We spent much of this past weekend visiting museums and hanging out in the old city (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
|Gertrud at Warsaw's Castle Square|
We found the Warsaw Uprising Museum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Poland, with its unfortunate location between much larger and historically more powerful Germany and Russia has had a very tragic history. And there are many monuments throughout Warsaw paying homage to patriots who tried to stand up for Polish sovereignty and culture. Among the most important historical and culture figures are Frederick Chopin, Madam Marie Curie, Nicolas Copernicus and more recently, Lech Walesa and Pope John Paul II who Poles feel were the most responsible for the fall of the Soviet bloc and the Soviet Union. They would strongly disagree with Americans who believe it was Ronald Reagan.
The tragedies of Polish history are again very visible in Warsaw in the form of a large exhibit in front of the presidential palace honoring the recently deceased Polish president Lech Kazynski. As you have probably read, he died this past April 10th in a plane crash, together with his wife and several senior government officials, near the Russian city of Smolensk, They were en route to an event to mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Forest Massacre in which thousands of Poland's elite were executed by Soviet secret police. In 2007, a Polish director made a film about the Katyn incident (http://www.rottentomatoes.
(Update on 7/5/2010: Jaroslaw Kazynski was defeated by Bronislaw Komorowski).
There is not much left of Warsaw's infamous Jewish Ghetto but a museum, now under construction to preserve its place in history, is scheduled for completion in 2011. The following website also provides a history of the Jewish presence in Warsaw. http://www.