Thursday, May 24, 2012

`A Barrier to German Plans'

“In the ancient Polish city of Cracow, the entire professoriate of the renowned university was sent to concentration camps. The statue of Adam Mickiewicz, the great romantic poet, was pulled down from its pedestal on the Market Square, which was renamed Adolf-Hitler-Platz. Such actions were symbolic as well as practical. The university at Cracow was older than any university in Germany. Mickiewicz had been respected by the Europeans of his day as much as Goethe. The existence of such an institution and such a history, like the presence of the Polish educated classes as such, was a barrier to German plans, but also a problem for Nazi ideology.”

[from Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, 2010]

1 comment:

Cynthia Haven said...

This terrible incident was portrayed in Andrzej Wajda's 2007 film "Katyń," as you probably know. (Wajda's father was one of the officers who disappeared in the massacre.)

Make sure you visit Jagiellonian University while you're in the city – and (corny as it sounds) make sure you see the mechanical clock in the courtyard of the Collegium Novum.