Old and New

Trip Start Jul 10, 2007
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Trip End Jul 21, 2007


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Flag of Poland  ,
Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Poland is another country that talks openly about the oppression they suffered at the hands of Communism. But their oppression also occurred at the hands of the Nazis. Their architecture shows all influences.






After WWI, Gdynia was declaired to be an unincorporated region solely answerable to the League of Nations. When Scandinavian coal became unavailable for export, the League of Nations developed the Port of Gdynia to export coal from Southern Poland. It was developed as a state of the art facility.


For this reason, along with the availability of fuel, it was too tempting an area for the Nazis who took over Gdynia and eventually all of Poland.They captured a ship building company and used it to build Messerschmidts and warships. This resulted in its becoming a prime target for the Allied air forces and much of the area was destroyed. By the end of the war the old village of Gdansk which dated back to the first millenium was totally destroyed. The Communist regime in Warsaw provided the funds to reconstruct the village but it was the spirit of people that made it happen.




Under communism, the architecture of the area changed completely. Large apartment buildings replaced individual residences. Communist thinking believed that keeping people in small apartments kept them feeling insignificant and powerless and although they had little, everyone had the same, except, of course, the communist leaders.
Ironically this environment produced a Lekh Walenza who led the shipyard workers revolt leading to the Solidarity Movement and eventually the freedom of Poland.



Walenza credits Poland's freedom 60% to Pope Paul and 40% to Ronald Regan. There is a fresco on the building in which Walenza lived honoring he and the Pope.



We were able to see very little of Gdansk, called Dansig by the Germans even to this day. Mobility limitations made it difficult to see more than just an overview of this historical village but George got into the town and provided us with these pictures.

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