The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and the Warsaw Uprising share two key similarities. First, separately, both Jews and Poles chose to valiantly put their lives on the line and stand against the German occupation of Warsaw. Secondly, both uprisings ended in mass murder of almost all participants by the Germans and near total destruction of Warsaw. Continue reading
Krakow will host the World Youth Day 2016 next summer from July 25 – 31, 2016. Organizers of the event expect the international event for Catholic youth worldwide will attract more than two million people. Preparations have been underway since Pope Francis announced Krakow as the 2016 host city at the close of World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro. I count it as the largest international event Krakow has ever hosted. My friend Henry Zguda would be incredibly proud.
Wojtek the bear that went to war, guzzled beer, liked eating cigarettes and fought alongside his fellow Polish soldiers. The name Wojtek in Polish means “smiling warrior”, a perfect name for this orphaned bear cub taken in by Polish army soldiers in Iran in 1942. In recent years more and more memorials and projects remember this bear. Besides being a fun story, the memory of Woytek honors the cooperation of Scottish and Polish soldiers in the UK, a commonwealth historically reluctant to honor Poles’ contributions.
The Warsaw Uprising movie jolts the viewer into the historical reality of a significant historical event. I’ve never seen another film like it; nor is there any equivalent film. The entire film consists of restored footage shot by the propaganda department of the Polish Home Army (underground) in 1944 during the uprising. The film represents a massive amount of human labor to colorize and reconstruct the film frame by frame. Continue reading