Warsaw Uprising, Warsaw
WOW! Warsaw Uprising 1944 Museum is the best set up museum I have ever seen in Poland. It was open in 2004. I've already visited it twice and it's not enough for me :-). Fascinating and very interesting exposition for me for many reasons:
- multimedial way of touching history (computer visual software, movies to watch on small and large screens, stories of witnesses to hear, sounds of uprising and songs of the era heard from loudspeakers, etc. etc.)
- pretty moving design (you have to see that)
- it shows both Nazi and Soviet terror
- the uprising itself which was the most tragic single event of WWII mostly unknown to the world for political reasons as for now but perfectly known (despite not so old ban on that knowledge) to Poles.
The museum reminds me a lot famous Holocast Museum in Washington, DC. Well, this one in Warsaw is smaller in size and not free (but cheap - 4 zl = below 1 euro). It refers to something I'd call "Polish holocaust." Studying various mistakes, their reasons and consequences, the mistakes made by the world leaders during WWII (Stalin, Churchill, Roosvelt) should teach a lot the next leaders and those who vote for them or support them.
Fondest memory: No doubts, Warsaw Uprising Museum belongs to my foundest memories from Warsaw. I will come back there for sure... And it's more than museum, it's an institution - educational and reasearch institute. The museum growths, in March/April 2006 it's closed due to enlargement works.
Favorite thing: In the Krasinski's square, you will the Monument of Warsaw Uprising. This huge monument was built in 45 anniversary of Warsaw Uprising. It was to commemorate the heroic riot against Nazi's occupation. That bloody uprising broke out on 1st August 1944 and lasted 63 days. Since the enemy was much stronger the fight was not equal, consequently 200,000 Polish people died in the battle-field.
Fondest memory: While wandering, we visited the impressive Warsaw Uprising Memorial, a moving tribute to the everyday Poles who fought in the sewers and cellars against the Nazis. In August 1944, the Poles of Warsaw decided to rebel against their Nazi conquerors. The Soviet Army was rapidly approaching from the East and the Poles rightfully understood that if they had to rely on Soviet assistance in liberation, they would only be trading one overlord for another. So the people took to the streets and for two months, they struggled valiantly against the Nazis. Throughout it all, the Red Army sat across the Vistula River. The commanding general asked to assist, but Stalin firmly refused. After 250,000 Poles had been killed, the Uprising ended with the complete and utter destruction of the city street by street by the vindictive Nazi army.
Favorite thing: One of the most wonderful sculptures in the city ..is really nice in a corner of the square on the way to the old town