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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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Old Sep 22nd, 2020, 08:50 PM
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Janisj: Yes, I taught for several years at Casa Roble. It was quite an experience! I remember kids taking a couple of weeks off school in the fall to go hunting. Then there was the unforgettable day when one of the boys had a few beers at lunchtime and threw up on the classroom floor afterwards. But there were also some really nice kids there, as there have been at every school at which I've taught.

I also taught at Mesa Verde for several years. It was year-round at the time, and my foster daughter was going to Arlington 77777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777 777777777777777777777777777 (oops! cat just got onto the keyboard (which was also year-round. When she started high school, it was at San Juan, so I transferred there, so that we were on the same schedule.


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Old Sep 22nd, 2020, 09:01 PM
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Historytraveler: I never thought Heidelberg American High School was anything other than an American high school. Most of the teachers were American, and only some of the foreign language teachers were Europeans. Herr Herrling taught Russian, Frau Gerber and Frau Apps taught German. Maybe Frau Apps taught French,too. We did have one Spanish teacher who was American.

Heidelberg H.S. was a very good school. We always had a couple of boys who went to West Point and a couple who went to Harvard or M.I.T.

For a while, I studied Russian after school with Herr Herrling. Two other women and I had this crazy idea of taking the train across Russia to Vladivostock, so we thought we should know some Russian. We finally came to our senses and abandoned the idea.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2020, 09:16 PM
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Peg: I live less than 1.5 miles from both Arlington Heights and San Juan and less than a mile from Mesa Verde (I went to Mira Loma) and my ex was for a time a liaison between the USAF and army at Campbell Barracks (SMALL world )
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Old Sep 24th, 2020, 06:23 PM
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Campbell Barracks! The last time I was there, they wouldn't let me in, as I no longer had an I.D.card. I think I was in Heidelberg for a reunion. There were some foreign soldiers instead of the M.P.'s they used to have when I lived in Heidelberg.

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Old Sep 24th, 2020, 08:57 PM
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Peg, interesting your study of Russian. I had studied Russian for several years before our first move overseas to Australia. I had wanted to take the Trans Siberian Rail across toVladivostok too but finally decided that going by myself would not be a wise thing to do. I did get to Russia on a Maupintour trip in the 80’s and ended up in East Berlin shortly after the wall came down.
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Old Sep 25th, 2020, 09:15 AM
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History traveler: Okay, one more comment about Campbell Barracks. One Thanksgiving, a small group of us were having a get-together at the Mark Twain Village, at the quarters of another teacher, Karen Hannagan. Karen had been in the Philippines for a couple of years and had brought back souvenirs, among them, a large curved Philippino sword. We were just killing time. We had one bottle of --probably wine--for the five of us. So were weren't drunk, or even tipsy. We were just tired and goofy.

One of the five of us was a Lt.Colonel, so we felt secure that we weren't going to get into trouble when we executed our plan, which was to storm the M.P. station across the street at Campbell Barracks. We crossed the street, waving our sword, and "attacked" the M.P. station. The M.P.'s were not alarmed--just bewildered--so we broke off our attack and returned to Karen's place.

The party dragged on. We had eaten all our food and finally decided to break up the party. By that time, it was VERY late--and a serious fog had descended. I drove back to Patrick Henry village, where I lived, but it was so foggy that I couldn't see the side of the road. I finally decided that since it was so late, I probably wouldn't meet another driver. The only thing I could see clearly was the yellow line in the middle of the road, so I drove from the Autobahn into PHV on the yellow line. Through a heavy layer of fog.

Which reminds me of a New Year's Eve party I attended. It was all girls, and we all brought some kind of food. One of the "girls" had a can of plum pudding. So the can was put in the oven to heat it up. Nobody thought to punch a hole in the can. Eventually there was a big explosion in the kitchen, and we ran out to see that the can had exploded (of course!) and the plum pudding was all over the walls and ceiling. As I recall, we cleaned what we could reach, but I think the landlady probably wasn't too pleased.

Last edited by Pegontheroad; Sep 25th, 2020 at 09:17 AM.
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