo is sad, reflections of ordinary life going on, despite or because of those lost lives. i wonder how WW2 is discussed in Polish schools.

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    • That’s a very good question. I’ll probably need to wait to interrogate the twins. Marcin was educated under communism, which would’ve made it a different story. What about in English schools? I suspect there’s still a bit of glorious war and our heroes stuff in Australian schools, although I’m sure the curriculum is a bit more measured.

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  2. restlessjo says:

    They are fiercely aware of their past, aren’t they? Certainly the older generation. Maybe not so much with young people? It’s a changing world and they are running to get ahead in the race. I know some very charming young Poles. They have much more drive than many of the equivalent youngsters in this country. One of our many problems in this ongoing ‘debate’ of ours. Still, very shocking to come upon at a bus stop, Meg. It can’t be ‘original’ as such, but is obviously making a statement. I’m about to start on my Schindler post and it sets the tone nicely 😦
    Incidentally, a lovely young lady called Sam, at Two Black Doggies, is interested to ‘meet’ you on the blog. She’s Australian too. I gave her your link this morning. Have you already been ambling? A little desultory packing and a few cuddles with twins? Give them a hug from me. (maybe not Maja- she wouldn’t like it! You can have hers 🙂 ) Travel with me in your pocket.

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    • I wonder whether it mightn’t be the original document? I know a lot of the ghetto documentation was archived and survived and there are memorials like this everywhere – at least six between home and preschool.

      I’m looking forward to your Schindler post: have you seen the movie?

      This morning? 10-12 catering. Then a doze, and after that a pack. I’m getting slick at this four days away pack. Now to collect the twins and go to visit some baby coots. You know precisely Maja’s views about hugs, and I’m happy to take hers.

      I’ll look forward to connecting with Two Black Doggies. Go well into the rest of the week – and well- hugged.

      I’ve left the “young people today” discussion for another time!

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  3. Yes, I agree, a sad reminder of a dreadful past and wickedness in people which just never seems to end. I have walked and travelled quite widely in France and dotted around the countryside, in lonely places, I have seen memorials to Resistance Fighters shot in WWII. I am completely in awe of those people who had the courage to resist, knowing the likely consequences.

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    • Absolutely. I have no doubt I’d have been a coward. In Australia, we have war memorials in every town. There are an increasing number of reminders of the awful things done to indigenous Australians: many of them in place names that pass you by unless you’re tuned in.

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  4. Sue says:

    A most sobering reminder of the past, Meg. A very effective image of past and present in that first shot

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  5. pommepal says:

    An interesting way to combine the past and present. Hopefully those terrible times are never repeated

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  6. findingnyc says:

    What a sad reminder, but a powerful one. It’s so interesting how Poles have woven the past and present together, and I thank you for bringing it to us through your blog.

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