Photoreport: Exhibition "Wola oskarza 1939-1944 r."

          At the St. Wawrzyniec Church [St. Lawrence Church] in Redoubt 56 at 140a Wolska street in Wola district an exhibition was opened on August 10th, 2009, entitled "Wola oskarza 1939 - 1944 r." [Wola blames 1939-1944].

the authors of exhibition: Janina Mankowska i Jerzy Janowski

          Siblings Jerzy Jankowski and Janina Mankowska née Jankowska, who survived the German attack on Warsaw in 1939, the occupation and the Wola massacre in August 1944, are the authors of exhibition.

          Fr. Marek Metrak, parish priest of St. Warzyniec [St. Lawrence] presbytery and Wola District Office took part in the organizing of the exhibition. The patronage over the exhibition was taken by Wola District Mayor.

          It was the first exhibition since 64 years which has been dedicated to the massacre of Wola dwellers during the Warsaw Uprising. Men, women, little children, pregnant women, the sick and the handicapped were murdered home after home, street after street. There was no mercy for nobody. After the execution murderers set deserted houses on fire. In a few days of August Germans murdered 50 thousand helpless district dwellers, twice as much than the number of victims of Katyn massacre.

          The exhibition, which has broken the silence which had lasted since over the sixty years, is divided into three parts: the German attack on Poland in 1939, the German occupation in Warsaw with special consideration of Wola, and the 1944 Warsaw Uprising with the unprecedented mass-extermination of civil population of Wola district.

          The exhibition consists of carefully assorted documents: German proclamations and orders, maps, photographs of Nazi crimes, testimonies of the witnesses of Wola Massacre, photographs from the places of martyrdom of Wola.

          The choice of exhibition place was not fortuitous. St. Wawrzyniec [St. Lawrence Church] is strongly connected with the history of Wola. Nearby Pole Elekcyjne [Election Field] is situated, where the kings of the Republic of Poland were chosen. The church is located in the premises of the Redoubt 56 which constituted a part of Tarcza Wolska [ Wolska Shield] protecting the capital city against the enemy attacking from the west. Here Polish soldiers were protecting the homeland against the Swedes, during the Kosciuszko Uprising, the November Uprising, and then the January Uprising. Gen. Jozef Sowinski died here while protecting the Redoubt 56 during the November Uprising.

St. Wawrzyniec Church [St. Lawrence Church]

the history of Redoubt 56

grave of soldiers from 1831

memorial plaque to Gen. Jozef Sowinski

          In 1939, in this place, Lieutenant Zdzislaw Pacak successfully stopped a German attack. During the 1944 Warsaw Uprising Father (Captain) Mieczyslaw Krygier, the parish priest of St. Wawrzyniec [St. Lawrence] presbytery and the chaplain of Home Army.

memorial plaque to the defenders of the Redoubt 56 in 1939

grave of soldiers from 1939

monument to the downed RAF pilots

grave of murdered insurgents and Wola dwellers in 1944

monument of Wola massacre in 1944

          The opening of the exhibition was preceded by the Mass in the St. Wawrzyniec [St. Lawrence] church celebrated by Ft. bishop Piotr Jarecki in the 1750th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Wawrzyniec [St. Lawrence] and the 64th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising. The Mass was said in memory of the fallen insurgents and the citizens murdered in the Wola Massacre. Priests of various religions from Wola presbyteries and numerous citizens of Warsaw took part in the Mass.

          After the Mass people who gathered in the church sang "Warszawianka" [The Song of Warsaw 1831] and "Palacyk Michla" [a song of insurgents].

          Then the official opening of the exhibition took place in the presence of invited guests and numerous citizens of Warsaw.

Fr. Bishop Piotr Jarecki signs in the Book of Memory

The German attack on Poland in 1939

The occupation

The 1944 Uprising

Wola Massacre

Interviews, talks, meetings

The chair of Stowarzyszenie Przyjaciol Woli [Association of Friends of Wola] Jan Boerner

Karol Morawski talking with Jerzy Janowski

grandson of Bronislaw Ruchowski "Bratek" talking with Jerzy Janowski

conversation of Jan Berger historian publicist, Karol Morawski historian publicist, Janina Mankowska co-author of exhibition

Warsaw guides: E. Lendzion i M. Puternicka, A. Bogucka - the chair of Stowarzyszenie Wspolnota Polska [Association "Polish Community"] and J. Janowski - the co-author of exhibition

representatives of Wola District Office: Mr. Nowacki, Anna Fiszer-Nowacka, Hanna Kurnatowska

interview with PhD Mscislaw Lurie, the son of Polish Niobe

Mrs. and Mr. Maria and Mscislaw Lurie; Mrs. and Mr. Elzbieta and Andrzej Litwakowie

Irena Swiatkowska and Krzysztof Kopf, son of Stanislaw Kopf

Hanna Czarnota-Czarny, the painter, with z Janina Mañkowska

Wanda, sister of the painter, with Jerzy Jankowski

          The exhibition could be seen until August 2nd, 2008, the anniversary of the capitulation of the uprising.

Close of exhibition

PhD Mscislaw Lurie with daughter Monika

Book of Memory

          The exhibition was seen by many citizens of Warsaw and other places. It was also visited by foreign guests.

          The exhibition "Wola oskarza 1939-1944 r." [Wola blames 1939-1944] became an inspiration to create the content dedicated to the history of Wola on the website of the 1944 SPPW [The 1944 Warsaw Uprising Remembrance Association].

edited by: Maciej Janaszek-Seydlitz
Janina Mankowska
Jerzy Janowski

photographs: Malgorzata Dabkowska
Agnieszka Mankowska
Janina Mankowska

translation: Pawel Boruciak

Copyright © 2011 Maciej Janaszek-Seydlitz. All rights reserved.