Culture Trails

Specialists in cultural group travel

Hugh Jordan

The Occupation of Poland 1939-1945

 

These two tours are designed to show a little of what life was like in German-occupied Poland through the war years.

 

Both tours start in Warsaw, where we visit Gestapo detention cells and the national memorial just outside the city on the site where their victims were brought to be executed. Also in Warsaw, we shall go to the Museum of the Uprising, telling the story and commemorating the victims of the 1944 struggle to free their city.

 

In Łódż, we see the prison which the fleeing Germans set alight with its inmates locked in their cells and also the wartime ghetto and the memorial to the Jews who were deported from the Radegast station.

 

After Łódż, you may choose to continue westwards, on the route of the Red Army in 1944 and 1945, or to continue to the old capital of Poland, Kraków.

 

In the first version, Poznań was the last major defended centre before Berlin for the advancing Red Army. Here, we visit Fort VII, used as a concentration camp and also take a look into the Enigma Museum, which tells the story of Polish codebreakers.

 

Soon after crossing the Odra River, the post-War frontier between Germany and Poland, we come to the Seelow Heights, where the Red Army had its last supply stop before heading on to Berlin. Here we visit the memorial site and the museum before covering the last seventy kilometres to the German capital.

We can add suitable relevant visits for your time in the city such as those mentioned
here.

 

If you choose to continue to Kraków, you might visit the exhibition on life under the occupation, housed in Schindler's factory and also the Museum of the Home Army, Europe's largest resistance movement.

 

The final day of this version of the tour is spent in an extended guided visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau.