Phtotos from Poland
Let us first talk about the people of Poland who made contributions to the world as well as to their own country.The story becomes more powerful if it is accompanied by history and city photos.
- Poland's Nobels (1996).
Since 1905, Poland has collected seven Nobel prizes. This
is a photo of myself with Prof. Lidia Skibinska in the lobby of
the physics building at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (2002).
In the background is a poster listing the six Polish Nobel winners.
Since 2002, another Polish writer received the prize.
- Until the end of World War I, for 123 years, Poland had been divided into three colonies by Russia, Austria, and Prussia. At the end of World War I,
- Woodrow Wilson,
then the president of the United States, included the unification
and independence of Poland in his 14-point peace plan for the world.
However, his plan was only a theory.
Michelson was born in Poland.
- Marshal Józef Pilsudski.
This is a statue of Marshal Pilsudski overlooking the memorial
park in Warsaw. He organized three divisions of Polish army with
weapons confiscated from defeated Germans troops going home from
Ukraine after World War I. His army had to fight bitter battles
against Russian troops. Russia's communist regime ignored Wilson's
declaration and sent troops to Poland to reclaim Russia's former
At that time, France sent expeditionary troops to help the newly created Polish army. The commander of the French unit was Charles de Galle. This is the reason why there is the Charles de Galle circle at the center of Warsaw. There is also a
statue of Charles de Galle in that area. It was a gift from the French government. Here is another photo of de Galle's statue
- Tomb of unknown soldiers. Two soldiers stand at full attention for one hour until changes come. Here is another photo. They are holding Soviet-model Kalashnikov rifles presumably produced in Poland.
- Coming to their guard duties. Here also, soldiers are followed by children.
- Soldiers and Sailors who
came back from their guard duties. I had a photo with them.
Soldiers relaxing during off-duty hours.
- High School Students from
Gdansk. There are of course many visitors and spectators
at this site. I met a group of these boys and girls. They were
wearing good old sailor uniforms. What kind of uniform did I
wear when I was a student?
- This is a photo of myself taken in 2009 with at a classy seafood restaurant in Gdansk. I am with the NATO admirals, including the chief of the Polish navy. On my right is an American admiral who studied at the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. We became closer to them when I said Michelson was born in Poland and studied in Annapolis.
- I seem to look better with soldiers. I am shaking hands with General Maxwell Taylor in 1954. General Taylor was the commander of U.S. Forces in Korea at that time. There were more than 300,000 combat-ready American soldiers under his command.
- Warsaw Uprising against German
Occupation (1944). Alas, Pilsudski's Polish army was destroyed
by Soviets in two phases. First, during the early stage of World
War II, Soviet troops murdered 6,000 elite officers of the Polish
Toward the end of World War II, when Soviet troops reached the eastern bank of Warsaw's Vistula River, there was an armed uprising against Germans in the center of the city. Those Soviets waited on the eastern side for four months, until Germans completely crushed those Polish freedom fighters and burnt down the city. Here is another monument commemorating those brave Polish fighters.
This is one of the places where Polish fighters were executed by Germans. This original brick wall stands at a bus station near the the Novotel Hotel in the city center. I spotted this site while waiting for a bus to Jablonna in November (2013). This is a photo of myself in front of the wall.
This Palace of Culture and Science is often called the Stalin Tower. This Tower is now accompanied by many capitalistic comrades!
- Stalin Tower at the center of
Soviet troops were in Poland more than six months before the fall
of Warsaw. During this period, Stalin was quick to set up a
communist government in the city of Lublin. This puppet government
moved to Warsaw after the War. The communist rule then continued
Even these days, Warsaw's No. 1 landmark is this Stalinist structure, called "Palace of Culture and Science" by Polish people. This tower was built by Russians in the early 1950s as a gift of Soviets to Polish comrades. Polish people decided not to tear down this Stalinist structure because it still serves many useful purposes, and because they do not want to upset their Russian neighbors.
- This building serves many useful purposes for the Polish people and
the people of the world.
- It hold excellent exhibitions. I was able to obtain this portrait of Einstein's parents from an Einstein exhibition held here.
- There is an assemby Hall attached to the bottom of this tower.
- This is a statue of a young communist carrying a book entitled Marx, Engeles, Lenin.
- The main conference hall inside. This hall can accommodate 3,000 people. It can also be used as a theater.
- A view of the city from the Tower. The Novotel Hotel is seen.
- A view of the Marriott Hotel, from which this photo of the Tower was taken in 1994.
- Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543).
This is a statue of Copernicus. I do not have to explain to you who he was.
This statue is at a corner of the campus of the University of Warsaw. Across
the street is the
- Church of Holy Cross. I was inside this church when I went to Warsaw for the first time. I went to the church again in 2007, and took this photo.
- like Hillary Clinton. when I went to Warsaw in 1994. There, a very kind Polish lady explained to me the history of this church. She became very happy when I told her she looks Hillary Clinton. At that time, Hillary was a young first lady of the United States.
- Events going on in this area. I like fun-loving people because I am one of them.
Nicolaus Copernicus University. Copernicus was born in Torun.
Quite rightly, there is a university named after him. Every year,
this university hosts a conference on mathematical physics.
- Maria Curie was born in Warsaw.
I visited her Warsaw house in November of 1996. She was not there.
Her remains are in the Pantheon of
Paris. I went to her Warsaw house
again in 2007.
Her daughter was also an outstanding scientist and received the 1935 Nobel prize in chemistry. Here is her photo with Einstein.
Her house is just outside the old Warsaw wall, which used to protect the area now called the Old Town.
There are many interesting shops and restaurants in the Old Town. There is also the house where
- Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855) used
to live. He was a Polish a writer, poet, and visionary. There
is a university in Poznan named after him. While Poland was divided into
three colonies, namely those of Russia, Prussia, and Austria, his poems
impressed the Polish people that Poland is one country. He kept the
Polish spirit alive.
Adam Mickiewicz is universally respected in Poland, and his statues are everywhere in Poland. Here is a photo of myself with Polish students in front of his statue in Krakow.
- Frederic Chopin's Statue
the Lazienkowski Park in Warsaw. There are always interesting people
visiting this site. Chopin is of course a hero among Polish youngsters,
and they come to his statue and admire him. I took a
a photo with them
when I went there in 2007.
- Piano Concerts are held frequently at this Chopin site. I was there in 1994. After the concert, while workers were removing the piano, I talked with several music-loving Polish friends. One of them was a music student, and the other was a Polish actress who became very happy when I showed her a photo of my wife with Actress Brooke Shields .
- After Chopin's death in Paris, his body was buried at the Pere LaChaise Cemetery in Paris. Chopin's heart was extracted from his body and transported to Warsaw to be entombed into the wall of the Church of Holy Cross near the stature of Copernicus.
- Henryk Sienkiewicz.
Not far from the Chopin place, there is a statue of Henryk Sienkiewicz.
Do you know who he was? Sienkiewicz was the recipient of 1905 Nobel prize in
literature. He is the author of "Quao Vadis." He wanted to talk to God. How?
He wrote a book "Quao Vadis."
Indeed, he gave me the wisdom of talking to unreachable persons. I was too young to meet Einstein personally. Then how could I talk to him? According to Sienkiewicz, I should write a book. But, I have a better method. Construct a website for Einstein.
I was there in November of 2002, and met this young lady who has a great respect for Sienkiewicz. She became very happy to meet a non-Polish man who also respects this great Polish writer.
- Polish Student in Warsaw
I was talking with this Polish student while waiting for a bus.
She was born in 1984, and she knows her country was under communist
domination until recently.
This student seems to have a correct vision for her country. She says she worked as a waitress in London last summer and made a handsome amount of money. There are advantages of Poland being a member of European Union. At the same time, the economic expansion is not everything. Everybody knows fresh air is disappearing. But most importantly, she thinks Polish people should preserve their beautiful Polish hearts and minds in the coming years.
- In 1962, there was a very important meeting of physicists at the Jablonna Palace about 60 km north of Warsaw. for a detailed story.
Krakow was the capital city of Poland from 1038 to 1572, and and hosted
the Mongolian invasion during the 13th century. It then became the
capital city of
Jagiellonian Empire (1386-1572), combining Poland and
Lithuania. With its territory extending from the Baltic Sea
to the Black Sea, it was the most powerful empire in Europe.
The Jagiellonian Empire was destroyed by Ottoman Turks, and Swedish
influence came in from the north. The capital city was then moved
to Warsaw. There are many things to see in Krakow.
Photos from Krakow
Gen. Kociuszko in Krakow (top),
and in front of the White House
(Washington, DC, USA)
Krakow was the capital city of Poland from 1038 to 1572, and and hosted the Mongolian invasion during the 13th century. It then became the capital city of Jagiellonian Empire (1386-1572), combining Poland and Lithuania. With its territory extending from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, it was the most powerful empire in Europe. The Jagiellonian Empire was destroyed by Ottoman Turks, and Swedish influence came in from the north. The capital city was then moved to Warsaw. There are many things to see in Krakow.
- His statue is proudly standing
in front of the White House in Washington. Kociuszko was also
a great champion of human rights. Before returning to Poland,
he spend used all the money he had to buy Afro-American slaves,
and freed them all. He went back to Poland to fight against
the Russian invasion. The base of his statue says
Son of Poland.
Casimir Pulaski was another Polish general who made contributions
to America's independence. He was the commander of George Washington's
cavalry force. Since horses ran fast, many of the major highways
are named after him, such as
Pulaski Skyway in New Jersey going into
New York City, and "Pulaski Road" which in Chicago from the south to
north. There are many immigrants from Poland in Chicago, and "Pulaski"
means something important to them. To some Americans, he is known as
General George Pulaski.
General Pulaski's statue is also near the White House in Washington, DC. Here is a photo of his statue.
- I was there in 2002 and
dined in one of their VIP rooms, and I was asked to sign my name in their
guest book. But my name was not on their list when I visited again
I became so angry that I decided not to eat there again, but I changed
my mind. I decided to eat like a king again.
There are many other excellent places serving traditional Polish cuisine near the Basilica at reasonable prices.
- Kawaiarnia Restaurant, near near St. Mary's Basilica, which seems to be a gathering place for young people. This restaurant also has its history. They say it used to be the living room for a Polish princess. I dined there in 2007.
- Jarema. I was there in 2002 and 2007. This restaurant also has its history, and was designed to serve "ordinary" people. Tables are served by Polish students, and it is refreshing and educational to talk with them and learn about Poland. When I was there in 2002 and 2007. In 2002, I learned a history lesson from the student who served me. In 2007, I was talking with another student. She was telling me about the current thinking trend among young Polish students. Become international and become affluent.
There are Jewish shops and restaurants there, but they are not necessarily run by Jewish people. They just reproduce Jewish flavors. Jews are reluctant to come back to this area.
Not far from Krakow is a Polish town called Oswiecim, where Hitler maintained a Jewish death camp called Auschwitz. Many Jewish people visit this place, via Krakow. There is a direct LOT Polish airline flight between Krakow and Tel Aviv.
When I was in Krakow 2002, I met a group of high school students from Israel and had this photo with them. They also said Krakow is their ancestral homeland. Their great grandparents came from this area.
Before World War II, about Jews constituted 30 percent of population in southern Poland. Many of them were eliminated by Hitler's atrocity, but many were wise enough to escape to settle down in the original homeland now called the state of Israel.
Photos from GdanskThe city of Gdansk was originally developed as a conflict point between German and Slavic tribes. When Poland was divided into three colonies for 123 years (1795-1918), Gdansk was in the German colony, and it was called Danzig.
- After World War I, Poland gained its unification and independence according
to Woodrow Wilson's 14-point declaration. Who was Wilson?
- On the other hand, the city of Gdansk became an international city under the
mandate of the League of Nations (an UN-like organization) invented also
Wilson. This city could not be integrated into Poland because there were
so many German residents. The city was run by an independent city council,
but its postal system was run by Poles, and its railroad system was
run by Germans.
- This is a photo of the Gdansk railway station originally built by Germans.
- This statue of passengers shows their destinations in Germany, including Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Koeln, and other German cities. This stature does not include any Polish cities.
- Since the Gdansk railway system was so oriented to Germany, it takes 8 hours to reach Gdansk from Warsaw. It takes only three hours from Warsaw to Krakow. If you look at the map of Poland, Krakow and Gdansk are at the same distance from Warsaw.
- Toward the end of 1930s, Germany's Hitler became greedy enough to
annex Danzig to Germany, he sent his troops to the Westeplatte
peninsula (Baltic peninsula) of the Gdansk region in 1939. The Polish
troops fought valiantly there, but they ran out ammunition in three days,
and the city of Gdansk became integrated into Hitler's Germany. This is
a photo of the memorial monument
dedicated to those Polish soldiers who fought against the German invasion
in 1939. Poles say that World War II started here. Here is
(older) monument in the same area.
However, the Polish postal workers, along with many citizens, put up a credible resistance to the German troops. It is not difficult to guess what happened to them if you know about Hitler. They were ordered to stand facing the wall shown in this photo, and were shot in the back. The memorial stands these days. I was there in November of 2013 to have this photo of myself.
- After World War II, Gdansk was fully integrated to Poland, but the
city with its ship-building facilities, was effectively under control of
the Soviet navy. Their primary shipyard was called "Lenin Shipyard."
This is the reason
why there are no direct railway connections to Warsaw, while Soviets
extended their wide-gauge railroad system to southern Poland in order
bring high-quality coals to Russia.
- Entrance to the Lenin Shipyard, now called Gdansk Shipyard.
- Memorial to the 1970 Protest, with the name of those who lost their lives.
- Yet, their movement became stronger and better organized to form a trade union called "Solidarity." In 1980, Lech Walesa became the leader of this movement. He received the 1983 Nobel peace prize, and became a world figure. He then became the effective political leader to liberate Poland from the Soviet domination. He became the president of Poland in 1990 to serve his five-year term.
- Gdansk is known to the world for the home base for the Solidarity
movements that eventually brought down the Iron Curtain.
- The Solidarity Square is the place where many meetings of the labor union took place. At the center of the square is a tall monument dedicated to those sacrificed their lives in 1970.
- The 1970 protest is not well known to the rest of the world, but there are still many Poles to come their respect for those shipyard workers. Here is a photo of the bottom of this monument.
- The square is surrounded by many items illustrating the history of the movement. Among them is a portrait of Pope John Paul II. He became the pope in 1978, and gave a great inspiration to the Polish people for freedom from the communist atrocity.
- I am standing with two Polish friends at the entrance to the Solidarity Square
- I am with two Polish citizens with an armored car in the background. I assume Polish authorities used this vehicle to control the crowd.
- I am with German visitors to this spot in this photo. They were carrying Japanese cameras. I asked them why they are not carrying German-made Leica cameras. I told them I am also carrying a Japanese camera with a Leica lens. They said they did not know such a camera exists. Go to my camera page to see how crazy I am toward the cameras.
- Indeed, ship building used to be Gdansk's main economic engine, and the
workers of this industry was powerful enough to produce a major political
change in Poland. Their shipyards are no longer building ships.
However, those facilities are now used for providing maintenance services
to the ships in the Baltic Sea. This is also a profitable business.
- This is a photo of myself with two Russian engineers who are taking a liberty from their Russian ship while it goes through a maintenance service. I met them at the entrance of the shipyard.
- These are the ships being serviced.
- There are many available service spots ready for business. The ship in the photo is a sightseeing boat going through this area. Here is another photo with empty service spots.
- Gdansk's Old Town is a special place. Gdansk is like Venice consisting
of networks of rivers connected to the Baltic Sea. Those rivers are deep,
and allows big ships to navigate. This is the reason, why the ship-building
industry was developed there.
Even before they started building ships, Gdansk was a commercial center among the Baltic countries. The commercial center was developed along the banks of the Motlawa River.
- This is a photo of a crane used during the medieval era. This is a close-up view of this crane.
- This is a photo of Many shops and
restaurants are along the bank.
- This is a luxury hotel converted from an old warehouse.
- This is A treasure-island sight-seeing ship sailing along the Gdansk rivers starting from the Motlawa River. It reaches the Westeplatte peninsula where I took this photo and and this.
- This is a photo of Many shops and restaurants are along the bank.
- This is an an American restaurant. I did not go in, but it looks OK.
- Here are portraits of American characters hanging on the wall of a building.
- These high school students were very happy to speak English to me, based on what they learned in their classrooms.
- There are many Amber shops along the riverbank. This shop owner is very happy, because I paid 60 Euros in cash for a amber-decorated tie pin. Merchants there do not like credit cards, and they produce every reason to get cash from the customers.
- Indeed, Gdansk is the Amber capital of the world. The amber stones
are collected from the sea along the Baltic coasts. They have been
developing skills to convert them into expensive jewelry items. There a
street consisting only of amber shops. They are competitive, and thus
prices are reasonable.
- Entrance to the amber street. There apparently was a wall along the river bank perhaps 500 years ago. If you enter through one of the wall gates, there is the amber street of Gdansk.
- On-street displays and bargain hunters.
- Tourists are always there even during the winter months.
- This is one of the shops, and another shop.
- This shop is apparently in one residential apartment buildings
- Ambers and ambers in one of the shops. Here is another photo.
Long Market of Danzig (1906), photo from the public domain.
- There is another street parallel to the amber street, thus perpendicular
to the river and the wall. This place was known as the Long Market
when Gdansk was a German city of Danzig before World War I. I do not
know how this place is called these days.
This area is still a busy market place with expensive shops and international restaurants. The are many many tourists, and local people who want to show off their talents.
- First of all, I would like to show you a photo of myself taken during my visit to Gdansk in November (2013). The tall building in the background is the town hall.
- This fountain of Neptune is near
the town hall. It was constructed by a Dutch artist in 1617. I assume
there was an extensive maritime trade route between Amsterdam and Gdansk,
before Germans came.
- The Green Gate at the western end of the Long Market was also influenced by Dutch architecture. Beyond this gate is a shopping street along the Motlawa River. I do not know why it is called "green" gate.
- The Diamond Gate is at the
eastern end of this long market.
- It is crowded place during the summer months.
- These two girls dressed to attract attention. They were conservatively dressed.
- This man in white shirt does not know he is being followed by a stranger.
- This is a street of everything for everybody.
- From this store, what can you buy?
- How about November? The street is not crowded but not empty. There are still many people.
- This young hostess standing in front of her restaurant was urging me to come into her place while showing me the menu. I told her I would dine at her place if she agreed to have a photo with me.
- This is one of the Russian restaurants in this area.
- Potato Love. Poland and other Baltic countries are potato-eating countries, like China and other Asian countries are rice-eating countries.
- The University of Gdansk is located in a town called Orlowo, 20
kilometers north of Gdansk's mail railway station. You do not have to
wait more than five minutes to be on a tram going to the University.
The University of Gdansk was established in 1970 by the amalgamation of the Higher School of Economics in Sopot (north of Gdansk) and Gdansk College of Education.
Gdansk Univ. of Technology (top),
Gdansk Medical University.
- Gdansk has a long history, why was it so late to have its own
university? Furthermore, it has an
outstanding engineering university. There is also an
medical university with its hospital.
Why not a combined campus?
- I raised this question to one of the informed Gdansk residents.
He gave me the following answer. Gdansk was a colony of Germany for
many years, Germans built many good things, but a not a university.
Colonialists do not like local leadership growing up in their colonies.
Germans also used this formula. Yes, universities are the places for
research and education. Not many people know they are places where
the local people cultivate leadership.
- He was surprised when I was able to digest what he says so easily. Yes, I have enough personal background to understand this point. If you are interested some other parts of the world where the colonialists practiced this formula, you may contact me personally. my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Gdansk has everything needed for future growth. It is close to the city, and it has a vast open space, all the campus buildings are equipped with everything high-technology can offer.
Since the city of Gdansk was developed as an international city, the university also thrives to become a truly international institution. It has an excellent language school.
- The Library is at the center
of the campus. Look at the empty space around the building.
This empty space is the most valuable asset. It allows
- Three jet engines are attached to this building. They look like these during the night. What purpose do they serve? They let you wonder. This is the purpose of modern architecture.
- Three more engines on the other side. I was told they are for extra office spaces.
- This high-tech library was running its Shakespeare exhibition in a traditional way.
- Social Sciences Hall is
a cylindrical building. Many conferences are held in this bundling.
- Social of Law and Administration
teaches how to run their government properly. This program was not
available in Gdansk during the colonial periods.
- He wants to become the king. I asked this student whether he is interested in becoming the president. He said No. He wants to become the king. I told him Poland does not have a king. He said that is precisely why the country need a king like himself.
- Another photo. We had another photo with two female students. I forgot to ask what they want to become.
- This physical Science Building
does not show any artistic elements. It is thus called the ugliest
building on campus. It houses physics, chemistry, and information
- One of the physics corridors. Since this university is new, it is strong in new physics, such as quantum optics and quantum information. The university also has strong programs in biophysics and biotechnology although they are in a separate building.
- Cafeteria at the entrance lobby. Students are always hungry.
- Jobs in U.S.A. sounds good everywhere in the world.
- The Pancake House is the best
among the many eating places on campus. In addition to the standard
Polish menu, it serves various pancake sandwiches. What is the
pancake sandwich? It consists of two standard-diameter pancakes
Polish and other delicacies in between. You need a fork and a knife
- Always crowded with students, faculty, and visitors.
- This visiting professor is from Sweden. He is here to teach Swedish language. We invited one of the servers to join the photo. All the servers are students.
- The Hotel Olivia is a decent hotel which can accommodate many people attending conferences held on this campus.
- Tram Station. There are many trams stating from different places in Gdansk, going to many different places in the northern suburbs. But they all have to go through the Gdansk main station and then the University station. Thus, there they come very often. The tram station is not crowded.
- Gdansk has a long history, why was it so late to have its own university? Furthermore, it has an outstanding engineering university. There is also an outstanding medical university with its hospital. Why not a combined campus?
|like a town in Germany|
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