Mausoleum of Struggle & Martyrdom – Warsaw

Mausoleum of Struggle & Martyrdom is one of the many places the Gestapo interrogated, tortured, and murdered.  It is a free exhibit, just 2 hallways, and by far one of the most enlightening, moving, fascinating, devastating, and underrated (I was the only one there) sites I visited in Warsaw. That evening I remember feeling I was in a dark place…but

Auschwitz Birkenau

Personal belongings were taken upon arrival to a section of the camp referred to as “Canada”. Called “Canada” because people brought valuables (thinking they’d use at their relocation) and the Americas were viewed as prosperous. The Germans took anything of value, burned anything personal. These “Canada Warehouses” were subsequently destroyed by the Germans (along with gas and cremation facilities) to hide evidence of wrongdoing.
Correction, upon arrival they were allowed to keep one item…a belt…because they’d lose weight quickly.
I think guide said initially they’d photograph each inmate, but as cost of film and developing increased, they began using tattoos to save money. Also, as the death toll grew, tattoos were an easier way to identify the bodies.
Each prison uniform had a distinguishable patch so guards could quickly identify the category of prisoner. IE – political prisoners had a red triangle, criminals a green triangle, Jews a yellow star of David, Jehovah witnesses purple triangle, etc.
See bunk pic below, 5-6 people slept on each level.

Chocolates in Poland

While Warsaw is home to the oldest confectionery manufacturer in the world there are now many boutique chocolate shops  to discover. On our adventure through the country we found a lot of high quality chocolate shops and couldn’t resist sampling a few of the more renown Polish makers. Karmell makes an amazing array of beautiful chocolates filled with every imaginable ganache, caramel, or fruit filling you want! The dark salted caramel chocolates are spectacular, creamy, rich centers with quality couveture

Praga Street Art – Warsaw

Praga is known for street art. Artistic renderings among dilapidated buildings are concentrated throughout the streets of Ul. Rowna, Stalowa, Strzelecka, and Srodkowa.