Walking around the Three Crosses Square (Plac Trzech Krzyzy) I found in its eastern part the bust signed: "For Rev. Jakub Falkowski (1t75 - 1845), a founder of the Institiute for the Deaf, grateful deaf and their friends." Falkowski was a parish priest of St. Alexander's Church. The name "deaf" instead of hearing- and speech-Impaired is still used to name the institute for historical reasons.
There is an interesting neo-renaissance building of the Institute behind the fence and old trees. It was put up in 1827 - 1830 and designated for the deaf thanks to determination of Falkowski. The priest founded the intitute in 1817 after a year spent in Vienna to learn how to deal with with the deafs. It the oldest school for the deaf in Poland and one of the oldest in Europe. In 1822 the Blessed Tsar Alexander I, Emperor of Russia and King of Poland visited inventive but poor institute located in a few rooms and asked by Falkowski gave large donation which significantly helped to finance the new seat for the institute.
The building was defended by the deaf during Warsaw Uprising, was badly damaged and rebuilt after WWII. Now, state-owned institute runs public primary school and college for the deaf, school for teachers of the deaf, runs English courses, organizes sailing cruises for the deaf etc. and needs much more funds.
There is a statue put on tall post with inscription: "and Poland should last forever", signed Wincenty Witos 1874 - 1945. Witos was a Polish politician and leader of the Polish Peasant party. He was a premier of Poland 3 times as well. Haha, those times, when Poland regained independance in 1918 governments changed even more frequently than after 1989.
He is a controversial person sometimes defended as hero and creator of peasant party, sometimes accused as traitor who agreed cooperate with the Soviets when they "liberated" or rather invided Poland in 1944. Maybe this controversy explains that this monument is skipped in all travel books and never photographed. Just in case of its removal... I took more pictures. Seriously, I don't think Witos was a traitor, more historical research is needed with no emontions but files may be either destroyed or closed in Moscow. We had many monuments to various traitors and casual criminals (already removed) and Poles were tought at school until 1989 that they all had been heroes. So, nothing surprise me any more.
When Witos was arrested and charged for preparing coup d'état and sentenced for 1.5 year imprisoment in 1933 he escaped to Czechoslovakia. He illegally came back to Poland and in the beginning of WWII was arrested by Nazis. He refused to cooperate with the Nazis. Surprisingly he wasn't shot. He survived WWII in Nazi house arrest but soon after he became one of vice-chairmans of the State National Council (Polish: Krajowa Rada Narodowa) - political body formed in the Soviet Union, as part of the formation of a new Communist Polish government. Chief of the Polish communist party Bierut, nominated personally by Stalin, took part in his funeral in Krakow. Thus Witos avoided a fate of majority pre-war Polish politicians who even if luckily survived WWII were either imprisoned, sometimes shot or transferred to Soviet labour camps or couldn't come back to Poland from the West not to be arrested.
There is a sandstone statue of St. John Nepomucen, the most popular national saint of Bohemia (the western and middle thirds of the Czech Republic), at the Three Crosses Square (Plac Trzech Krzyzy) which looks very symilar to that one I've seen on the famous Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech. The Polish inscription on a post says something like this: "Anno domini 1852 when heavy cholera was rife, the faithful people begged the God in this place, Him to be softer with the punishment. And the God of the Heaven looked at His people and took pity on them. And the thanksful people renovated the statue at once".
The statue was put in 1752 by Franciszek Bielinski, the Great Marshal of the Crown (responsible for internal affairs in the Crown of the Polish Kingdom) to commemorate the end of the paving Warsaw streets. I guess, Warsaw citizens would fund a hundred such statues to any wizzard who would repaved all bumpy city streets and add freeways/motorways bypassing Warsaw.
There is a little statue to commemorate the work of the young scouts during the Warsaw Uprising. He stands beyond the old city walls near the north end of Old Town. During the Uprising these young scouts.. some 12, 14, 15 years old... ran messages and supplies back and forth throughout the city to help the men who were fighting the Germans. Many of them died in service to their country. Finally Warsaw is able to erect monuments and museums to tell this story... suppressed for so many years.
It is a train platform, such as were used for transporting Polish people into the depth of th eSoviet Union. The platform is filled with crosses symbolizing the death of hundreds of Poles, transported into Russia during World War II in cattle wagons, driven to the far east and murdered in the Russian camps. Unveiled on September 17th, 1995, on the 56th anniversary of USSR's aggression against Poland.
The Pope John Paul II prayed here on June 11, 1999 for people murdered by Soviets.
Warsaw is a flat city but there is a steep rim (tall as, say 5 -10 floor building, depends on place) running parallel to the left bank of the Vistula River. At the edge of this rim called Skarpa Wislana (the Vistula Rim) in the Rydz-Smigly Park there is an empty square, a viepoint terrace with stairs down and view eastwards down the rim and park alley with the huge moument well seen on the horizon.
It's the Monument to the Glory of Military Engineers (sappers - those who dealt with mines and explosives), erected in Soviet social realistic style in 1975. I was too lazy to go downstairs (and back upstairs) to see it and take pictures, I zoomed in :-). For me and many in 1975 this monument was the example of common falsification of Poland's history carried out by communist authorities by 1989. The inscription from 1975 starts with "The free city of Warsaw..." Hmm... Warsaw became free in 1989... etc. etc.
Anyway, the monument commemorates soldiers of so-called Polish Army in the Soviet Union , in fact part of the Soviet Army strictly under Soviet command and full of Soviet political officers. However its controversial Polish commander general Berling (sentenced for death penalty as a traitor and Soviet spy by Polish military court in 1943) broke Soviet orders in 1944, crossed the Vistula River and tried to help Warsaw Uprising but without any support from the Soviet troops (called commonly sleeping troops) had to withdraw. He was immediatelly released and sent to Moscow for 3 years.
Before WWII there was quite different Monument to Military Engineers which commemorated those of them who died in Polish-Soviet War 1920. It's said that the statue survived WWII but soon after... mysteriously disappered. This monument couldn't be re-stored from political reasons.
This modern structure in shape of a 32-m tall sail or wing was built in 1999. Soon later pope John Paul II prayed by this monument during his visit to Poland (look here). It's the monument to the Polish Underground State and Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa; AK), the dominant resistance movement in occupied Poland in 1939 - 1945. The Home Army with up to 380,000 people including 10,000 officers was one of the largest underground resistance movement during World War II.
I like the design of this monument. There is "kotwica" (anchor) the symbol of the Polish Secret State and the Armia Krajowa (Home Army) and the inscription: "For you, home country - the Home Army" on the sail. On seperate modern structures there are names of AK military and civilian commanders.
When Poland was occupied by Germans and Soviets since September 1939 the Government of the Polish Republic in Exile (in London) was created. It commanded Polish armed forces operating in Poland and abroad during the war. The United States and the United Kingdom withdrew its recognition soon after WWII. Though largely unrecognized and without effective power after the World War II, it remained in existence until the end of Communist rule in Poland in 1990, when it formally passed on its responsibilities to the new government.
The monument is located on the corner of Wiejska and Piekna Street (map here), next to the seat of the Polish parliament and opposite to French Embassy. Walk Piekna futher west to see buildings/residencies housing the embassy of Canada, Switzerland, the United States and others, but better do not take pictures of them. Just in case of any problems tell the security guys that you are from VT, it helps :-).
Warsaw ia a city of numerous large monuments or memorials to various famous people, Polish heroes or historical events. But spart from them there are very many commemorative plaques put on walls of both main and off the beaten streets as well as numerous small monuments, often in shape of large piece of rock with added commemorative plaque. There is usually sad story hidden behind each of these plaques.
Most of these plaques commemorates various soldiers and, even more often the whole milirary units which fought against Nazis in Warsaw Uprising 1944. This one in my first picture put by protestant church of the Holy Trinity pays tribute to soldiers of unit "Bartkiewicz" of the Home Army (Armia Krajowa) which fought in this area in 1944.
In my second picture the writing put on the wall of the Royal Castle says: "For the soldiers of the Home Army who took part in fights and flying the Polish national flag at the Royal Castle in August, 1944".
In the third and fourth picture (2, Mysia St. in downtown, map --> the link below) the inscription says: "On May, 6, 1943 "harcmistrz" (highest scout instruction rank in Poland) Florian Marciniak, the Commander of the Szare Szeregi (Grey Ranks; a codename for the underground Polish Scouting Association during World War II), the co-originator of the Polish Underground State, born on May, 4, 1914 and killed in Gross Rosen (Nazi concentration camp ner the village of Rogoznica, southwestern Poland now) on February, 20, 1944, was arrested.
Down a side-road, east of Orly in north-eastern Poland, we came accross this monument to the soldiers of the Red Army who liberated the area from the Nazis at the close od WWII. An old local man came up to us and declared, "Without the Red Army, none of us would be here today..."
Not far from the corner of Gen. Andersa
and Muranowska St. where very few
tourists get, stands a monument which
was not only impossible but simply unthinkable to have before 1988. It is the monument for the Polish people sent to Siberia during the communist regime, from Sep. 1939.
The crosses point towards Russia and the name of it is: The monument to the fallen and murdered in the east.
The word Russia or Soviet Union is not mentioned but there is not one person in Poland who does not understand the meaning of "east".
Altogether it is estimated that almost 3 million people were sent there, about half of them were never heard of again.
As my father used to say: This hatred they've earned rightfully .
You can get there by tram 2, 6, 18, 35 or bus 157 (to end of Stawki St.), 127, 413,415 and others. Just 7 Min of walking from the Umschlagplac eastbound.
A statue commemorating the achievements of Copernicus can be found along the Royal Way that traditionally stretches from Wilanow Palace (south of the city) to the Royal Castle in the Stare Miasto (Old Town).
The founder of modern astronomy, Copernicus was a sheltered academic and made his observations a century before the invention of the telescope and without help or guidance. He postulated that the earth rotated on its axis once a day, traveled around the sun once a year, and that man's place in the cosmos was peripheral. Obvious today, but it was an utterly radical idea at the time. This man was a great thinker and far ahead of his time and the modern cosmological view - that our galaxy is one of billions in a vast universe - is this man's legacy.
The statue was built in 1830. During WWII the Nazi's placed a bronze plaque falsely insinuating that the great man was in fact of German heritage, which angered the Polish people. In 1942, in a heroic act of courage and civil disobedience, a Boy Scout (Alek Dawidowski) evaded the German guards and removed the vile plaque. In vengeance for this act, the Nazis removed the statue, hid it in Silesia and dynamited a few other surrounding monuments for good measure. Thankfully the original statue was recovered following the war and restored to its rightful place. And Alek Dawidowski has entered Polish folklore as a result of his bravery.
Jozef Pilsudski was a Polish revolutionary, independence fighter and national hero and undoubtedly the dominant figure in Polish history in the first half of the twentieth Century. He was without doubt a major figure in European history. He was a great man who played a major role in Europe's fate but he is largely unknown outside of Poland. Pilsudski is the person who is solely responsible for Poland's semi-resurrection during the years 1918-1939. Before the First World War, Pilsudski organized an army of nearly 10,000 men (the Polish Legions) to fight for the freedom of Poland. Later he is credited with saving Europe from the wrath of Bolshevism at "The Miracle of the Wisla" in 1920.
During the Russo-Polish War of 1920, Pilsudski successfully defended Warsaw against invading Soviet armies. The Russian Bolsheviks crossed the Vistula (Wisla) river near Warsaw on the August 10, 1920. On the August 12 newspapers all over Europe declared the capitulation of Warsaw and Poland. The Reds in Berlin were preparing themselves for the revolution, when Pilsudski launched a daring flank attack, giving the most severe and only defeat to the Red Army in its history to that time. The Red Army in Poland was destroyed and over 100,000 Russian soldiers were captured. The rest of the Red Army fled to Prussia and through Lithuania to Russia. To outcome was that Europe was saved from Russian attack.
This simple statue of Marsalek Pilsudski stands near the entrance of Lazienki Park in Warsaw to commemorate his extraordinary life and achievements.