Arolsen Archives (fot. Wikimedia Commons/Ziko van Dijk)


02 grudnia 2019


Radio Gdansk English Service: Online Archive of Nazi Germany's Victims Now Open to the Public

A formerly private German digital archive containing information on over 10 million people persecuted by the Nazi authorities in Germany before and during WW2 was recently made available online to the public.

The Arolsen Archives International Center on Nazi Persecution has made nearly a million documents available online for members of the public to search and access, according to a report by Deutsche Welle. While the archives have been in existence for nearly 80 years, they are now accessible online through a partnership with ancestry.com, a US-based company which operates one of the largest genealogical research platforms in the world.

The comprehensive archive contains documentation collected by American, French, British and Soviet Allied forces at the end of World War II, including foreign residency permits and burial sites registered by local councils in Germany and areas occupied by Germany.

Records in the database can be filtered by keyword, region, name, nationality, religion, language, and a host of other options. The archive plans to continue working toward making its 30 million original documents available online to the public.

Source: Deutsche Welle, https://collections.arolsen-archives.org/en/search/ 

Polish Environmental Journalist Receives Prize

Just in time for the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid this week, Polish environmental activist and journalist Adam Wajrak has been awarded the Andrzej Wajda prize for outstanding work in the spirit of social solidarity.

Established in 2018 in honor of the critically-acclaimed Polish film director, the prize is designed to “honor people who are energetic and completely selfless,” according to Krystyna Zachwatowicz-Wajda, fellow co-founder of the Centre of Japanese Art and Technology (Manggha) in Kraków and the Kyoto-Kraków Foundation.

According to Michał Jasieński, a fellow board member of the Kyoto-Kraków Foundation, "Adam Wajrak has had a tremendous impact on our perception of ecology...on our understanding of what is happening in nature and the appreciation of the importance of nature for man.”

In his acceptance speech, Wajrak pointed out that “no one really dreams of being a social activist” describing how he began his activism in 2007 largely by accident when “just journalistic writing about the Rospuda Valley was no longer enough.”

Wajrak was a vocal opponent of a proposed bypass through the protected wetland area of the Dolina Rospudy (Rospuda Valley) in northeastern Poland. The extensive public outcry, described by some as “a symbol of the reawakening of civil disobedience in post-communist Poland” resulted in the proposed highway being rerouted outside the wilderness area.

Source: PAP, https://ejatlas.org/conflict/rospuda-valley 

Pride and Shame for Polanski

World-famous director Roman Polanski was in Łódź last Friday to accept the Golden Boot award at the 24th annual Cinergia European Cinema Forum.

The Golden Boot or “Glan” statuette is awarded to independent artists and those who “go against the tide.” Polanski, who has previously won both an Oscar and a Golden Palm award, also screened his newest film, “An Officer and a Spy” during the closing gala of the festival. The French-Italian historical drama has already garnered significant critical praise, walking away with a Grand Jury Award and the FIPRESCI Award at the Venice film festival in September.

In his acceptance speech, Polanski reminded the audience that he had studied in Łódź over half a century ago when the city looked quite different, going on to wish the city "great success” in its future development.

Polanski had originally been scheduled to meet with students from the Łódź Film School on Saturday, but canceled the event due to backlash from some current students, employees and alumni related to his unresolved 1977 sexual abuse case in the US. In an online petition to school authorities, the group argued that the Film School “like any other educational institution should be a place where sexual violence is condemned.”

Source: PAP

Teddy-bear's Picnic

Some 300 preschoolers from in and around the city of Słupsk set a Polish national record for cuddling teddy bears on World Teddy Bear Day last week.

The event was organized with Pionka kindergarten from Włynkówka as part of the "Little Bear in the World of Great Literature" project, an annual campaign designed to foster a love of reading in preschool and kindergarten students across Poland.

World Teddy Bear Day was established in 2002 on the hundredth anniversary of the mascot’s creation in honor of US President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. Poland has celebrated the holiday for almost 20 years, with organizers of this year’s “hug a teddy bear” event hoping that even more participants will join them next year.

Some un”bear”ably cute photos and live reporting (in Polish) on the event is available on the >>> Radio Gdańsk website


Today will be mostly cloudy with a good chance of light rain showers throughout the afternoon. Temperatures will be on the cool side with a high of 4-5 degrees Celsius or around 40 degrees Fahrenheit and overnight temps dropping below freezing. Skies will clear overnight, with low temperatures and a light breeze expected for tomorrow.