around the world – part 41.5 (warsaw)

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October 29, 2009 by juniorannex

Few cities can claim worse luck than Warsaw.  Over time the city has been burned by the Swedes, smashed by Russians and then flattened by Germans.  Not surprisingly all that’s left Warsaw looking like it’s gone ten rounds in a boxing ring.”

Hardly inspiring then.

IMG_0067

Palace of Culture - Warsaw, October 2009

 Despite the ubiquitous grey brick buildings and the cold windy streets, there is something appealing about Warsaw though, and I think it is in the spirit of its residents.   They would certainly need it given all they have been through in the last century.

I had no idea, other than a vague understanding, of just how smashed this city was by 1945.   For instance the Jewish Ghetto was so thoroughly destroyed, levelled, that very few traces of its existence may be found today.  The only remaining portion of the wall is found in the courtyard of an apartment building at ul Sienna 55.  No longer than about twenty-five feet, it is one of the few items remaining of the Ghetto.  The area around it was completely transformed after the war, a grid pattern of streets, boulevards, parks, office towers, and of course the mighty Palace of Culture were superimposed over the pre-war streets and alleys. 

 More photos here.

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Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron'scruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. C.S. Lewis

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