Today, April 19th, is the anniversary of the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising during World War II. There is a fantastic museum in Warsaw dedicated to this uprising and it’s a Must See if you’re in Warsaw. I found out yesterday that there’s a memorial to this uprising in Riverside Park at 83rd Street. I’m going to go pay my respects before work. If you feel like watching The Zookeeper’s Wife or The Pianist. There’s a movie about the Jewish Uprising but I can’t remember the name (comment if you remember it! It’s the street address of the secret meeting place!) Here are a few photos from the museum.
The original mermaid that stood in the Old Town before the Germans bombed them as punishment for the uprising.
They used the sewers to get around and deliver messages and weapons. This is what you’d see under a safe exit.
The symbol of the uprising.
The flags of the uprising.
And around the city you’ll see several monuments dedicated to those who fought:
The Littler Uprising Monument – dedicated to all the children who helped sneak past guards with messages and weapons.
This photo makes me nostalgic for Warsaw. Out of the three cities that I visited in Poland in October, Warsaw was my favorite. Warsaw had history spilling out of every corner.
Krakow was beautiful because it was basically untouched by the Nazis (and Russians) during WWII so it’s all original and old AF. But Warsaw was completely decimated during the war. The photo you see above is the Old Town Square. After the Polish attempted their first uprising, the German’s, who’d left the Old Town alone for the most part because it was treasured (obviously, look at it), gave a big middle finger to the Polish people and destroyed it.
This is what the Old Town looked like after the Germans destroyed it.
After the war, the Russians and the Poles rebuilt the Old Town. The Russians wanted to show the world what fine work they could do and that communism was great. On the other hand, 500 feet away stood the Royal Palace which took twice as long to rebuild because a palace didn’t exactly align with Communist principles. But the brilliant rebuilding and duplication of the Old Town is why it’s an Unesco World Heritage Site now.
Warsaw has so much more history than just the Old Town Square and that’s why I loved it so much. Hopefully I’ll get around to writing about them soon.
I had an incredibly boring date on Friday. And that’s being nice. There was nothing wrong with him, but we had zero to talk about. I ended the date by saying exactly that. I’m quite positive he was relieved too. I was home by 9pm on Friday and I caught up on some R&R while chatting extremely briefly with a dude on OkCupid. We exchanged pleasantries and phone numbers and said we’d possibly get coffee on Sunday.
Well, today was Sunday and we met up at Khave in Hell’s Kitchen and we had a relaxing two and a half hour discussion over teas, smoothies, and tortilla chips. He was German, which I’d somehow completely glossed over on his profile, so naturally I was very interested in the difference between the two countries. (The two countries being Germany and the US, of course.) This is what I learned this afternoon:
On a date in Germany people don’t ask questions like “what do you do for work?”
Germans aren’t as connected to the fake sense of self like what you do, your religion, your politics, etc.
He didn’t know anyone who was religious growing up. Religion is never talked about in politics.
Germans are very direct. They say what they think and ask you what you think, mean, need.
Germans are also not flakey like Americans.
Institutions, like schools, are not there to tell kids what’s right and wrong – that’s left up to the parents.
Germans do not like to flaunt their money. If they’re wealthy they try to hide it. Germans are also known for being cheap.
On their political spectrum, Bill Clinton would’ve been seen as a very conservative candidate.
Germans hated George w. Bush. (Who, with half a brain, didn’t?)
When you’re born in Germany, you’re registered under one of four major religious groups: catholic, Protestant, Jewish, or Muslim. But 60-70% of the country identifies as atheist.
Scientology isn’t regarded as a religion in Germany. It’s regarded more a cult with economical mindset.
We also discussed Backlash Theory, Malcolm Gladwell, and Freakanomics (which I have yet to read!). Though I don’t know if we’ll see each other again, I know I had a really good time talking to him and I could totally see being friends.
On another note: If Germans are as direct as he says, I may need to think about learning German and moving there. Anyone have any tips for learning German?