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Huge interactive collection of WWII aerial photos obtained by Warsaw Rising Museum

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"Roots of a City" promotional video
"Roots of a City" promotional videoWarsaw Rising Museum
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Warsaw Rising Museum"Roots of a City" promotional video

A collection of nearly two thousand photos of Warsaw taken by the Luftwaffe during the WWII have been obtained by the Warsaw Rising Museum. The institution encourages the city's history buffs to help in identifying locations shown in the photographs.

"Of a million photos taken by the Luftwaffe we have managed to select nearly two thousand pictures of Warsaw. We've made the collection available in the form of an application at a website, which is an introduction to a social project "Roots of a City" - said the director of the Warsaw Rising Museum Jan Ołdakowski.

What's the idea of the new initiative of the museum? As Jan Ołdakowski explained, people having knowledge about Warsaw will be able to co-create and improve the collection. "Specific layers can be attached to the photos, as well as additional information and one's own observations. You don't need to an aerial photography expert to find something in these pictures and be able to compare them," Ołdakowski said.

Full picture of Warsaw

Acquired from the National Archives at College Park near Washington, the collection of photos was taken between late 1941 and 28 December, 1944. "This last photo is shocking. It shows an empty city and a cloud of dust coming from the blown-up left wing of the Saxon Palace. The right wing was still standing. As we know from history, it was blown-up the next day," Ołdakowski said.

Ryszard Mączewski, a museum's expert on Warsaw, said that the obtained photos give a full picture of the whole of Warsaw. "We have a fantastic collection of pictures from before the Rising, taken on 27 July, 1944. This is a valuable source for research into which parts of Warsaw had been destroyed already in September 1939, or during Soviet bombings. Then we have a big collection from the Rising, including from a raid carried out on August 30. You can see barricades, tramways scattered in the streets and many other details," Mączewski said.

He also said the collection has photos taken after the Rising. "They show various stages of the city's destruction, individual fires, burned-out walls of tenements houses," Mączewski said. He added that the photos were taken from so high a level, we won't be able to see people in them.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English,

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Powstania Warszawskiego

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