True story of doomed Auschwitz love turned into haunting new book

When Wawrzyniec Kulig volunteered to be sent to Auschwitz to save his pregnant wife, he knew he was facing certain death. Learning of her arrest for helping a camp escapee, the desperate 36-year-old did the only thing he could think of - offered himself in exchange for her release. The Germans agreed, his wife was released and gave birth to a baby girl a few days after. But less than three months later, Wawrzyniec was taken to the camp’s execution wall and shot dead. An escapee from Auschwit

Artist whose paintings helped resurrect Warsaw goes on show in stunning new exhibition

To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Warsaw’s best-known city portraitist Bernardo Bellotto, the Royal Castle in Warsaw is hosting an exhibition about him on a scale never seen before in the country. There is no other source that reveals more about how the capital looked during the boom-time of the reign of the last king of Poland in the late eighteenth century. Bellotto's city landscapes, or vedutes, let us see Warsaw how it really looked in astonishing photographic detail. So

Govt. launches ‘Empty Frames’ campaign to help regain WWII looted art

With an estimated half a million works of art destroyed or stolen from Poland during World War Two by Germany and the Soviets, the ministry of culture is doubling up on its efforts to regain some of Poland’s lost heritage. Empty Frames, a campaign that aims to remind people about Polish works of art and culture stolen during World War II by both the German and Soviet occupiers, was launched today by culture minister Piotr Gliński. As part of the campaign, special plaques providing information

Recipes and memories of Holocaust survivors shared in new cookbook

The miserable rations of food prisoners received at Germany’s extermination camp Auschwitz were poor quality, insufficient for life and often withheld from starving inmates for even minor infringements of petty camp rules. According to the Auschwitz Museum, prisoners received three meals per day. In the morning, they were given only half a litre of a liquid euphemistically called coffee. The noon meal consisted of about a litre of thin ‘soup’ with a few chunks of vegetables normally used to fe

Tallest building in EU officially opens to become ‘new symbol of Warsaw’

Warsaw now officially has the tallest building in the European Union. Work on Varso Tower, which stands at 310 metres and eclipses the Palace of Culture and Science, has been completed and is waiting for its first tenants to move in. Standing in the centre of the capital, as many as 16 trees have been planted on a terrace 206 meters high, making it the highest garden in Warsaw. Tall trees are also inside the building in the spacious 10-metre-high lobby. Kalbar/TFN Tall trees are also inside

Poland to open new waterway in move to bypass Russia

A new navigation channel that allows ships to pass easily from the Gulf of Gdańsk to the Vistula Lagoon is to be officially opened at the weekend. The opening of the Vistula Spit Crossing on Saturday 17 September means that for the first time in Poland's post-war history, it will be possible for vessels to enter the Vistula Lagoon bypassing the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. The Vistula Spit is a sandy embankment on the southeastern shore of the Gulf of Gdańsk, stretching from Gdańsk in the w

The Queen is dead! Poland pays tribute to Britain’s longest-serving monarch

The death of Britain’s longest serving monarch has sent shock waves around the world. In Poland, the country’s president Andrzej Duda said: “My deepest condolences to the Royal Family and all the British people on passing of Her Majesty The Queen. ”For decades she has been an embodiment of everything that makes Britain truly Great. She will be missed and remembered in Poland and all over the world.” Poland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs also tweeted on Thursday that it had learnt of UK head of

Remains of Polish saint discovered in ‘the Hungarian Taj Mahal’

Archaeologists in Hungary have discovered the remains of the early Polish saint Władysław I the Holy among a huge pile of bones in a Hungarian castle. According to Hungarian news site Telex.hu, the bones of the 11th-century Kraków-born saint were found in an ossuary in Bory Castle in Székesfehérvár, a stunning complex which is known as the Hungarian Taj Mahal. The bones of the 11th-century Kraków-born saint were found in an ossuary in Bory Castle in Székesfehérvár.bory-var.hu The remains were

Campaign to save Kashubian language gathers steam

A foundation in Kashubia is seeking to create the first professional online dictionary dedicated to the endangered Kashubian language. The Internet Dictionary of the Kashubian Language, or Jinternetowi Słowôrz Kaszebsczégò Jãzeka, is needed, say the Kaszuby Foundation, to keep the language alive. Though dictionaries of the regional language exist in book form, the foundation says that the world has changed so much that an online dictionary is now required to serve the interests of younger gene

New monument honours “largest cavalry battle of 20th century”

A huge monument commemorating one of the last ever mass cavalry charges in history was unveiled yesterday in Wolica Śniatycka near Zamość. In this way, one of the most important clashes in Poland's struggle for independence, the Battle of Komarów in 1920, was remembered on its 102nd anniversary. On August 31st, 1920, the Poles, commanded by Colonel Juliusz Rommel, defeated Semyon Budyonny's 1st Cavalry Army. The clash between the Polish Army and the Red Army at Komarów in 1920 is described as

Emotional donkey film chosen as Poland’s Oscar nomination

A film in which the main role is played by a sad-eyed donkey will be the Polish candidate for the Best International Film at next year’s Oscars. Announced yesterday, the film named EO by veteran filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski was selected from among seven other titles: The Balcony Movie, Illusion, Silent Earth, Woman on the Roof, Broad Peak, Fucking Bornholm and Filip. The Polish-Italian co-production tells the story of a donkey, who, wandering around the world, suffers cruelty at the hands of ma

Remains of ‘female vampire’ found with sickle across her neck

The skeleton of what archaeologists believe may have been a 17th-century female vampire has been discovered near Bydgoszcz. The team of researchers from the Nicholas Copernicus University in Toruń found that the body in the village of Pień had a sickle placed over its neck, which they say would have been to prevent her from returning to mortality, and a padlock on the big toe of her left foot. According to expedition member Magdalena Zagrodzka, the find is a first for Poland. “This is a unique

Poland’s most bankable film director turns camera on himself

Patryk Vega has been Poland's most bankable film director for many years with hits including Pitbull, Women of Mafia and Secret Wars. Now, the controversial filmmaker has turned the camera on his own turbulent life with the film Niewidzialna Wojna (Invisible War) to hit cinema screens at the end of September. A trailer for the biopic, directed by Vega himself and featuring Quentin Tarantino actor Rafał Zawierucha (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood) in the lead role as well as Anna Mucha, has just

Powerful images reveal ordinary lives in war torn Ukraine

An exhibition of photographs showing Russia’s war in Ukraine through the eyes of ordinary Ukrainians has opened on Kraków's market square. Over 90 photos by award-winning photographer Justyna Mielnikiewicz focus on the emotions of ordinary people. Many of Mielnikiewicz’s photographs show people who, after much personal drama, managed to escape from Mariupol.Łukasz Gągulski/PAP In the photographs at the International Culture Center, viewers will not see blood, destruction or burnt-out Russian

Zofia Posmysz: acclaimed writer and Auschwitz survivor laid to rest in Oświęcim

The funeral took place today in Oświęcim of Zofia Posmysz, the acclaimed writer, Auschwitz survivor and holder of Poland’s highest honour, the Order of the White Eagle. The funeral mass was held at noon at the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Oświęcim after the writer passed away last Monday at a hospice in the town at the age of 98. Zofia Posmysz was one of Poland’s major chroniclers of the Holocaust, which she explored through fiction and drama. The funeral mass was held at noon at the

The Polish Titanic: TFN explores the sinking of the MS Piłsudski

As the pride of the Polish passenger fleet, the MS Piłsudski became a symbol of the country’s access to the sea following independence – however, for many others it will irrevocably be known as ‘the Polish Titanic’. During the interwar years, it was regarded as Poland’s floating embassy, carrying passengers to New York in state-of-the-art luxury. After the outbreak of World War II, it was fitted out to serve as a transport ship but sank during its first military voyage. It was the largest Poli

Surviving Warsaw Uprising insurgents honoured in series of moving posters

Some of the last surviving Warsaw Uprising insurgents are being honoured in a series of posters that have appeared throughout Warsaw to mark the 78th anniversary of the outbreak of the Uprising. The posters by prolific contemporary poster artist Wojciech Korkuć are united by the slogan ‘Honour and Glory to the Heroes’. One of the insurgent heroes to feature this year is Juliusz 'Julek' Kulesza, the last surviving defender of the Polish Security Printing Works (PWPW), a key insurgent stronghold

Survey reveals pork and cabbage still Poles’ number one dish

Pork chop and cabbage is still the favourite dish of Poles across all ages, according to a recent survey. Carried out by Kantar for weekly current affairs magazine Polityka, the survey looked into the eating preferences of Poles by age, income, education level and region. It also looked at preferences for eating out among Poles, how much they spend and who they like to eat with. While culinary fashions are changing, the slice of breaded and fried pork loin served with potatoes and cabbage is

Coca-Cola arrived in Poland 50 years ago this week

In the first two decades of communism in Poland, Coca-Cola was seen by the authorities as a symbol of ‘rotten capitalism’, ‘liquid imperialism or even the dreaded ‘Colorado potato beetle on a bottle’. So, when the drink first rolled off the production line at a brewery in Warsaw 50 years ago this week, it marked a huge change for ordinary Poles, for whom Coca-Cola quenched their thirst for freedom, albeit symbolically. For the communists, the drink ushered in socialism with a human face. On 2

Witkacy exhibition explores one of Poland’s most important and influential artists

An exhibition devoted to the work of Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, one of the most outstanding European artists of the 20th century, opens today in Warsaw’s National Museum. Eclectic, mercurial and eccentric, Witkiewicz, known to the world as Witkacy, was a versatile artist, philosopher, writer, photographer and penetrating critic of civilisation. A visionary ahead of his time, his insights and catastrophic prophecies make him as relevant today as he was in his lifetime. The exhibition rejects
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