What to see of the Warsaw ghetto today

Discussions on all aspects of Poland during the Second Polish Republic and the Second World War. Hosted by Peter K
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wm
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Re: What to see of the Warsaw ghetto today

Postby wm » 10 Jan 2014 23:42

Chłodna 20, the second floor - the place where Adam Czerniaków, the head of the Warsaw Judenrat lived.
He was a senator of the Polish Republic, a member or the head of numerous political or social organizations, an engineer and prolific writer in diverse fields of technology, a social writer and a poet.

As can been seen below the house lost its top floor but is quite faithfully restored. The apartments there were the most luxurious in the entire district, the rooms were over 3 meters high, there was a lift available.
2.jpg

His apartment in 1942:
ca.gif

Above his apartment there was a clock and the head of the protective spirit of the house.
zegar-2009.jpg

The allegories of the four seasons are visible on the large balcony there.

The famous wooden footbridge between the small and big ghettos, clearly visible from his apartment, was a constant reminder why he was there. One of the allegories above his apartment is partially visible on the right:
most-zdjecie-z-chlodnej-20.jpg
and today:
most-2008-4.jpg

sources of the photos: http://www.digart.pl/praca/617921/Chlodna__20.html, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Film_Unfinished, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kamienica_pod_Zegarem_Ch%C5%82odna_20_Warszawa.JPG, http://chlodna20.wordpress.com/page/2/
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Makarov
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Re: What to see of the Warsaw ghetto today

Postby Makarov » 11 Jan 2014 15:22

Thanks vm, keep posting Pictures like this, I´m enjoying every single one of them :D
Gesiowka camp maybe?

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tom_deba
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Re: What to see of the Warsaw ghetto today

Postby tom_deba » 12 Jan 2014 14:33

See book Barbara Engelking & Jacek Leociak, The Warsaw ghetto : a guide to the perished city, New Haven : Yale University Press, cop. 2009.

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wm
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Re: What to see of the Warsaw ghetto today

Postby wm » 03 May 2014 23:11

The Ghetto gate at the intersection of Żelazna Street and Grzybowska Street in 1940:
1940.jpg


The white wall on in the center and the small elongated building on the left were parts of the Duschik & Scholze Agricultural Machinery Manufacture.
The white building behind the wall is a tenement house, a property of the same Józef Duschik - a Slovak businessman.
The large building behind it is another tenement house - the Ghetto began there.

The place in 1945 and today, the intersection is in the lower right corner, the line shows the Ghetto border.
63.gif


A few years ago, Duschik's house is gone:
brama.jpg


Today even the larger house is no more, both buildings were victims of the former communist rulers ineptness and neglect, but remains of the manufacture survived:
today.jpg
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Re: What to see of the Warsaw ghetto today

Postby wm » 03 May 2014 23:31

The bricks from the buildings have been preserved, and the place will be rebuilt by the developer, although the houses will be mere shells of themselves.
plan.jpg

They say the large cellars beneath are still there, and will be a part of a museum dedicated to the Ghetto - located both above and below the ground.
zelazna-65.jpg


sources: 1, 2, 3, 4.
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Re: What to see of the Warsaw ghetto today

Postby wm » 05 May 2014 17:43

Moms and their babies enjoying the sun:

elektoralna12g.jpg

today:
elektoralna12.jpg

the ground is higher, the lawn of different shape and size, this wide-angle photo doesn't do justice to that place:
elektoralna12c.jpg

but still, that grandiose looking place was in fact a tiny patch of dirt in a densely built-up area. Can you find it there?
theplace.jpg
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Re: What to see of the Warsaw ghetto today

Postby wm » 15 Jun 2014 22:50

The resting place of Blima Joselzon, Okopowa Street:
stone620.jpg

The tenement house on 4 Kopernika Street (on the left):
kopernika4l.jpg

The house looks modern but in fact was built shortly before the WW2 by a Jewish developer. It survived the war, its neighborhood more or less looks as then too.

Jürgen Stroop wrote this in his report:
The managers of these enterprises [inside the Warsaw Ghetto], which were generally also supervised by an officer of the Armed Forces, could in most cases make no specific statements on their stocks and the whereabouts of these stocks. The statements which they made on the number of Jews employed by them were in every case incorrect. Over and over again we discovered that these labyrinths of edifices belonging to the armament concerns as residential blocks, contained rich Jews who had succeeded in finding accommodations for themselves and their families under the name of "armament workers" and were leading marvelous lives there.

One of those enterprises was the Fritz Schulz Company, and one of those rich Jews was Leon Joselzon - from a well known and wealthy family, a graduate of the University of Warsaw. Before the war his importing company specialized in sewing machines, among others in the advanced products of the Italian Necchi Company.
His professional knowledge and managerial skills were indispensable for the proper operation of the Schulz Company, he was even allowed to leave the Ghetto on his own.

Fritz Schulz was a white-collar thief, without compunction robbing and fleecing his country. Leon Joselzon and his small gang of Poles on the other side of the wall were too, after all that country wasn't theirs. For them life was good as they all made fortunes on the black market, and were swimming in diamonds, gold coins, furs.
Fritz Schulz was an honorable man, he knew but never said anything.

Jürgen Stroop put the end to that, but Joselzon had anticipated the new danger in advance. In 1941, when everyone still naively believed in a happy ending, he had a meeting with a friend of his friend - Julian Ambroziewicz, an architect, who with his team of construction workers repaired damaged by the war buildings.
Incidentally in many of those buildings they created hidden safe places for weapons caches, because in his other life he was a captain, and the team was the 1671 platoon of the underground AK.
With Joselzon's money they built four dual purpose hideouts - for Jews and for weapons.

The first had to be abandon because Joselzon carelessly revealed his presence there, the second because German soldiers' girlfriends rented a flat on the same floor.
The third was on 4 Kopernik Street, on the top flour. The building wasn't quite finished yet, it lacked a stairway. It wasn't easy to get up there without killing himself - a minor inconvenience and a good safety measure.

There, behind a wardrobe and a false wall, in a room just a little larger than a full size double bed, in darkness they survived over a year: Joselzon, his wife, his mother, and the AK's guns and grenades.
His mother, Blima Joselzon was suffering from terminal cancer, after she had died her body stayed with them for days - they were afraid to come out. Then his friend Ambroziewicz came and took away her in a box marked "merchandise".

After the Warsaw Uprising they were sent, as most of the population of Warsaw to work in Germany. They escaped from the train and found a shelter in a family of poor, deeply religious Polish peasants despite being both Jews and "rebels" from Warsaw.
After the war they returned to the same house in Warsaw, to the same flat. The hideout and weapons were still there, and the building was still without a stairway - a minor inconvenience in a razed to the ground city.

Then as in any good story, he emigrated to the US with six dollars in his pocket and became a millionaire. It was all over again, his professional knowledge and managerial skills, an importing company, and the advanced Necchi sewing machines. A Jew from Warsaw armed with good Italian products had no problem showing those primitive American Singers their place.

1952 - Mr Joselzon with his wife and daughter in the US:
1952.jpg


With time his hideout became famous. People, tour groups of all sizes were visiting the place constantly. The old woman who lived there endured all that despite being gravely ill. After she had died the new owners weren't so accommodating. The had enough of the noise and the destruction brought by the tourists. They forbade access, the wardrobe ended up on a landfill, the flat was remodeled.

Below Joselzon in his hideout:
Leon-Jolson-w-skrytce-R.jpg

closing the false wall:
Leon-Jolson-w-skrytce-L.jpg

He was a brave man, not that many people would willingly enter their personal hell again.
He died in 2009 at the age of 96. His wife, Anna Kotkowska-Joselzon, died seven years earlier.

Recently a routine inspection was carried out on 4 Kopernika Street and the disappearance of the hideout was revealed. The owners were dragged before a public prosecutor, and indicted on charges of destruction of a cultural artifact of great national significance - a crime punishable by a maximum prison term of 10 years.

Today, only a not quite accurate, commemorative plaque remains:
IN THIS BUILDING
THERE IS
A PURPOSELY-BUILT MASKED HIDEOUT
WHERE
DURING THE OCCUPATION
HUNTED BY HITLERISM
POLISH JEWS
WENT INTO HIDING
MOTHER SON AND DAUGHER-IN-LAW
THE SAVED
COMMEMORATE THE PLACE FOR THE NEXT GENERATIONS
LEON AND ANNA JOSELZON AKA JOLSON


sources of the photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
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Re: What to see of the Warsaw ghetto today

Postby wm » 24 Aug 2014 17:15

One of the easiest escape routes from the Ghetto was through the City Court Complex. It was right on the ghetto border, the security there was light and easily corrupted.
The rule of law more or less still mattered, so both the Jews and the world outside were given access to the buildings.
Both entries of the complex then:
jewish side.jpg
aryan side.jpg

and today:
jewish side 2011.jpg
aryan side 2013.jpg


The buildings survived the war almost unscathed.
In this aerial photo made shortly after the war, the long way to the outside world is shown:
escape route.jpg


At the time of the Gross-Aktion Warsaw the access from the Ghetto was withdrawn, the Jews didn't need courts anymore for anything. Because of that the Ghetto Wall was placed on the opposite side of the street, as can be seen above, and the entire complex was aryanized.
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Re: What to see of the Warsaw ghetto today

Postby wm » 24 Aug 2014 18:29

This is why the route had to be so long, the access from the Aryan side was carved out from the Ghetto territory (the green line is the Wall):
alley.jpg

Leading to the City Court Biała Street was called Extortionists' Alley, as Polish criminals used to congregate there, waiting for their Jewish victims.
Identified, they were followed and robbed of everything of value at the nearest opportunity.

The alley, the wall, and the City Court at the far end. The blackmailers usually waited at this intersection:
Biała Street 1942.jpg

Extortionists' Alley today:
Biała Street today.jpg

Incredibly the Biała Street carve-out was a part of an even greater carving effort:
alley big.jpg


An escape through the complex recreated for the movie The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler:

sources: 1, 2, 3, 4.
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spottedcow
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Re: What to see of the Warsaw ghetto today

Postby spottedcow » 15 Sep 2014 00:06

WM - Excellent posts. Thank you for your efforts, very educational. If you have more, I would certainly appreciate seeing it.
All the best,
Patrick

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Halibutt
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Re: What to see of the Warsaw ghetto today

Postby Halibutt » 11 Jan 2015 20:45

WM, thanks for your posts. Excellent pictures, great maps, even I learned something new today :)
Cheers

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hucks216
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Re: What to see of the Warsaw ghetto today

Postby hucks216 » 13 Jan 2015 22:10

A very interesting thread, thank you. That building at Waliców 14 is just incredible, even just looking at the images it gives off such a sense of eerie tragedy and history, and looks haunting. Looking at it on Google Earth and rotating the street view 180dgrs you can see a lot of shrapnel damage on the lower portion of the building opposite.

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Ibor
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Re: What to see of the Warsaw ghetto today

Postby Ibor » 25 May 2015 07:44

I've got a flat, street Esperanto.
To date during earthworks they are found all kinds of residues .......
How will I in Warsaw is to take a photo.


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