1632Polish Museum Gets WWII Uprising Mail
- Mar 6, 2008Hi All,
I thought there might be some interest in this article in the
Washington Post. You can view it at the following link. I have posted
the entire article below also, just in case the link is not working.
Polish Museum Gets WWII Uprising Mail
By MONIKA SCISLOWSKA
The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 5, 2008; 3:51 PM
WARSAW, Poland -- During a doomed revolt against Nazi occupation in
1944, young insurgents organized their own postal service to help
city residents get information to relatives cut off by street-to-
street fighting in Warsaw.
The Warsaw Uprising museum took possession Wednesday of some of the
letters, which testify to the Poles' anguish and offer insight into
one of the most painful moments of the country's history.
"Dear Antoni, your son has been wounded and is staying with us," read
one letter. "My wife is taking care of him."
Another correspondent pleaded for a sign of life from her brother.
"Please write a few words to our mother," she wrote. "She is dying of
fear ... and can't sleep at night. Your loving sister Monika."
The letters illustrate the Poles' efforts to support each other
during a difficult moment in history, which have become a source of
national pride. But amid the destruction, many of the messages were
never delivered and remain sealed.
The uprising erupted on August 1, 1944 and lasted for 63 days. Some
250,000 civilians were killed in the revolt, which was waged in the
hope of liberating the capital from the Nazis. Ultimately it was
crushed, the survivors were deported to concentration camps and the
city was razed.
During the fierce fighting, the insurgents _ largely ill-armed
teenagers _ organized the postal service.
The service was also meant to give people a sense that they were
living in a "small but independent state," museum director Jan
The museum bought the collection of some 123 letters and postcards
last month at an auction in Duesseldorf, Germany. It paid $280,000
for the mail, written by Warsaw residents and young insurgents during
the revolt, and bearing unique uprising-era stamps.
"The long journey of the uprising mail is over," Oldakowski said as
he unsealed a metal chest containing the collection, which the museum
plans to put on public show March 19. The museum hopes to bring some
of the relatives of the people whose names appear in the letters to
the exhibition's opening.
"Dear Beata ... I have no news of you," says one brief handwritten
message scrawled on paper that has turned yellow. "We have six
additional people staying with us now _ friends forced into this by
the conditions. Write me a few words, Marek."
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