Hitler really was an asshole

Ok, I know this, you know this, we all know this.

But we’ve been in Warsaw three days now, and his asshole-ness just keeps hitting me like a bag of frozen pierogi to the head.

I should stop being silly, because it really isn’t silly.

The night we got here, we went to the huge KINOPLEX, and saw Polanski’s The Pianist. We tried to see it in Gdansk, but torrential downpours kept us from leaving our room. And it was way more appropriate to see it here.

The movie really made me want to walk around the area of the former Ghetto, but of course, other than a few powerful monuments, there was nothing to see.

Today, in the History of Warsaw Museum, we watched a 20 minute film on the history of Warsaw. The footage and photos, by both Polish and German (Nazi) photographers and filmmakers, were of Warsaw from the 30’s to the late 40’s. Polanski actually used some of the same footage at the beginning of his movie. And I imagine that these same images were also invaluable to the architects and builders who rebuilt the Old Town after the war. It’s amazing what they were able to accomplish given the utter destruction.

Although it did cover the reconstruction and ended on an up note, the 20 minute film concentrated mostly on the razing of the city and the massive loss of life. Both Matt and I felt more like crying after watching this short film than we did after watching The Pianist. “Real” footage will do that to you.

I really wanted the movie to continue, to talk more about what it was like when Warsaw gained its independence on the 17th of January 1945, and when, as our free The Visitor guide book says, “the Soviets intentionally forgot to return home for the next 45 years…”. It seemed that this was not to be part of the coverage, but they did at least mention how the Russian army sat on the other side of the Vistula as the Germans, under Hitler’s order that there will never again be a Warsaw, blew up block by city block.


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