Upload & Sell: On
I was in Poland last week in a place called Katowice. Maybe not as famous as its near neighbor, Krakow, but certainly a place that had it's share of history at the start of the 20th Century. Originally Polish, then Bohemian, Austrian and eventually Prussian, at the start of the last Century, as Well's martians were casting their envious eyes towards us, Katowice was under the rule of the German Empire. After WWI there were two uprisings in the province that Katowice is a part of (Silesia) to push for a league of nations plebiscite for their future. Germany was keen to hang onto the region as it was rich in Iron and coal and was a major source of income for the post-war reparations from the treaty of Versailles and in the end the region voted to remain German. However this led to a third uprising where Upper Silesia managed to break away from Germany and join Poland. Although the minority in land and population it was the majority in wealth and productivity.
Their break from Germany was only to last 15 years however as in 1939 the spearhead of the German army entered Poland through this region. The Polish army fell back to prepare to defend Krakow leaving Katowice undefended but the March into Katowice was not as easy as expected as a mixed irregular force of Silesian uprising veterans and Boy and Girl scouts fortified and defended the city.
Sadly, as much of Polish WW2 history, this was an act of hopeless heroism. Although the held up the assault for two days, boys and girls with rifles were no match for the German army with it's modern weaponry and heavy artillery and in the end the children were swept aside and killed and soon the rest of Poland followed.
After the War Poland was occupied by the Soviets and of the next 45 years the city was under the grip of the communists. There was even an attempt to rename the town Stalinogrod, but even the puppet dictatorship couldn't make this name stick.
These days the city relies less on coal and steel and more on becoming a hub for IT and other services. There is a lot of building and reconstruction work, although the old communist blocks still dominate the city, however the city is modernizing fast and I can attest there are several very fine restaurants in the city and quite a passable local beer.
Below are some images from the city taken with the Series E 28mm and 55mm Macro.
Monument to the defense of the city in WW2
Monument tot eh 3 Silisean uprisings
1919, date of the first uprising
One of the local pigeons on a wet day
Communist accommodation block.