Austria

We had our first family meeting about Poland the other day. We discussed quite a number of things, including places to visit, and UNESCO World Heritage places. I have decided that I shall choose at least five of the places we talked about, and write a little about them. The first place I have decided to write about is Austria.

Austria is in Central Europe and has about 8.47 million people living in it. Vienna, the capital of Austria, is where one fourth of the population lives. In 1999 the currency of Austria changed to Euro. It is part of the Schengen Agreement.

In Upper Austria, around the towns of Mauthausen and Gusen, there is a group of German Concentration Camps, which goes by the name of Mauthausen-Gusen Concentration Camp. In 1940 it had grown to be one of the largest Labour Camps in Germany ruled Europe.

Austria is a mainly mountainous place because of the Alps. The Central Eastern Alps, Northern Limestone Alps, and the Southern Limestone Alps are all partially in Austria.

The climate in Austria is mainly in a cool/temperate zone. The winters in Austria are cold, generally in the minuses, and the summers are warm, about in the mid twenties.

The flag of Austria is one of the oldest national flags in the world. More than half of the electricity in Austria is made by renewable resources.

It is one of Europe’s most heavily wooded countries, and it also contains a small bear population.

Why does Austria interest me? Because my dad wants the visit a little town of Kilb in Austria. He used to live there from about the age of seven for twelve months.

Czas Honoru – Polish TV Show

We have been watching many Polish TV shows recently, but our favourite one has been one called Czas Honoru. The English translation is ‘Time of Honor.’ We are currently up to season two.

Czas Honoru starts off in 1941 and is based on World War II in Poland. It mainly centres around five men, all members of the Polish Resistance. They have been specially trained by the English. The first episode is mostly about them being trained, and preparing to go back to Poland.

The Polish Resistance group contains Czesław Konarski, Władek Konarski, Michał Konarski, Bronek Woyciechowski, and Janek Markiewicz. These are the five main characters the show centres around.

Other major characters include, Wanda, who is Bronek’s fiancee. Karol Ryszkowski, who is a Pole that later becomes a German spy, he is also the ex-husband of Wanda. Lena Sajkowska who is Janek’s fiancee, she is also a Jew stuck in the Warsaw ghetto.

Doctor Maria Konarska, she is married to Czesław and is the mother of Michał and Władek, she is in charge of the Warsaw hospital. Czas Honoru also centres around the Germans in Poland.

We were quite upset to find out that when we turned season two on for the first time, the actress who played Wanda had been replaced by another actress. We are still slowly getting used to the New Wanda.

For me personally, the only bad thing about watching Czas Honoru is the fact that we have to wait for Mama and Tata to both be home before we can watch more episodes. So that sometimes, unfortunately, means having to wait long periods of time to watch more episodes. And by long periods of time, I mean more than four days! 🙂

Auschwitz – German Concentration Camp

Today I’ve been researching about Auschwitz. Here are some facts I’ve learnt about Auschwitz:

Auschwitz is a German Concentration Camp, not a Polish one. It was run by Germans and is only located in Poland.

There were three camps that made up Auschwitz, the base camp, the extermination camp, and the labor camp. There were also 45 satellite camps.

They disguised the gas chambers as shower rooms, and put in dummy shower heads in to complete the look.

Hungary was allies with Germany during the war but refused to hand over its Jews. It wasn’t until March 1944 when the Germans invaded Hungary that they finally got the Jews.

Even though the gas chambers had thick walls, for fifteen – twenty minutes you could hear the screaming and moaning of the people inside. On one attempt they revved up the engines of two motorcycles to full, and the screaming could still be heard over it.

A German Doctor, Josef Mengele, was fascinated with identical twins and put diseases in one twin, and then killed the other when the first one died, and then did an autopsy on both twins, to see the results.  He was also fascinated with dwarfs.

Białystok

pmToday I continued my learning about the city of Białystok, which is where my Tata was born way back some 41 years ago. Here is a little bit of what I’ve learnt about.

Did you know that Białystok is the largest city in northeastern Poland and that it is the capital of the Podlaskie Voivodeship. The Podlaskie Voivodeship came into being on the 1st January 1999, and the area that it covers was taken from the former Łomża Voivodeship and Białystok voivodeships, and the eastern half of the former Suwałki voivodeship.

Białystok is located on the banks of the Biała River, which passes though Białystok from South to North-East, in the North Podlasie Lowland. Out of all the cities of Poland, Białystok ranks as the number eleventh in population, as well as the second in population density, and thirteenth in area and size.Białystok is also covered in forest making it the fifth most forested city in Poland. It has a population of almost 300,000 people.

Białystok and its surrounding area were settled right back as far as the 14th century, while the city charter only dates back to 1692. Białystok is the most important economic center in northeastern Poland, and is traditionally seen as being a leading centre in cultural, artistic as well as academic life in Podlaskie.