Warsaw: The City That Was Almost Not Rebuilt

Updated: Apr 4, 2020

Written by Ankit Yadav

At the beginning of the world war, in 1939, the Germans turned their eye on one of the richest city in Poland - Warsaw. The German army aimed to take over the city via complete annihilation. Over the years they continued with their routine cleansing process by killing the inhabitants that they recognised as inferior (such as the Jews). To suppress the Warsaw uprising in 1944, the city was kept under ceaseless barrage by Nazi artillery and air power for sixty-three days and night.

In the final step of cleansing, all its historically and culturally significant places were reduced to ruins. By early 1945, 90% of the buildings had been completely destroyed. At the end of World War 2, the city of Warsaw was left in shambles. The city's new ruling authority - the Communist party proposed to shift the capital of Poland from Warsaw to elsewhere, leaving the place into a kind of reserve-a quasi-memorial of war. However, the city was almost immediately put into reconstruction by the Party President - Joseph Stalin.

But even after the end of Communist rule, Warsaw was truly, as the popular Socialist slogan goes, (re-)built by the whole nation, with donations and workers coming from all around Poland, along with a whole lot of volunteers. Combined with the spirit of people, Bernardo Bellotto’s 18th century paintings of Warsaw were used to rebuild the city from the ground up. The city went under major re-modelling with urban infrastructure and transportation planning being incorporated with items of historical relevance by modern architects to make the city a modern 21st century capital with all its glory still intact.

The spirit of Polish people will always be immortalized in the city of Warsaw - the capital that was transformed from a city reduced to rubble into what is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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