Warsaw Ghetto Bridge Memorial

The story of the Warsaw Ghetto Footbridge over Chlodna:

A wooden bridge that opened up on 26 January, 1942 for the inhabitants of the two Ghettos on either side of the road. A historical chapter we discovered walking down Grybowska. Totally free!

From the tram stop, Muzeum Powstania, near our hotel, we wanted to check out a local market. We were tired , but a shot of Vodka put us back on our feet. We started walking towards Grybowska Bus stop. Suddenly we could see , in the shade of the Sky scrapers, some old buildings. This was an old part of the city. We could feel there was something important here. With a catch in our throats, we knew we were looking at the remnants of a Ghetto. We saw the metal plates which are a token reminder of the ghetto walls. When we looked up at the walls further down the street, it was all there. The Warsaw Ghetto Bridge Memorial...a War Memorial to all those who had suffered and perished in the ghettos and the uprising war, when the Soviet Red Army , too, instead of helping watched as thousands of Polish Underground soldiers fought a bitter battle with the German Nazis. 

This place, Grybowska and Chlodna had ghettos on either side of the road, surrounded by boundary walls: A big ghetto for the poorer section of the Jews: the smalltime tradesmen, craftsmen and the small ghetto housing all the rich and elite inteligentsia. The Jews were taken from one side to the other on a three storey high footbridge that was created to bridge the road. Only the Germans could use the road below and the transport on the main roads. This footbridge was called the Footbridge of Sighs, ..the poignant sighs of thousands of Jews whose closed world within the confines of the ghetto walls made them want to breathe the outside world of freedom. This footbridge finds mention in many movies and stories like "The Pianist". 

Since 2011, there now stands an artistic installation called “A Footbridge of Memory”. Architect Tomasz Lec created two sets of Mettalic poles, connected with fibre optics, creating a  luminescent installation of the non existent bridge. It is part of a project to revitalize the historic part of the Wola district, destroyed during the war.

Constructed within the mettalic poles are eye pieces, thorugh which you can see a slide show of some heart rending scenes of life within and outside the ghettos during that awful chapter of history.

 

Beside it. is the Keret House, the worlds narrowest building, you will see in one of the pictures uploaded, to the right of the frame.

 

This is one of the wonders of travelling, walking down streets and letting  history speak to you. Travelling is such an enormous learning experience. And you don't know where you will find a story lurking around the corner.

This is only a part. Read more about the complete Itinerary in the Warsaw Diaries.  For a detailed Itinerary Plan, you can always write to us at somajm@gmail.com. We would love to share our do's and don'ts with you. One of the most important reason why we have opened this blog: to inspire more people to share the Joys of Traveling with.

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