Will we find the Bund Archive hidden in 1943?

After the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising the area of the battle was leveled to the ground….  In 1945 the former Ghetto was literally the ocean of rubbles estimated for 3 million cubic meters capacity. The new residential district was built on top of them after the war…. the basements of demolished houses as well as the sewers and underground shelters usually were not searched… How many mysteries and secrets are hidden underground?

Marek Edelman, the commander of military Jewish underground – Jewish Fighting Organisation (Polish: Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa – ZOB) and BUND member, who died in 2009 – personally dug the the party’s documents in the cellar of the building at 40 Swietojerska Street, shortly before the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The building was standing next to the “Brush Workshop” area where he fought as the commander of ZOB units from April 19, 1943 (Warsaw Ghetto Uprising).

Due to almost total destruction, this area was aligned and changed after the war – the fighting area is now the property of the Chinese Embassy with beautiful Chinese Garden, former 40 Swietojerska Street house would now be located in expanded Krasinski Gardens…. one of the historic public parks in Warsaw…  The building foundations and basement walls still remain deep in the soil.

As the park has been recently revitalizing an idea to search for the Bund Archives was born. The documents have not been found so far but the cellars of the former building at 40 Swietojerska Street were excavated and revealed other secrets…. human remains found in the basements, a dried loaf of bread and a pot with grain were fairly uncommon discoveries. Two dozen objects recovered from the tenement site, still dusty with soil or rusted before conservation were displayed for the press conference in January 2014: a vacuum tube radio for receiving illegal wartime broadcasts, a child’s cup with colorful figures, a massive iron fitting that may have twisted in the building’s collapse and many others.

The works are to be continued….

What was found underground:

source of all photographs > TheMuseum of Warsaw > http://muzeumwarszawy.pl/poszukiwania-archiwum-bundu/





The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – 69th anniversary

April 19, 1943 – Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Please spare a minute to think of those who fell and of those who survived to give their testimonies of the Nazi crimes…
On April 19, 1943, the Germans under the command of SS General Juergen Stroop, began the final destruction of the ghetto and the deportation of the remaining Jews. The ghetto population, however, does not report for deportations. Instead, the ghetto fighting organizations have barricaded themselves inside buildings and bunkers, ready to resist the Germans. After three days, German forces begin burning the ghetto, building by building, to force Jews out of the hiding places. Resistance continues for weeks as the Germans reduce the ghetto to rubble. General Stroop reports after the destruction of the ghetto that 56,065 Jews have been captured; of those 7,000 deported to the Treblinka extermination camp, and the remainder sent to forced-labor camps and the Majdanek camp. Some of the resistance fighters succeed in escaping from the ghetto and join partisan groups in the forests around Warsaw.

Evangelical Reformed Church

The church is rarely visited by tourists, although it is surely worth attention. Not very many historic buildings in Warsaw survived WW2 destruction, this church is a unique example of modern architecture of industrial era of 19th century which used new technologies of construction and modern materials.

The Warsaw Reformed Protestants registered their congregation on the juridical ground of Leszno, in 1776.  The next year, the modest new church was consecrated (today it houses the Warsaw Chamber Opera, located behind the current church). The construction of the church, as seen today, began on 30th October, 1866. The building had been designed in the neo-gothic style – with the use of cast-iron, a very popular building material at the time – by Adolf Loewe, a renowned Warsaw architect and a member of the congregation. On account of the enormous costs of the enterprise, the whole building process lasted 14 years.

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The active development of congregational life was interrupted and repressed by the outbreak of World War II. The time of German occupation was the most turbulent and the hardest in the history of the Warsaw Reformed congregation and its city. Many parish members were actively involved in the September campaign of 1939 and, later, in the resistance and conspiracy movement

The Jewish Ghetto was established in the direct neighbourhood of the parish buildings, surrounding the buildings in a kind of walled enclave. This made it possible for our parish members and pastors to help ghetto inhabitants on the so called Arian side, for example: to provide them with false documents and personal papers issued by the parish office.

The parish buildings on Leszno Street (today Solidarity Av.), the two church attachments and the presbytery with the centrally placed wooden preaching pulpit (never reconstructed again) were burnt down. However, the rest of the church survived, together with the church tower – at that time the tallest in the city – but marked with gun shots and prepared by the Nazi soldiers to be blown up.

2012 – The year of Janusz Korczak in Poland

Janusz Korczak and the children in front of Orphans Building in Warsaw at 92 Krochmalna street (before 1939)

“When a child laughs, the whole world laughs” (Janusz Korczak)

Polish Parliament decided that year 2012 is dedicated to Janusz Korczak, Polish-Jewish writer, thinker and the great leader in the fight for children’s rights and innovative pedagogics.

Janusz Korczak real name was Henryk Goldszmit. He is remembered today primarily for his contributions to education as a great authority when it came to custodial pedagogy, yet he was an accomplished writer as well, taking on a range of literary forms to pursue varied social topics, from medicine and pedagogy to hygiene, politics and interpersonal relationships.

This year Poland commemorates two separate dates in Janusz Korczak’s life, the 70th anniversary of his death at the Treblinka extermination camp during the war (1942) and the 100th anniversary of his founding the House of Orphans in Krochmalna street in Warsaw (currently Jaktorowska street) in 1912.

more information:
1. Janusz Korczak at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janusz_Korczak