Pawiak Prison, Warsaw
Built in the 1830s to serve as a Tsarist prison, Pawiak came to the fore during WWII when the Gestapo took it over. During the Nazi occupation it became the largest political prison in Poland and saw over 100,000 inmates pass through its gates. Of this number, over 37,000 were executed within the grounds, while a further 60,000 were transported to extermination camps. Subterranean cells designed to house three people were often crammed with anything up to 18 prisoners. Dynamited during the German retreat, Pawiak has been restored as a memorial to all those who suffered inside, and now houses haunting photo displays, prisoners belongings and reconstructed cells. A mangled tree, preserved after the war, stands outside the gates bedecked with obituary notices dating from 1944.
Warsaw has many horrible remains of WWII. I took the chance to have a look at the haunting Pawiak Prison Museum.
It was built in 1830 as a Tsarist prison. During WWII the Nazi Gestapo took it under their control and made it the largest political prison in Poland with about 100.000 prisoners. A visit is quite impressive and shouldn't be missed.
The Prison Museum is situated in a typically ugly 1950's appartment block area of the Muranow district; just west of the Old Town.
Address: Pawiak Prison Museum, Ulica Dzielna 24/26, Warsaw
There were so many museums to choose from and the nice weather was keeping us outdoors, David picked Pawiak Prison as the one he wanted to stop at. The prison was built in the 1830s as a Tsarist prison but it's role during WWII is the focus of the museum here. During the Nazi occupation of Warsaw it was the largest political prison in Poland with over 100,000 prisoners passing through, 37,000 of which were executed at the prison and another 60,000 transported to extermination camps.
The prison was blown up when the Nazis retreated so you are not actually visiting the prison itself, a new building has display cases that tell the history of the occupation with photos, correspondence and items that belonged to the prisoners. You can also visit reconstructed cells that often held up to 18 prisoners but were designed to house 3 prisoners.
Outside the prison is a metal tree that replaced a tree that was preserved after the war which is covered with obituary notices.
Make sure you get there at least a 1/2 hour before closing, they close the entrance to visitors at precisely that time although I did see a couple sweet talk the museum employee to let them in.
Admission is free, closed Monday and Tuesday
During German occupation Pawiak was the largest German political prison on the territory of occupied Poland. From October 2nd 1939 to August 21st, 1944 approximately 100,000 prisoners (over 10% of the population of Warsaw) were kept here. Out of this number about 37,000 were murdered while the remaining part was transferred to concentration camps and other isolation places in Germany. On average, once or twice a month a transport from Pawiak was sent to concentration camps; every day 20 prisoners (men and women) were killed.
Pawiak was a famous prison in Warsaw built by the tsarist authorities between 1829 and 1835. It was operational until 1939.
After the German invasion of Poland in 1939 it was turned into a German Gestapo prison and then part of the Warsaw concentration camp. Approximately 100000 men and 20000 women passed through the prison. Approximately 37000 of them were shot to death while further 60000 were sent to German death and concentration camps.
The Prison was destroyed by the Germans and a museum has been built on the site. A tree that survived the war now stands at its entrance as a memorial to those who died, bedecked with commemorative plaques and messages.
This building, situated on the corner of
Jan Pawel II and Dzielna St. was a prison way back in the 19th century and fulfilled this purpose until after WW 2.
The majority of its "guests" were political prisoners, from the days of the Russian
Zar and up to the end of the German
Today the basement is all that is left, and it functions as a small museum dedicated
to the Polish struggle for independence.
In front of it still stands a part (fragment) of
the original gates.
Pawiak Prison was built by the Russions from 1830-35 and later became a Polish prison after World War I. It was during World War II, however, that the prison gained its infamous reputation when it was used to imprison Jews and other Poles arrested by the Nazis. Outside the prison is a dead tree covered with obituary notices, a silent witness to the atrocities that occurred here.
Not far from Umschlagplatz, there is the former Pawiak prison. During the Nazi occupation this was the place where the Gestapo tortured Underground fighters and political prisoners. Nowadays it is a museum dedicated to the victims. The dead tree in front of the building is covered with symbolic coffin plates with the names of people who died here