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The restoration of Polish cities from WW2 destruction


OP pawian 159 | 9,462
10 Mar 2009  #31
Hmm..... bricks saved from pulled down houses isn`t the same as rubble created by shelling or bombardment.

A German general who was based in Krakow did not agree to the sensless distruction of the city and ignored hitlers order.

I heard this one but treated it as just one more legend. :):):)
celinski 31 | 1,258
10 Mar 2009  #32
I was just reading up on this.

"Warsaw is known as the "phoenix city", as it was completely destroyed during WWII, and rebuilt with the herioc effort of Polish citizens."
en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ASearch&search=Polish+Phoenix+%28mythology&ns0=1&fulltext=Search

Harry
11 Mar 2009  #33
Yes, today`s Świętokrzyska Street is located in the area where the Ghetto used to be.

Note that on the map you link to Świętokrzyska continues to the right of the green line which shows where the edge of the ghetto was. The photos you link to were taken pretty much on the corner of Świętokrzyska and Marszalkowska (i.e. outside the ghetto, a fact I now know from the ghetto trail memorial put up by the city; thanks to that trail I now know that while I live and work in what used to be the ghetto, no matter which transport route I take, I do leave what was the ghetto).
1jola 14 | 1,879
2 Apr 2009  #34
A good site to see same views of 1944 and 2006 Warsaw. Take a look:

pw44.pl/album.htm
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
7 Feb 2010  #35
Unfortunately the communists preferred the most ugly architecture when rebuilding it.
OP pawian 159 | 9,462
8 Feb 2010  #36
True and not true.

What can you say about this one?:

prudential

It was built before WW2. Not too beautiful.

Badly damaged,

historiaradia.neostrada.pl/Warszawa%20prudential%201944.jpg

but rebuilt.
Looking at it today, I think it wasn`t worth it. :):):)
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
8 Feb 2010  #37
Unfortunately the communists preferred the most ugly architecture when rebuilding it.

Not true, there's plenty of examples of sympathetic restoration by communists throughout Eastern Europe.
OP pawian 159 | 9,462
3 May 2011  #38
Last year, coming back from the seaside, we passed through Elbląg. I wanted to visit the city to see the Old Town renovation and revitalisation progress.

Let me remind you -

This however soon ended when a large number of the German inhabitants of Elbing fled before the Soviet Red Army approached the city during World War II. During the siege of February 1945 the city infrastructure was 65% destroyed, including most of the historical city center.

Some of the damaged historical city center was completely demolished and the bricks were used to rebuild Warsaw and Gdańsk. The Communist authorities planned that the Old Town, utterly destroyed in 1945, be rebuilt with blocks of flats. However, economic difficulties thwarted this plan. Two churches were reconstructed and the remaining ruins of the old town were torn down in the 1960s.

Restoration of the Old Town began after 1989. Since the beginning of the restoration, an extensive archaeological programme has been carried out. Most of the city's heritage was destroyed during the construction of basements in the 19th century or during World War II, but the backyards and latrines of the houses were not changed and provide information on the city's history. On some occasions the private investors incorporated parts of preserved stonework into new architecture. Approximately 75% of the Old Town has been reconstructed as of 2006. The city museum presents many pieces of art and utilities of everyday use, including the only 15th century binoculars preserved in Europe


Before the war

Poland before war

Destruction - it was besieged by Soviet troops for 3 weeks. Germans defended it fanatically, to the last soldier. It resulted in almost total destruction of the historical Old Town and Downtown district.

Poland destruction

The reconstruction of the Old Town in its initial phase -
polskapolnocna.walery.com.pl/Elblag.jpg

Imagine this giant square was completely empty before. Now it is all built up.

Some of a few hundred photos.

They are still building a few houses in one or two streets.
Palivec - | 380
4 May 2011  #39
Legnica looked like this after the war:

I see a almost completely preserved town.
And today:
OP pawian 159 | 9,462
4 May 2011  #40
You are not a history nerd, are you? :):):)

I will treat you like a student. So, my advice is: study harder and come back when you learn what happened to Legnica Old Town between 8 - 11 may 1945.

OK? :):):)
Palivec - | 380
4 May 2011  #41
The pictures show the situation long after 1945. They show the the burned out castle, which indeed happened directly after the war, and the mostly preserved old town.

Maybe you should be treated like a student. The destruction of the preserved, historic old town of Legnica after 1965 is well known among historians and conservators, since it affected the largest preserved area of Prussian rococo architecture. That Prussian heritage was the reason for the negligence and final destruction.
OP pawian 159 | 9,462
4 May 2011  #42
The pictures show the situation long after 1945.

Of course not.

They show the the burned out castle, which indeed happened directly after the war,

Of course not. The castle was burned in February 1945 during the fight for the city. Russian troops set fire to it in fear of German counterattack, to prevent taking it back by Germans.

and the mostly preserved old town.

The Old Town was mostly preserved, but only from February 1945 to 8-11 May 1945 when Soviet troops organised an orgy of destruction to celebrate the end of war. Houses were robbed and set on fire one after another.

The destruction of the preserved, historic old town of Legnica after 1965 is well known among historians and conservators,

The destruction, started by Soviet troops in 1945, was only completed by Polishcommunist authorities, greatly influenced by Russian troops who chose Legnica for their major headquarters in Poland.

it affected the largest preserved area of Prussian rococo architecture. That Prussian heritage was the reason for the negligence and final destruction.

Go to your German colleagues to complain about the war they started. :):):) If they hadn`t, the beautiful Old Town of Liegnitz would have survived till today. :):):)

Maybe you should be treated like a student.

I don`t think so, dear. :):):):)
Palivec - | 380
4 May 2011  #43
Of course not.

Then tell my way the rubble of war is so cleanly removed?! The Polish source, which hosts the pic, also says 1950-1980.

Of course not. The castle was burned in February 1945 during the fight for the city. Russian troops set fire to it in fear of German counterattack, to prevent taking it back by Germans.

True. I checked my sources, and it was indeed February. Sorry.

The Old Town was mostly preserved, but only from February 1945 to 8-11 May 1945 when Soviet troops organised an orgy of destruction to celebrate the end of war. Houses were robbed and set on fire one after another.

This happened everywhere but didn't necessarily destroy entire towns. And in the case of Legnica the old town was still in pretty good shape, like the pictures suggest and the sources confirm.

The destruction, started by Soviet troops in 1945, was only completed by Polishcommunist authorities, greatly influenced by Russian troops who chose Legnica for their major headquarters in Poland.

The Russian troops usually didn't care about urban management. It was mostly a Polish effort, in line with events in other parts of the recovered territories.

Go to your German colleagues to complain about the war they started. :):):) If they hadn`t, the beautiful Old Town of Liegnitz would have survived till today. :):):)

I'm not German, and pointing out to the not so nice parts of the Polish history isn't complaining but a gentle push to accept the darker sides of history too.
Harry
4 May 2011  #44
pointing out to the not so nice parts of the Polish history isn't complaining but a gentle push to accept the darker sides of history too.

But there are no dark sides to Polish history and no not-so-nice parts either: everything bad which happened involving Poland is either being lied about by all historians who are not Polish or was actually carried out by Jews/Commies/Ukrainians/Germans/Belarussians/homosexuals/other persons who can not be Poles and historians just mistakenly believe that those persons were Poles!
OP pawian 159 | 9,462
4 May 2011  #45
True. I checked my sources, and it was indeed February. Sorry.

I accept your apology. It is nice of you.

Then tell my way the rubble of war is so cleanly removed?! The Polish source, which hosts the pic, also says 1950-1980.

True. I checked my sources and it was indeed still standing in early 1960. Sorry.

And in the case of Legnica the old town was still in pretty good shape, like the pictures suggest and the sources confirm.

Yes and no. The fact that walls look intact doesn`t mean that the house is so ready for renovation. Do you know what burnt out houses have inside? Nothing:

picture

The Russian troops usually didn't care about urban management. It was mostly a Polish effort, in line with events in other parts of the recovered territories.

OK, so it was the effort of local Polish communist rulers. Satisfied? :):):) Do you know how communist system worked? :):):)

I'm not German,.

Doesn`t matter, if you want to complain about reconstruction, turn to Germans first.

and pointing out to the not so nice parts of the Polish history isn't complaining but a gentle push to accept the darker sides of history too.

You still need to study harder. What f.....g darker sides of Polish history are you talking about in case of reconstruction? :):)
Germans turned urban Poland into ruins, some of them were rebuilt in the original shape, some weren`t due to scarce resources which sentenced Prussian architecture in Legnica to annihilation.

I really don`t see your point.

But there are no dark sides to Polish history and no not-so-nice parts either: everything bad which happened involving Poland is either being lied about by all historians who are not Polish or was actually carried out by Jews/Commies/Ukrainians/Germans/Belarussians/homosexuals/other persons who can not be Poles and historians just mistakenly believe that those persons were Poles!

Harry, on the whole I appreciate your posts and respect you as a reasonable poster. However, I must say that in this one you made a fool of yourself. Why are you doing this to me?

I hope you forgive me my sincerity. :):):)

I'm not German, and pointing out to the not so nice parts of the Polish history isn't complaining but a gentle push to accept the darker sides of history too.

The full version of one flight over ruined Warsaw is already available:

The most depressing view is the Old Town at 2:07 and Warsaw Ghetto district, literally razed to the ground at 2:25.

So, what darker sides of history are you talking about, Palicev?
Palivec - | 380
5 May 2011  #46
Germans turned urban Poland into ruins, some of them were rebuilt in the original shape, some weren`t due to scarce resources which sentenced Prussian architecture in Legnica to annihilation.

So, what darker sides of history are you talking about, Palicev?

In the context of the topic of this thread, the destruction of countless preserved quarters in the recovered territories to rebuild Warsaw and the planned destruction (graveyards, monuments, epitaphs) or deliberate neglect (castles, parks, churches, graveyards) of heritage with a distinctive German character.

Usually the public opinion in Poland still helds the war responsible for all destructions, while Poland is usually seen as the great reconstructor. But the truth is that these destructions weren't the result of scarce resources but of an ideology which forcibly destroyed German heritage.

Yes and no. The fact that walls look intact doesn`t mean that the house is so ready for renovation. Do you know what burnt out houses have inside?

Look at my pics again. Most houses still have roofs. Burned out houses don't have roofs. The old town of Legnica was *not* completely burned out.

Doesn`t matter, if you want to complain about reconstruction, turn to Germans first.

I don't complain about reconstruction but about destruction.... and have to turn to the originator, which, in this case, is Poland.
Harry
5 May 2011  #47
What f.....g darker sides of Polish history are you talking about in case of reconstruction?

Interestingly you actually mention something related to that:

The full version of one flight over ruined Warsaw is already available

Interesting how that full version manages to completely miss the rather large area of almost entirely salvageable buildings which were pulled down to make way for PKiN. And the fairly large area of buildings, many inhabited and almost undamaged, which were pulled down to make way for MDM.

And then there's the issue about where some of the bricks which were used to rebuild Warsaw Old Town and New Town actually came from....
Koala 1 | 332
5 May 2011  #48
And then there's the issue about where some of the bricks which were used to rebuild Warsaw Old Town and New Town actually came from....

Yes, I consider it a barbaric act to move the buldings from towns and cities of western Poland (which were rather well preserved as Germans fled those territories without much of a fight, reorganizing their defense at Odra) - the sad result of that is for example Głogów. Warszawa is still an extremele fugly city outside of the Old Town, which makes all of it all the more shameful.

Living in a small town in western Poland, we are restoring the town from four decades of communism more so than the war itself, many older buildings turned into ruins due to negligence...
OP pawian 159 | 9,462
5 May 2011  #49
Yes, I consider it a barbaric act to move the buldings from towns and cities of western Poland (which were rather well preserved as Germans fled those territories without much of a fight, reorganizing their defense at Odra) - the sad result of that is for example Głogów.

The sad result of your ignorance is that you mention Głogów as an example of barbaric act of post war purposeful destruction. Głogów was turned by Germans into a fortress and destroyed during 6-week siege, by artillery and bombing.

Yes, there were a few buildings which could be preserved. But local communist authorities decided otherwise. In 1948 they took the decision of reconstruction but it soon turned out they didn`t have enough means. The ruins of the Old Town which had practically ceased to exist in result of the siege, were pulled down in 1950s.

Guys, Palives and Koala, why are you providing examples of towns which were damaged or destroyed during the war? You are complaining about their bad reconstruction or even purposeful destruction after the war. How about towns which escaped untouched? Were any of them maliciously demolished by Poles after the war because of their German origin/past?
Wroclaw 44 | 5,388
5 May 2011  #50
this may be relevant.

i was in a government office this morning and while waiting for my number to appear i spent some time looking at a building site across the road.

a sapper was wandering around with a metal detector. one can only assume that he was looking for uxb's rather than buried treasure.
Maaarysia
5 May 2011  #51
a sapper was wandering around with a metal detector. one can only assume that he was looking for uxb's rather than buried treasure.

It happens all the time. Does someone remember when they found a WWII bomb on a building site near Politechnika Warszawska? They needed to evacuate pretty much of the adjacent area.
isthatu2 4 | 2,708
5 May 2011  #52
one can only assume that he was looking for uxb's rather than buried treasure.

lols,who knows,maybe Im the last one here,but I just watched that Documentry about the british bloke hunting for his grandads "treasure" in what turned out to now be a Polish Army Textile lab(yeah,my arse....;) ) , maybe theres a bath full of silver and rembrants in there W'?
Harry
5 May 2011  #53
How about towns which escaped untouched? Were any of them maliciously demolished by Poles after the war because of their German origin/past?

There was virtually no fighting in Slupsk. As to how the fires started days after the city was taken spread so fast or who might have been smoking the cigarette that was carelessly discarded to start them, I guess we'll never know....

Pity, the city looks like it was once beautiful. And the house where the postcard was invented has been lost for ever.
z_darius 14 | 3,969
5 May 2011  #54
There was virtually no fighting in Slupsk. As to how the fires started days after the city was taken spread so fast or who might have been smoking the cigarette that was carelessly discarded to start them, I guess we'll never know....

Perhaps we do know after all.

translation:

Withdrawing German forces destroyed the bridge on Slupia River, damaged and disabled the power plant, gas supply plant and water supply infrastructure. Soviet artillery destroyed central part of the railway station. The Old Town - the business area, was looted and burnt down by the Red Army troops 3 days after they occupied Slupsk.

Whatever was German before WW2 experienced little mercy from the Soviets. I'm sure there were some Polish soldiers who participated in some of the destruction that now, from the comfort of a sofa, and looking at things through a laptop screen, might be called senseless. We'll never know how we'd feel about that if we just covered a few hundred kilometers of distance through Poland and saw all the destruction caused by the Germans, or how the British pilots (some of whom saw what Germans did to some of their cities) felt when they were bombing Dresden.

Some of the destruction after the direct hostilities ceased may have been committed by Poles. A lot of it was deliberate action of the Soviets. One such example was the Wroclaw Cathedral. While it was seriously damaged in 1945, the steeples were still standing. Soviets took them down for the raw material they contained. In many parts of what is now Western Poland, they disassembled entire factories and they even took away railway tracks, loaded them on trains and off they went to the USSR.
Harry
5 May 2011  #55
Some of the destruction after the direct hostilities ceased may have been committed by Poles.

Good God! Make a note people, all the planets must be aligned: darek and I actually agree! Although from what I've heard and read the Soviets went even further: in some structurally undamaged buildings in what is now Poland even the toilet seats were stripped out. And of course the Soviets justified this by saying that they were actually taking property from Germany.

Although we don't agree entirely on Slupsk, when I lived there I heard Poles say (with pride) that it was Polish units who remodeled the centre.
z_darius 14 | 3,969
5 May 2011  #56
Although we don't agree entirely on Slupsk, when I lived there I heard Poles say (with pride) that it was Polish units who remodeled the centre.

I was kinda very young in 1945 so I can't vouch for how the city looked and who did what.
The quote was from the city's official website.
OP pawian 159 | 9,462
5 May 2011  #57
Harry, so you have decided to continue to make a fool of yourself??? :):):) Why? Is it worth?

Słupsk suffered the fate of other German settlements taken by the Red Army. There was no fighting, German troops had left the town. Seeing Russian tanks approaching, German civilians, especially the local elites, started comitting suicides. After Soviets entered, the hunt for women commenced. They were gang raped even in churches, then murdered. The Old Town was burnt to the ground.

That is what witnesses say.

What German prostitutes have in common with the Soviet soldiers who "liberated" in 1945. City? According to Vice President of Slupsk a lot - they have to harass the Red Army and forced them to have sex. Is the vice president, Andrzej Current, former officer of the Polish People's Army, speaking during a session of the City Council - by these words, written his own chapter in the history of the city?

odkrywca.pl/pokaz_watek.php?id=648260

f

f

Although we don't agree entirely on Slupsk,

In this case, your dissagreement proves ignorance.
gumishu 11 | 5,012
5 May 2011  #58
Although we don't agree entirely on Slupsk, when I lived there I heard Poles say (with pride) that it was Polish units who remodeled the centre.

the only Polish troops that could possibly enter Slupsk in the spring of 1945 was 1st Tank Brigade - but even this is doubtful (looking at wikipedia entry on the brigade)
OP pawian 159 | 9,462
5 May 2011  #59
Nice photos of Słupsk ruins. Ascribing it to Poles is swinish cheekiness. :):):)
ssi.slupsk.pl/stare_pocztowki/zniszczenia.html

slupsk.pl/obrazki/galerie/ulica_mostnika.jpg
Palivec - | 380
5 May 2011  #60
Entire towns were seldom demolished because of the German origin but rather forfeit due to, how to call it... emotional resistance by the new owners, and later destroyed. Prominent examples of towns damaged or even completely destroyed after the war can be found mostly in Silesia, since the war didn't affect the southern part. Jelenia Gora, Klotzko, Luban, Strzelin, Lwówek Śląski, Legnica, Nysa, Brzeg are examples of towns that suffered after the war. Some lost their old town entirely after the war, like Jelenia Gora and Legnica, others were damaged to rebuild Warsaw, like Brzeg, Nysa and Wrocław.


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