Sober up

Neutral Milk Hotel – Holland, 1945

Though so much of Warsaw has been rebuilt in the last half-century, World War II and its history are still inescapably present. And the old wall of the Jewish Ghetto, no longer standing, is one of the city’s biggest ghosts.

There are a few backyards in Warsaw where pieces of the old wall remain. One was across the street from this building.

There are a few backyards in Warsaw where pieces of the old wall remain. One was across the street from this building.

Under the claustrophobically cloudy skies, I rode my bike around the perimeter of the old Ghetto, an area of about one and a half square miles where nearly half a million Jews were imprisoned behind brick walls.

A painted wall stands where the Bridge Of Sighs once stood, which connected the two parts of the Ghetto.

A painted wall stands where the Bridge Of Sighs once stood, which connected the two parts of the Ghetto.

On an old abandoned apartment building near the edge of the old Ghetto, old photographs of Polish Jews were placed in the hollow windows as part of an art exhibition called “And I Still See Their Faces.” The photographs are all detailed here.

I bought some postcards from a small stand near the Ghetto Heroes Memorial, which commemorates the those who fought in the ill-fated Ghetto Uprising of 1943. The only other people around were a couple of American tourists and some old women talking on a bench, facing the monument. I wondered what their story was, because I think they had to have picked such a somber place for a reason.

Explosions In The Sky – Memorial

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