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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

The Liberation of Krakow by The Red Army

Dearest hearts,
Dear history lovers,

These lines are especially addressed to you, as today - 18th of January - we celebrate the Liberation of Krakow by the Red Army, during the Second World War. During the Second World War this magical city was under German occupation for 5 years and 5 months. It was presided by the General Hans Frank, who chose as his headquarters and living place nothing more or less then the wonderful Wawel Castle. It is said that he was a great lover of art and history and he particularly fell in love with the city. Many of the tour guides will tell you the when the Germans were forced to back out of the Polish cities, the big ones especially, they were razed to the ground. Not one stone was left standing in Warsaw, for example, where everything you see today in the Old Town is an actual replica of the old models. When the Nazis retreated they placed explosives along the way. No bridge was left standing! Now imagine the shock of people coming back to Krakow or people coming to visit friends and family in Krakow, after the Liberation, seeing the whole city - minus 2 or 3 bridges - spit spot with all the magical architecture still standing... it was as if nothing happened... as if no horror ever took place there... well, they could not be more wrong!
Archive picture of the Main Market Square in Krakow during a German parade - Second World War 
Of course you know of the Auschwitz & Birkenau camps not far away but there was another one - where now only a monument resides - in Podgorze. Krakow was supposed to be a German historical city - even a fake science association was built, with the mission to show that Krakow had ancient German roots and it was an Ancient German City. None of the buildings were to be destroyed, the city was supposed to be wiped clean and made ready for the German people. In their fervor to change the city, the only education allowed for the Poles was elementary school - but without history and geography, so no sense of Polish nationality could be instilled upon the younger ones. Systematically the higher education - and it's teachers - were extermined.
Picture taken inside the Schindlers Museum - changing of the name of the Main Market Square during Second World War 
It is said that the Red Army liberated Krakow but in fact, post communist times, research has shown that the Germans had enough time to retreat at their own sweet pace and also take several trains filled with priceless pieces of art. The Germans did not need to defend the city, they had no great necessity to have it for their own, unlike the rather German looking Wroclaw (Breslau) - that to this very day it looks to me more German than Polish! In Wroclaw (Breslau) the German people defended the city for 5 months! That shows where their interest truly resided. They did not blow up any main buildings nor torched them to the ground. Only Gestapo buildings were destroyed and some bridges destroyed so all but one entrance to the city would remain - entrance they used to retreat... so... would you actually call this a Liberation or perfect timing from the Red Army side? :) coincidences coincidences... what do you think?! Should Krakow celebrate this day?

Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves History