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Question about the Warsaw ghetto--for historians

Question about the Warsaw ghetto--for historians

Old Sep 14th, 2020, 01:18 PM
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Question about the Warsaw ghetto--for historians

I lived in Germany from 1965 until 1970. I worked for Department of Defense as a teacher at Heidelberg American high school. We teachers all traveled a great deal--on guided tours. I was in Warsaw briefly at some time in the late 60's. I was on a guided tour with a German tour company called DER--which I think meant Deutsches Reisebüro. It seems to me that we saw the remnants of the ghetto, and that it was basically a field of rubble. I don't know how accurate my memory is. The tours were run by a German guy, and he may have skimmed over some of the sights which reflected badly on Germany. I don't know.

I knew very little about Polish history at the time. I have visited Poland twice in recent years, once as part of a visit to several countries of eastern Europe--Helsinki, Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland, and then last year I spent a month in Poland, visiting various cities--Gdansk, Krakow, Warsaw, Wroclaw, and Zakopane. The former ghetto is now totally rebuilt of course, and I wonder if anyone knows when it was rebuilt. Was it before 1965? or after 1965?
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Old Sep 14th, 2020, 04:59 PM
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"Was it before 1965? or after 1965?"

I think well before. I also visited Warsaw in the late 1960s and was told that the reconstruction of the city was completed within 10 years, almost entirely by the Polish people.

I think you'll find this article interesting:

https://culture.pl/en/article/how-wa...-being-rebuilt
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Old Sep 18th, 2020, 08:54 AM
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I'm not sure what you mean as being rebuilt. Of course the entire city was rebuilt after the war as 85 pct of it was destroyed. But that area was not reconstructed as a replica of what it once was, unlike some other sites and areas of Warsaw (like the Old Town Square and Royal Castle, which I think was the last major building to be reconstructed). The entire city was rebuilt basically between 1945 and mid-60s, wasn't it? There were a few buildings that actually were intact after the war in the ghetto area, but today there are mainly a few markers of certain historic locations, and the rest is just new apartment buildings and housing complexes. The POLIN museum is in that area, of course, but it is fairly recent.

Here is an article on that area (Muranow)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muran%C3%B3w

Not sure when you were there, but this is a photo of some housing projects in that area in the 1960s, which were massive
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muran%...ta_lata_60.jpg

Maybe you were just looking at one particular place that was rubble? The entire ghetto was pretty big. I thought those estates were finished in the 1950s. Here is a quote from Inyourpocket:

<<There are also numerous curious historical architectural marvels in these districts like the socialist realist housing estates that were built on the rubble of the jewish ghetto. Designed by Bohdan Lachert the estates sprang up between 1948 and 1956, constructed using smashed rubble that was hastily glued together – if you notice any cracks in the walls, that’s the reason. Any broken bricks deemed too unsuitable for this purpose were simply left heaped together, hence the preponderance of overgrown artificial rises. The crowning piece of the residential development was and is Kino Muranów, in business since 1951.>>
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Old Sep 20th, 2020, 05:57 PM
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Pegontheroad, I can’t answer your question but found it interesting that you were a teacher at the American High School in Heidelberg. My daughter attended school there but much later in the mid 80’s. She still has fond memories of Heidelberg High. They held their senior prom in Heidelberg Castle, and I always thought that seemed pretty perfect compared to mine in the high school gym.
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Old Sep 21st, 2020, 09:53 AM
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Teaching at Heidelberg H.S. was a great experience for me. The kids were smart, well-behaved, and funny. Yes, my students held their prom at the castle, too.

I left Heidelberg because of what was going on in the States. There were riots, assassinations, demonstrations, etc. We teachers were all young-ish. We traveled, we skiied, we partied. I decided this was not real life, and that I should go back to the States and be a real American. I did go back and I attended Gonzaga, where I earned a master's in English literature. So I'm glad I did that, but when I returned to teaching (in California), I discovered what American students were really like--at least in Orangevale, California, I regretted leaving those great kids at Heidelberg.

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Old Sep 21st, 2020, 11:50 AM
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Yes, we loved living in Germany. It sounds like life there for you was what very young person wants to experience. We had spent 3 years in Australia previously and our kids were in private schools. I remember my daughter’s first day experience at Heidelberg. The bell had rung to dismiss class and all the students were leaving. Our daughter having spent 3 years in a private school remained in her seat ( momentarily) waiting for the teacher to dismiss the class. Both our children ( son was in middle school ) had the opportunity for school ski trips in the Alps. I know many parents in the US were appalled at the idea of their children being educated outside the U. S. Although there were minor problems, it was an incredible experience for both of them. There is so much more to learn than just what takes place in a classroom.

Your experience is one I would’ve loved to have had.
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Old Sep 21st, 2020, 02:14 PM
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Peg: Did you teach at Casa?? My goodness. (having read some of your threads . . . nope, Orangevale definitely would not have been a good fit )
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