News from Poland
A scan of part of a postcard sent to us by a family member who served in the Polish army in the late 1990s.
I heard on the radio a moment ago that it has just been agreed that the American army will make use of existing Polish military complexes to store heavy equipment and munitions in and around Drawsko Pomorskie, Skwierzyna, and Choszczno in the west of Poland. Additionally, the US military will increase their presence at an air base in Łask, central Poland. These new facilities it is reported will allow the US army sufficient space to achieve both Poland’s and America’s common defence aims and enable the rapid deployment of soldiers in any future conflict. This new development is a continuation of the growing military cooperation between Poland, the US, and their western European NATO allies in recent years.
A set of Polish airforce, army, and navy postage stamps issued by the Polish Post Office in 2013.
A former Synagogue transformed in to a Chinese Shop
Three photographs of what was the pre-war synagogue for the town of Meseritz (Miedzyrzecz) in Lubuskie, western Poland. It has recently been transformed into a Chinski Sklep (a shop selling all manner of cheap imports from China).
A closeup of the exterior of the former Synagogue, now the ‘Wielki Chinski Sklep’.
The synagogue in Miedzyrzecz was built between 1825 and 1827, on the site of an earlier synagogue, and served the Jewish population of the town. It went out of use as a place of worship around 1940 and was used as a storeroom until the end of the war. In 1945 the building was nationalized and used for a variety of uses before falling in to a state of disrepair. In the 1990s there was some extended discussion of the building being used as a Jewish museum but unfortunately this never materialised. It was sold to a private entrepreneur about ten years ago. Following which it was extensively renovated with the aim of using the space for office or retail purposes. It is now in use as a Chinese Shop selling everything from clothing to toys.
The only visible sign that this was once a place of worship for the Jewish population of Meseritz / Miedzyrzecz.
See also: Pre-war images of the Synagogue in Meseritz / Miedzyrzecz.
News from Poland
A Bison has been spotted in a forest clearing in Różanki, near Gorzów, in the western province of Lubuskie. Young male Bison are expelled from their herd and often wander over long distances in search of a new home. This one is believed to have wandered along the River Warta on his travels. Although there are believed to be more than 1,300 Bison in Poland it is unusual to find Bison quite so far west. The largest herd can be found in the Bialowieza Primeval forest on the border between the eastern Polish province of Podlaskie and Belarus.
Three facts relating to Bison:
- The Polish word for a Bison is Żubr.
- All Bison in the Białowieża Forest were the property of the Polish kings until the third partition of Poland.
- The European bison is the heaviest surviving wild land animal in Europe.
Related content: Wolves in Poland.
News from Poland
The possible location of the Nazi treasure laden train – Schloss Furstenstein / Ksiaz Castle in Silesia, c.1940.
Over recent days much of Polish media has been focused on one story – the rumour that a Second World War German train has been discovered hidden in a tunnel in the mountains of Silesia in south-west Poland. Reports suggest that it contains untold riches in precious metals such as gold, silver and tungsten, artwork, historically interesting Nazi documents, German army tanks, and high-tech secret weapons. Some observers even speculate that the infamous ‘Amber Room’ may be on board this long lost train.
A German train loaded with Nazi German tanks and munitions, c.1944.
Local folklore tells of a massive network of secret underground tunnels hidden under and around Ksiaz Castle (Schloss Fürstenstein) near Walbrzych (former Waldenburg). These tunnels were built in what was until the end of the war part of Germany and it has been reported by Nazi Germany to hide looted valuables from the advancing Red Army. Some fear that the train and tunnel would have been booby-trapped with explosives.
Should the existence of the train be positively confirmed (found) we will report it further here on Polish Poland! In the meanwhile you might like to have a look at some more images of the castle at the centre of the treasure train news.
News from Poland
In Poland, abortion has been severely restricted since the end of communist rule. Women may only be granted a termination of their pregnancy as a result of rape, incest, when their life is in danger, or there is serious damage to the foetus. As a result, access to abortion in Poland is among the most restricted in Europe.
In protest the Dutch women’s rights group ‘Women on Waves’ and ‘Ciocia Basia’ (Auntie Barbara), a Berlin-based abortion support group, plan to fly a drone carrying abortion pills over the border between Germany and Poland to waiting Polish activists. The drone flight will take place across the River Oder / Odra, which separates the German city of Frankfurt Oder from the Polish town of Slubice.
It has been estimated that several thousand women have abortions illegally in Poland or travel to countries like Finland or England each year for ‘abortions on demand’.
News from Poland
I was driving on the country road from Skwierzyna to Bledzew in the far west of Poland early this morning and what did I spot? A wolf! Large, grey, and bushy tailed! It ran right across the road in front of the car from one part of the forest to another. Too big for a dog. Most definitely a wild wolf.
A postage stamp issued by the Polish Post Office in 1985 featuring a Polish Wolf.
This is the first time I have seen a wild wolf in the province of Lubuskie, but, there have been several news reports over recent months of multiple wolf sightings in the extensive forests of the far west of Poland.
A hunter friend tells me that there are growing populations of wild wolves living in the nearby Notecka and Rzepin forests and the area I saw my wolf in was the natural path for wolves travelling between the two forests. He added that the forests contain plenty of fox, red and roe deer, and wild boar for any wolves living there to eat – and that they have been known to attack and eat domestic cats and dogs that stray in to the forest.
An exciting sight and a location I will investigate further. My Mother-in-law, however, tells me that she won’t be wandering around alone in that part of the forest looking for mushrooms any time soon!