Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chaim's Trip to Poland

Sorry about the delay in my posting this to the blog. Batya

Here's Chaim's report, and following are some photos:

Date: Saturday, August 15, 2009, 3:39 PM

I sent the letter below last Wednesday. It was not delivered to the list because it was too heavy, probably because I attached too many pictures. This I'm only attaching one picture. If anyone wants more of the area please write and I will send them

I returned yesterday from a most interesting visit to Poland . It wasn't my first. There is one place I visited that may be of interest to the Betar list. My hotel was on 2 Muranowska Street . I remembered the book by Chaim Lazar Muranowska 7 (Metzada shel Varsha in Hebrew) and immediately set out to find the "building". Some reading this letter may not know that nearly 90% of Warsaw and just about the entire area of the ghetto were destroyed during the german invasion in 1939, the Ghetto uprising in 1943 and the Warsaw Uprising in Aug 1944. The city has been rebuilt but the streets are not exactly where they were during WWII. I realized that I wouldn't see the original building but wanted to see the place nevertheless.

I saw the plaque which is placed on Muranowska 1. This plaque is no doubt the result of the efforts of Moshe Arens - a great historic wrong is beginning to be corrected. The plaque speaks of the two flags flown over the building, as is the name of Arens's book. Interestingly it is on the corner of Anders St . Betarim will recall that Menachem Begin came to Israel as a member of the Anders army. Obviously this was not the name of the street before WWII (nor during the communist era). Apparently the current building is about the same height as the original buildings but the surrounding buildings were not nearly as tall as they are today. It is easy to understand how the flags were seen in much o the ghetto

The tour of Warsaw for my group began at the plaque. I asked two guides who guided us whether groups visit the site and whether they hear the story Pawel Frenkel and the ZZW. One guide told me that there are groups that come to the site because nearby is a memorial to the Polish victims, Jewish and Christian, of the Soviet oppression and the expulsion of thousands to the labor camps of the USSR (attached is also a picture of this monument). The other guide told me that very few groups come to this place and that not many guides actually know about this. I wondered whether my group saw this only because we happened to be at a hotel across the street. I didn't get a straight answer.

Muranoska Street is a bit off the beaten track but really not by much. An effort must be made that all Jewish groups, whether from Israel or around the world who come to Warsaw on the March of the Living or other frameworks visit this place and learn the story of ZZW - at least in Warsaw if not in the schools. There is a commemorative plaque for Pawel Frenkel elsewhere in Warsaw . It's been there for more than a decade in the area between the Umsclagplatz and the memorial to the Ghetto (the original Rapaport memorial, a copy of which is in Yad Vashem)

I understand that there is also a plaque (or one being prepared) in the place where Frenkel was actually killed. It is in front of 11 Grzybowski St (I am not sure of the spelling). I didn't have the time to go there

Chaim Fischgrund

1 comment:

YMedad said...

Great post. Showed it to Moshe Fuksman who was there in Warsaw last year at the affixing of the plaque. As for visiting and being on tour itineraries, maybe you have a map of Warsaw that could be scanned and we could make a special direction scan and pass it out. I know someone connected with Gesher tours who do a lot of business there.

And maybe those pictures could be better scanned so that when clikced on they enlarge enough to be read?