Warsaw Part 2 - WW2

Trip Start Mar 10, 2014
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Trip End Mar 21, 2014


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Flag of Poland  , Central Poland,
Wednesday, March 19, 2014

One other thing I am loving about Warsaw is that there is free WIFI in many spots! It is making it much easier to geocache and not have to use my international data plan.
We walked down the Royal Way yesterday and found a total of 5 caches so far in Warsaw! I hope to find some more today - and I dropped off the TB from the AP Human Class. 

Also, not sure I haven't mentioned this before - water is not served in restaurants in many places in Europe! You must buy it by the bottle and it is very expensive. In Belgium and Germany we were always buying water. In Poland, however, they serve it in pitchers at the table! It was wonderful! 

Poland joined the EU 10 years ago (1994) after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communism (1989). When the Soviet Union collapsed, the Warsaw Pact became null and void (can't have a commitment with a country that has gone bankrupt and no longer essentially exists). They also joined NATO. 

USA Vice President Joe Biden is also in Warsaw, at the hotel near us, because he is speaking to other nearby countries (Lithuania, Latvia) about the situation in Ukraine. Seeing Poland's history with former Soviet Union, you can see why the situation in Ukraine can also worry the former satellite states. Poland was never part of the Soviet Union, but they had a government that was controlled by the USSR. They had Soviet tanks in their country. They had communism - see the pictures of the housing in Berlin to see what it looks like. People were paid the same, they could not own businesses, and they all lived in very similar housing. What do you think of that? Communism is a complex theory that involves the governing style and economy, rolled in to one. 

Yesterday, we went to the Warsaw Uprising museum. You will see the timeline of WW2 in one of the pictures, but it began with an invasion of Poland from Germany on the West and Stalin (Soviet Union) on the east. The Polish army capitulated, but the Polish people did not give in. They were a city of 1.3 million. 300,000 Jews were sent to the Jewish Ghetto and then killed in their uprising (resistance) and in concentration camps. Another 500,000 others (non-Jews) were killed for being political dissidents (disagree), aiding the Jews, or participating in the Uprising of 1944. After they lost, the Nazis destroyed Warsaw to the ground. The city today is rebuilt based on pictures and paintings of how it used to be. 

To see a Oscar-winning movie (2002) based on the events of Warsaw during WW2, you can watch The Pianist. It is rated R for violence, but maybe you and your parents could watch it together and discuss. It is based on the memoirs of a Jew and shows the human side of all of these chronological historical facts. Let me know if you watch it. It is free on Netflix.

Schoology Questions
1. What was the Warsaw Uprising - what were they fighting against? Describe briefly. What percentage of the city was destroyed after the uprising? 
2. Who was Jan Karski and what did he tell Franklin D Roosevelt (our president)?
3. Why did Irena Sendler almost win a Nobel Peace Prize?
4. What type of government did Poland have from after WW2 until 1989? Why?
5. When did Poland join the EU? NATO?
AP only: Describe agriculture in Poland over the last 60 years. For example, what was it like during the communist years (state-owned?) after WW2 and how did it transition to private-owned? Also, what are its main exports and how much of its industry is centered around agriculture? Why is Poland doing so well economically 
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