'Festung Warschau': Report From the Besieged City (Fragments) Cover Image

'Festung Warschau': Raport z oblężonego miasta (fragmenty)
'Festung Warschau': Report From the Besieged City (Fragments)

Author(s): Elżbieta Janicka
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Instytut Badań Literackich Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: Warsaw; Polish History 20c.; Urban studies; Memorial sites; Testimonies; Memory.

Summary/Abstract: The author juxtaposes the factual versus the phantasmatic topography of Warsaw and offers a peripathetic guide to the town’s palimpsest. She analyses signs of identity (‘memorial sites’ and forms of commemoration) in the public space along the axes of Jana-Pawła-II Avenue and Stawki Street, which mark out the length and width of the former Warsaw Ghetto. Is this an instance of a lack of planning in a symbolic space, or, rather, is it a manifestation of a community of ideas? Myths – old and new, top-down and bottom-up ones; a historical policy; historical reconstructions. This article analyses symbolic coincidences and tensions – in the light of documents and historical testimonies, contemporary literary works and a continuously updated chronicle of the city’s life. Is this space an expression of trauma, or a polemic message against a vision of history, and against an image of community perceived as threatening to the images of a dominant majority’s conceptions and representations of itself?

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 143-176
  • Page Count: 34
  • Language: Polish