In between typically ugly 1950s appartment blocks lies a large one floor building. This is the site of Pawiak Prison, or rather, the largely restored remains of it. With most of the rest of Warsaw, the prison was completely razed to the ground by German forces in 1944. A dead tree holding commemorative plaques at the entrance is a telling sign.
Pawiak prison saw around 100 000 people (around ten percent of Warsaw's population) arrive, be executed at the spot or deported to one of the concentration camps in use by Nazi Germany. It has become a symbol of resistance and struggle of the Varsovians against a foreign power, as well as their martyrdom.
The remains of the basement of the prison are now converted to a museum. One part is an exhibition about life in prison, and it radiates the determination of the Polish people to fight the Nazis, to fight for their freedom, even though they were imprisoned in a place that knew no exit other than deportation to a concentration camp. The other part is a corridor with a few bare cells and their stories. It is surely a relief to step outside into the light after having been even one hour inside the dark place. At least the visitor can get out.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Pawiak Prison Museum (Poland). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Pawiak Prison Museum.
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