THERE’S MORE LIKE THIS ON OUR NEW SITE – POLANDIAN.COM
I’m not sure there is any easy way to slip smoothly from Lech Wałęnsa to the ghetto, although I’m sure there’s a link somewhere. Anyway, Lech is just below if you want to keep arguing about it discussing it. :)
Welcome back to our tour of what’s left to see of the Warsaw ghetto. The hunt continues!
For reference purposes we’ll start with a map of the ghetto, two in fact:
The second map will blow up to a much larger size when you click it, the first one will be larger but not as big as the second.
There are some subtle differences between these maps, primarily that the second map shows two ‘extensions’ to the ghetto not shown on the other one. One extension is to the right of ‘B’ (taking in my in-law’s apartment!), the other is to the left of where the footbridge was (along ul. Chłodna). This second extension makes a much bigger connection between the large and small ghettos and makes the idea of running trams down the street more difficult. I cannot comment on the authenticity of these maps, nor on why they have slight differences. Presumably the ghetto did change shape as it evolved and then shrank as people were shipped out.
One of the photographic images of the ghetto that has stayed in my mind is the one of prisoners crossing a footbridge to get from the big ghetto to the small one (big on right, small on left)
The location of the footbridge is clearly marked on the top map. The photo below is taken from ul. Chłodna and looking towards where that footbridge used to stand. I have marked the location of the bridge on the photo in black.
The white building to the right is Chłodna 20 and is most likely an original building. It used to be the home of Adam Czerniaków. It is very likely that the old photo of the footbridge was taken from one of the balconies of this house and I’ve tried to show how in the photo below:
Finally, here’s a shot looking the other way, down Chłodna in the direction of what is now Jana Pawła II but is called Mirowski Square in the top map. Chłodna 20 is now on the left and on the right is ul. Waliców, which is where we go next.
On ul. Waliców is a section of old ghetto wall. As best I can tell, the photo below is the view you would have had when standing inside the ghetto somewhere inside the rectangular projection that sticks downwards between “Zelazna” and “Twarda” in the top map, just to the left of what looks like a little courtyard area that was kept out of the ghetto for some reason.
There is a plaque on the wall that reads, slightly confusingly – “In this place in the years 1940 – 1942, Waliców street was divided by the ghetto wall.”.
This end of ul. Waliców has a very ramshackled look and is obviously, very slowly indeed, being turned into a sort-of-trendy “old ghetto” area. It’s not there yet though, as can be seen from this tenement house, directly opposite the wall segment, that obviously once stood inside the rectangle of ghetto I referred to earlier:
And here the beginnings of Waliców’s “Covent Garden” style trendyness;
There is actually a much better “Covent Garden” style area at a more advanced stage on ul. Próżna. This street was just inside the ghetto and can be seen on the big (lower) map to the right of the lowermost synagogue. Photos of this area are below: