Polish Poland – Update Underway

We are currently in the midst of a complete revamp of our website. This is an ongoing process, so if you can’t find what you are looking for do please come back soon for another look at the much expanded Polish Poland site. The new version of the site contains several thousand images of Poland, many photographed by ourselves and others scanned from our own collection of old and vintage pictures; dozens of tried and tested traditional Polish recipes; hand-picked news stories from around Poland; and much on history, culture, and travel. Our aim is to offer something to interest or even please anyone interested in Polish or Poland.

The original index page of our old website, concerned mostly with the smallholding we run in the far west of Poland, can be found by following the link below.

Old Polish Poland

krakow bread seller market

An original photograph in our private image collection of a bread seller in the market in Krakow, Poland, c.1910.

Poland on a Phonecard

Just arrived in the mail from Hungary – a phonecard featuring some of the people and symbols Poland is known for around the world. Pope John Paul; Marie Curie; speedway; vodka; beavers; mountains and mountaineering; Auschwitz; and beautiful cities like Poznan and Warsaw.

phonecard poland

A super phonecard featuring many of the things Poland is known for – Beavers, the Pope, Marie Curie, Vodka, Architecture, mountains, speedway, Nazi concentration camps, and more!

Click on the image to enlarge the picture and see more detail. This is a lovely card!

Volleyball World Championship

The FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship is being held in Poland from 30th August to 21th September 2014. Venues include: Bydgoszcz; Gdansk; Katowice; Krakow; Lodz; Poznan, Warsaw; and Wroclaw. Sadly work commitments mean we can’t be there but will, of course, be watching Poland’s matches on TV. Here’s a photograph of our television screen of the opening round match where Poland beat Australia 3 – 0.

volleyball poland

Supporters at the volleyball match between Poland and Australia. Click to enlarge image.

Poles in the UK

Polish butchers shop

The BBC have just published a fascinating article about how Britain and Poland came to be intertwined.

“Britain entered World War Two because of Germany invading Poland. But it failed to save the country from Stalin’s clutches in 1945. So has a feeling of historic debt affected Anglo-Polish relations over the years?

I hear someone speaking Polish every day. On the train, in a shop, in the street. Ten years after Poland joined the EU, no-one knows for sure how many Poles live in the UK. The 2011 census estimated it at nearly 600,000.

But that doesn’t include those who stayed after the end of World War Two, or their offspring – people like me. In total, the UK is probably home to a million or more people who regard Poland as their ancestral home in some way. Yet Britain and Poland have no long standing historical ties, like Britain and Ireland or Poland and France. The 1931 Census showed only around 40,000 Poles lived in the UK. Poland did not open an embassy in London until 1929. So how and why did we all end up here?

When Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939 it did so for only one reason – Germany had invaded Poland, and Britain had guaranteed to support her ally. The diplomat and writer Sir Nicholas Henderson, himself a former ambassador to Poland, called it “a fatal guarantee”.

It was unprecedented. Britain had never given such a pledge to an eastern European country. There had never been a special relationship with Poland. Even Winston Churchill was amazed.

“His Majesty’s Government have given a guarantee to Poland. I was astounded when I heard them give this guarantee,” he told MPs in May 1939, when still a backbencher.

So why did Britain do it? The answer of course …. … ”

The rest of the article can be read here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28979789

Donald Tusk President of European Council

Donald Tusk

Poland’s Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, is to become the President of the European Council.

Poland’s centre-right Prime Minister Donald Tusk has been chosen as European Council president, replacing the Belgian Herman Van Rompuy. The job involves setting the EU’s broad priorities, chairing EU summits and forging agreement among often divided European Union member states.

An extended article by the Daily Telegraph can be seen here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/11066174/Donald-Tusk-the-new-head-of-Europe.html

Prisoner of War Camp in Woldenberg

Woldenburg Oflag POW camp

Four different photographs of the Oflag P.O.W camp in Woldenberg NM, now Dobiegniew. Click image to enlarge.

A scan of a very rare postcard from the Oflag II C Prisoner of War (POW) camp in Woldenberg Neumark, Germany, since 1945, Dobiegniew, Lubuskie, Poland.

polish pow woldenberg poland

A stamp made by a Polish prisoner of war at Woldenberg Oflag. This one with the text ‘Happy Christmas’ in Polish.

Oflag II C Prisoner of War (POW) camp in Woldenberg was built to house Polish Army officers. It was a large complex consisting of brick and wooden buildings and at different times housed between 500 and 2,000 prisoners of war. Around the camp were eight watchtowers with light and heavy machine guns and searchlights. Different parts of the camp were also separated from one another by barbed wire fencing.  There is a small museum on the site today, which is well worth a visit.

wolden lager oflag

One of many different stamps produced by Polish army officers held at the Oflag IIC in Woldenberg NM.

See also our page with more pictures of pre-war Woldenberg / Dobiegniew.

Reggae Festival Poland

reggae Festival Poland

A poster for the annual reggae festival, which takes place in western Poland. Berlin is less than an hour’s drive west.

Music news: A three day Reggae Music Festival will take place between the 28th August and 30 August in the small town of Sulecin, Lubuskie, Poland. Attractions include the bands, Natural Mystic, Bongostan and Yelram; a Bob Marley inspired football tournament; a fire-eating show; and numerous other festival activities.

Check out the poster above for full details.

This event takes place not far from the rather larger annual ‘Woodstock’ music festival.

New canal to be built in Poland

Poland plans to build a new canal to bypass a stretch of coastline controlled by Russia. The canal scheme will cost an estimated €210 million (£167 million), and link the Vistula Lagoon in the north east of Poland with the Baltic Sea. Currently, all sea traffic from the lagoon and the busy port of Elblag has to travel through Russian waters to get to the Baltic Sea. The route of the new canal will cut through a narrow strip of land, which separates the lagoon from the sea.

Elblag port harbor poland

An early 1970s picture postcard of boats in the port harbour area in Elblag, Poland.

See also our pictures of pre-war Elbing / Elblag in the north-east of Poland.