Robbo is an action puzzle video game designed by Janusz Pelc and published by LK Avalon in 1989 for the Atari XL/XE computers. A success on the Polish domestic market, it was later ported to other computer platforms and also released in the United States as The Adventures of Robbo.

The game’s design was partly inspired by Boulder Dash, but with the gravity aspect removed. The player controls the titular little robot through a series of planets (56 in the original Atari version), each being a vertically-scrolling maze filled with various objects and obstacles. The goal of each level is to collect all bolts scattered around, and then reach a capsule that takes the hero to the next planet. On his way Robbo must avoid deadly obstacles that include moving creatures, laser turrets, and large magnets. Various items can be found, including keys that open doors, bullets that kill enemies and destroy impassable walls of rubble, crates that can be pushed, bombs that explode upon being shot, and mirrors that teleport the hero around the level.” Read More

Moja pierwsza gra komputerowa!  Kto pamięta pierwszą wersję na kasecie i grał na Atari?

Krzywy Las - Crooked Forest in Gryfino, Poland

"Gryfino  is a base for tourists where you can find a unique on a European scale plant community and rich fauna. One of exceptional biological specimens is the Crooked Wood in Nowe Czarnowo, four kilometers south of Gryfino, near the power station ‘Dolna Odra’ (Lower Oder), in the Forestry Gryfino area. It is a part of a pine forest of trees with arched trunks.

On the surface of about 0.30 ha there are more than 100 trees, curiously twisted for no apparent reason. The age of trees is estimated at about 74 years, as they were probably planted in 1934. The reason for the curve is still unknown.  Many stories relate to their origin, among them one which claims that the strange trunk shape is the result of tanks crossing through the young forest towards the end of World War II. More probable seems to be the hypothesis that it was the work of a forester who had shaped the tree trunks in such a way as to make them suitable for curved furniture and sledge runners production. They may have been shaped like this to produce the so called ‘horned sledges’, popular since the 19th century.

Regardless of the purpose for which they were grown this way, they are now one of the greatest natural attractions of the West Pomeranian.” (source)


German invasion of Poland photographed by Hugo Jaeger, 1939 (part 2 of 2)

Head of the SS Heinrich Himmler (right), one of the chief architects of the Holocaust, speaks with an unidentified officer in Warsaw after German invasion of Poland, 1939.

Warsaw citizens buried their dead in parks and streets after the invasion of Poland, 1939.

Street scene following the German invasion of Poland, 1939.
German nationals prepare for repatriation during the invasion of Poland, 1939.
Polish farmers and peasants flee German military during invasion of their country, 1939.
Polish women clean captured Polish guns in Modlin Fortress, north of Warsaw, 1939.
Jewish women and children in Gostynin, Poland, after the German invasion, 1939.
Polish refugees, Warsaw, 1939.
Near Modlin Fortress, Poland, 1939.
Near Warsaw, fall 1939; sign points to the battle front.  (source)

German invasion of Poland photographed by Hugo Jaeger, 1939 (part 1 of 2)

"On Sept. 1, 1939, one week after Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact, more than a million German troops—along with 50,000 Slovakian soldiers—invaded Poland. Two weeks later, a half-million Russian troops attacked Poland from the east. After years of vague rumblings, explicit threats and open conjecture about the likelihood of a global conflict—in Europe, the Pacific and beyond—the Second World War had begun.

The ostensible aim of Germany’s unprovoked assault, as publicly stated by Hitler and other prominent Nazi officials, was the pursuit of lebensraum—that is, territory deemed necessary for the expansion and survival of the Reich. But, of course, Hitler had no intention of ending his aggression at Poland’s borders, and instead was launching a full-blown war against all of Europe. (On Sept. 3, both England and France declared war on Germany—but not on the USSR.)

The invasion—during which German troops, especially, drew virtually no distinction between civilians and military personnel and routinely attacked unarmed men, women and children—lasted just over a month. Caught between two massive, well-armed powers, the Polish army and its Air Force fought valiantly (contrary to legend, which has the Poles surrendering quickly, with barely a whimper). In the end, Poland’s soldiers and aviators, fighting on two fronts, were simply overwhelmed.

In the weeks and months after the invasion, a German photographer named Hugo Jaeger traveled extensively throughout the vanquished country, making color pictures of the chaos and destruction that the five-week battle left in its wake. Here, on the 75th anniversary of the start of World War II, presents a series of Jaeger’s pictures from Poland: portraits of a country subjugated not by one enemy, but by several.

In Jaeger’s photos, meanwhile, we see early, unsettling evidence of the violence, unprecedented in its scope, that would soon be visited upon scores of countries and countless people around the globe, from the streets of London and the forests of Belgium to the North African desert and the sun-scorched islands of the South Pacific.”  (source)

Refugees near Warsaw during the 1939 German invasion of Poland. (Sign reads, ‘Danger Zone — Do Not Proceed.’)

Burned-out tank, Warsaw, 1939.
Adolf Hitler (right) prepares to fly to the Polish front, 1939.
Post-invasion Poland, 1939.
Near Sochaczew during the German invasion of Poland, 1939.
Polish soldiers captured by Germans during the invasion of Poland, 1939.
Polish soldiers and a Red Cross nurse captured during the invasion of Poland, 1939.
German troops prepare for victory parade after the invasion of Poland, 1939.
German victory parade in Warsaw after the invasion of Poland, 1939. (Hitler is on platform, arm raised in Nazi salute.)
Adolf Hitler views victory parade in Warsaw after the German invasion of Poland, 1939.

Amber Museum in Gdańsk

"Amber is particularly associated with the Baltic region, specifically because of the abundance of deposits of this material in the area. Because of historical relations (The Western Prussia Natural Museum in the Green Gate existing before WWII) and primarily because of today’s activities, Gdańsk claims the title of the world capital of amber.

In February 2000 Mr. Paweł Adamowicz, the Gdańsk City Mayor stated that under the decision of the City’s Administration, an Amber Museum be established as a branch of Gdansk History Museum. The official opening ceremony of the Amber Museum was held on June 8, 2006. Its establishment is a fundamental element of the development of the city’s tourist strategy and an important cultural event.

The temporary seat of the Amber Museum is located in a listed 14th century Gothic building with Renaissance additions, which is unique even on a European level. It used to be a key element of the medieval fortifications. This is the Fore Gate Complex of Długa Street (the so called Gdansk Barbican) located in the Old Town at the crossroads of the major tourist routes.

The architecture of the Fore Gate at Długa Street forced the substantive division of the exhibition. Two separate tourist routes follow two major themes:

I- the history of amber and amber craft, which is presented on subsequent levels of the prison Gate, which enables covering the story from millions of years ago;

II- for architecture lovers, the extensive and fascinating history of the Fore Gate presented on the first floor, i.e. the Neck and the Torture cells.

Amber is a fossil resin of coniferous trees, commonly called Pinus succinifera i.e. amber generating pine, from about 40 million years ago. It is assumed that amber originates from a few resin generating trees, and predominantly from just one of them. Baltic amber is one of many types of fossil resins found in the world.

The beginnings of its history, i.e. both the role of amber in the development of culture and the discovery of deposits, goes back to the oldest period of human history – the stone age. The oldest findings of amber products originate from the middle Palaeolithic era (about 300-40 thousand years B.C.). It was used by tribes in those times to make various types of amber jewellery and amulets.

Gdańsk is located at the crossroads of historical and present amber trading routes.

The first guild of amber craftsmen was created in Gdansk in 1477. The peak period of amber crafts in Gdańsk was in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Numerous amber works were created in the workshops at the behest of wealthy merchants, nobility, aristocracy, clergy and Polish kings.

After 300 years, the idea of creating large unique amber products apart from amber jewellery, was reborn in Gdańsk. The traditions of Gdańsk amber craftsmen are reflected primarily in the monumental sculptures, decorative and everyday use items.

Nowadays amber is used usually in jewellery. The popularity and trend for amber jewellery goes back to the fifties and still stimulates artists and producers.

The historical exhibition shows the creation and phases of development of the Fore Gate of Długa Street. At present the exhibition consists of three associated parts: the Prison Gate, the Neck with the Prison House and the Torture House. The building was constructed in stages and its current look is the result of many transformations and modernisations. The tower is the oldest part, its construction being started in the mid 14th century as part of the medieval fortifications of the Main City. The Fore Gate Complex was modified many times in the 15th and 16th centuries. During its long history it served many functions: initially military and communication, and then for over 300 years it was used as a prison.” (source)


Hussar half-armor, second half of the 17th century, Poland

"The armour is made of iron sheet; at the edges and faulds it is lined with brass borders covered with repoussé and stamped pearls. Under the rivets there are laid brass rosettes decorated in the same way as the borders. A helmet has a semi-circular skull, a peak with a nasal bar, a fauld neck guard and cheek pieces with a heart-shaped cut. A five-fauld breastplate with a fishbone in the middle tied with two leather straps. On the chest there are two circular brass appliqués with an openwork knight’s cross. A collarbone guard is made of two plates, cut to a point and tied to the right shoulder. On the front collarbone plate there is a brass cut and a repoussé openwork knight’s cross. There are eight-fauld pads with a profiled fishbone in the middle. At the end, the faulds are indented, the bottom one has an affixed leather strap for tying over the arm. There are Karwasz arm guards with a profiled fishbone on the scoops and lined with borders at the edges. The two-piece bracelets with hinges are decorated with borders in the same way as the scoops.

This is a classic older type Hussar armour dating back to the years 1640–1675. The applied decoration gives the Hussar armour its originality, consisting of the contrasting combination of silver iron and golden brass, which was used to make the borders on the edges of the structural elements, as well as the ornaments and emblems.” (source)




Hitler’s personal photographer, Hugo Jaeger, captures images of women in occupied Kutno:

"Why would Hugo Jaeger, a photographer dedicated to lionizing Adolf Hitler and the ‘triumphs’ of the Third Reich, choose to immortalize conquered Jews in Warsaw and Kutno (in central Poland) in such an uncharacteristic, intimate manner? Most German photographers working in the same era as Jaeger usually focused on the Wehrmacht; on Nazi leaders; and on the military victories the Reich was routinely enjoying in the earliest days of the Second World War. Those pictures frequently document brutal acts of humiliation, even as they glorify German troops.

The photographs that Jaeger made in the German ghettos in occupied Poland, on the other hand, convey almost nothing of the triumphalism seen in so many of his other photographs. Here, in fact, there is virtually no German military presence at all. We see the devastation in the landscape of the German invasion of Poland, but very little of the ‘master race’ itself.

It is, of course, impossible to fully recreate exactly what Jaeger had in mind, but from the reactions of the people portrayed in these images in Warsaw and Kutno, there appears to be surprising little hostility between the photographer and his subjects. Most of the people in these pictures, Poles and Jews, are smiling at the camera. They trust Jaeger, and are as curious about this man with a camera as he is about them. In this curiosity, there is no sense of hatred. The men, women and children on the other side of the lens and Jaeger look upon one another without the aggression and tension characteristic of the relationship between perpetrator and victim.”  (source)

Images [x][x]


I am furious. FURIOUS. Where do you get off highlighting the perceived humanity in a man who did propaganda for the nazi regime. Hitlers pal. AN EVIL FUCKING MAN. COME ON! How’s is this even up for discussion? I’m so angry I might cry

I’m curious as to whether or not you looked at the source of the above quote and read the piece in its entirety before replying to this post.  It is taken from an essay written by Justyna Majewska, who works as a curator at the Holocaust Gallery in the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.  I found this essay to be quite a poignant and interesting interpretation of Jaeger’s work.  The fact that the photographs appear to be taken in an atmosphere devoid of the usually seen contempt and down-right hatred is an important aspect of why they seemingly stand out from both Jaeger’s usual work, and from other photographs from the same time period. 

Jaeger is known for his color photos of the grand propaganda spectacles orchestrated by the Nazis.  As the essay aptly states, “The men, women and children on the other side of the lens and Jaeger look upon one another without the aggression and tension characteristic of the relationship between perpetrator and victim.”  One very important reason for this is perhaps that Jaeger is working in the interest of propaganda.  In spite of their uniqueness, other similar photographs do exist (smiling Wehrmacht soldiers being handed food by smiling locals in occupied countries) and served this very purpose. 

Neither the unique nature of the photos nor the author’s essay attempt to absolve Jaeger in any way, or to humanize his intentions.  Majewska is putting forth some questions in her writing:  Why were they taken this way?  What can they tell us about this particular moment in history, about Jaeger’s relationship to his subject, about the true purpose behind their “benign” atmosphere?  Personally, I think they show Poles and Jews at a crucial moment when their fate was already decided by Hitler and his Party, but they themselves were still not quite aware of it.  Majewska also writes, “He simply perceived them as fascinating subjects [or objects?]. While he probably felt that their subjugation was inevitable in the face of the German Blitzkrieg, he nevertheless captures these already subjugated people sympathetically.”  We don’t know how Jaeger really felt, all we can do is speculate how he wanted these photos to be received (what we do know is that he capitalized on them later, selling his work to Life magazine).  No one is defending him, but the analysis of what we see inevitably points to the fact that these people were captured differently than most others at the time.  And it leaves us wondering why.  

Whether it was propaganda, Jaeger’s own curiosity, an experiment, or something else altogether, I’m genuinely surprised you found this piece as humanizing Jaeger or his intentions.  A possibly “sympathetic” eye doesn’t make Jaeger any less culpable or removed from the monstrosity from which he profited.  And no one is claiming otherwise.  My suggestion is that you, along with krismichelle429, re-read this in its entirety, and put your critical thinking skills to work.  When I’m writing my posts or putting together content, I’m assuming I’m not pandering to the lowest common denominator, therefore I didn’t think I had to present an in-depth explanation of what both this essay and photos convey. 

Moszna Castle, Poland

"The Moszna Castle is a historic castle and residence located in a small village of Moszna in Poland. The castle is one of the best known monuments in the western part of Upper Silesia. The history of this building begins in the 17th century, although much older cellars were found in the gardens during excavations carried out at the beginning of the 20th century. Some of the investigators, including H. Barthel, claimed that those cellars could have been remnants of a presumed Templar castle, but their theory has never been proved. After World War II, further excavations discovered a medieval palisade.

The central part of the castle is an old baroque palace which was partially destroyed by fire on the night of April 2, 1896 and was reconstructed in the same year in its original form by Franz Hubert von Tiele-Winckler (the son of Hubert von Tiele-Winckler). The reconstruction works involved an extension of the residence. The eastern Neogothic-styled wing of the building was built by 1900, along with an adjacent orangery. In 1912-1914, the western wing was built in the Neo-Renaissance style. The architectural form of the castle contains a wide variety of styles, thus it can be generally defined as eclectic. The height of the building, as well as its numerous turrets and spires, give the impression of verticalism.  The whole castle has exactly ninety-nine turrets. Inside, it contains 365 rooms with a total floorage of 7,000 sq. m. and a cubic capacity of about 65,000 m The castle was twice visited by the German Emperor Wilhelm II. His participation in hunting during his stay at the castle was documented in a hand-written chronicle in 1911 as well as in the following year. The castle in Moszna was the residence of a Silesian family Tiele-Winckler who were industrial magnates, from 1866 until the spring of 1945 when they were forced to move to Germany and the castle was occupied by the Red Army. The period of the Soviet control caused significant damage to the castle’s internal fittings in comparison to the minor damage caused by WWII.

After World War II the castle did not have a permanent owner and was the home of various institutions until 1972 when it became a convalescent home. It is now a Public Health Care Centre for Therapies of Neuroses. It can still be seen or visited by tourists. The castle also has a chapel which is used as a concert hall. Since 1998 the castle housed a gallery in which works of various artists are presented at regular exhibitions.

Apart from the castle itself, the entire complex includes a park which has no precise boundaries and includes nearby fields, meadows and a forest. Only the main axis of the park can be characterised as geometrical. Starting from the gate, it leads along the oak and then horse-chestnut avenues, towards the castle. Further on, the park passes into an avenue of lime trees with symmetrical canals running along both sides of the path, lined with a few varieties of rhododendrons. The axis of the park terminates at the base of a former monument of Hubert von Tiele-Winckler. On the eastern side of the avenue there is a pond with an islet referred to by the owners as Easter Island. The islet is planted with needle-leaved shrubs and can be reached by a Chinese-styled bridge. The garden, as part of the whole park complex was restored slightly earlier than the castle itself. Preserved documents of 1868 state that the improvement in the garden’s aesthetic quality was undertaken by Hubert von Tiele-Winckler.”  (source)

Images: [x][x][x][x]

Anonymous asked:

Hello! I've heard that święconka has its origins in pre-Christian customs. Is there anything you know about this, or any directions you could point me in? Wiki has references, but they're to academic books in German or Polish. :(

I might be able to give you at least a little information about the pagan connections, but most of what I know about święconka is closely tied with the Christian tradition.  Most sources point to the fact that Christianity and paganism are tightly intertwined in Easter rituals, making it more difficult to distinguish between the origin of certain aspects.  The most basic answer to this I have is that the blessing of food prior to consumption during the pagan celebration of the spring equinox was equated with endowing it with the powers of healing and vitality.  Unfortunately I have no sources on hand to give you, it’s something I’ve read at some point but cannot remember where.  I think the blessing of the Easter basket as well as Easter breakfast, and possibility of them having pagan roots can be somewhat inferred from other connections between the pagan and Christian rituals associated with the spring season.  

Prior to the advent of Christianity, Slavs celebrated Jare Święto or Jare Gody, during the time of the spring equinox.  Like Easter, it was associated with resurrection, fertility, and life.  The Slavic pagan god Jaryło is connected with the spring season, renewal, and fertility.  Jare Święto, to my knowledge, is also the celebration of his birth.  One of the most prolific symbols which unites pagan and Christian traditions in this area is the egg.  Polish pisanki were decorated long before Christianity came to Poland, often with pagan symbols.  Pagan Slavs attributed magic properties to them, including healing powers.  Pisanki are a vital part of not only the Easter holiday itself for Christians, but of course part of the święconka basket and Easter breakfast too.  The idea of rebirth and renewal is probably one of the main uniting factors between pre- and post-Christian tradition of this time of year.  In the pagan tradition the decorated eggs were supposed to bring happiness, vitality, and a plentiful and healthy season of crops.  (Decorating eggs, of course, reaches far beyond Slavic lands and is present in the histories of many different cultures around the world.)

Jare Święto, like Easter, included a feast.  The traditional Easter basket should include bread and/or cake symbolizing life and well-being, and pagan Slavs baked kołacze (a type of circular bread) for this occasion.  The ritual was also shared with the deceased, when families brought food and drink to their graves to honor and include them in the celebration, as it was believed their souls roamed the Earth during this time.  (see also Dziady)  Moreover, the ritual of bathing in and sprinkling one another with blessed water during this time was also observed, which is suggested to have survived in the form of Śmigus-Dyngus until today.  Water, of course, symbolically and literally is a way to cleanse ourselves.  Blessed water, whether in Christian or any other faith seems to have similar properties.

A blog which may be able to answer your question better, and whose author is much more knowledgeable on the topic of Polish history and culture, is lamus-dworski.  Also, if any of my followers would like to bring any corrections to my answer, or perhaps have a much better insight into the topic, please add to this post.

Baptism of Poland - Chrzest Polski

"The Christianization of Poland refers to the introduction and subsequent spread of Christianity in Poland.  The impetus to the process was the Baptism of Poland, the personal baptism of Mieszko I, the first ruler of the Polish state, and much of his court. The ceremony took place on the Holy Saturday of 14 April 966, although the exact location is still disputed by historians, with the cities of Poznań and Gniezno being the most likely sites. Mieszko’s wife, Dobrawa of Bohemia is often credited as a major influence on Mieszko’s decision to accept Christianity.

While the spread of Christianity in Poland took centuries to finish, the process was ultimately successful, as within several decades Poland joined the rank of established European states recognized by the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire. According to some historians the baptism of Poland marks the beginning of Polish statehood.

Before the adoption of Christianity, Poland was a pagan country. Svetovid was among the most widespread pagan gods worshiped in Poland. Christianity arrived on the Polish lands around the late 9th century, most likely around the time when the Vistulan tribe encountered the Christian rite in dealings with their neighbors, the Great Moravia (Bohemian) state. Although some of the Great Moravian Christian rites and faith might have spread to the Polish lands soon afterward, there is little conclusive evidence for that.

Nonetheless, the Moravian cultural influence played a significant role in the spread of Christianity onto the Polish lands and the subsequent adoption of that religion.  In fact, the Christianization of Poland through the Czech–Polish alliance represented a conscious choice on the part of Polish rulers to ally themselves with the Czech state rather than the German one.  In a similar fashion, some of the later political struggles involved the Polish Church refusing to subordinate itself to the German hierarchy and instead being directly subordinate to the Vatican.

The [Baptism] ceremony was preceded by a week of oral catechism and several days of fasting. The actual ceremony involved pouring water over the segregated groups of men and women, although it is possible that their heads were immersed instead, and anointed with the chrism.

The baptismal mission which began in the two major cities of Gniezno and Poznań with the baptism of Mieszko and his court spread throughout the country.  During the 10th and 11th centuries various ecclesiastical organs were established in Poland.  This included the building of churches and the appointment of clergy.  The first Bishop of Poland, Jordan, was appointed by Pope John XIII in 968.  Mieszko’s son Bolesław I Chrobry supported Christianization missions to neighboring lands, notably the mission of future Saint Adalbert of Prague to Old Prussians, and established the Archbishopric of Gniezno in the year 1000.

Although at first the Christian religion was ‘unpopular and alien’, Mieszko’s baptism was highly influential but needed to be enforced by the state, and ran into some popular opposition, including an uprising in the 1030s (particularly intense in the years of 1035–1037).  Nonetheless, by that time Poland had won recognition as a proper European state, both from the papacy and from the Holy Roman Empire.

Out of various Polish provinces, Christianity’s spread was slowest in Pomerania, where it gained a significant following only around the 12th century.  Initially, the clergy came from the Western Christian European countries; native Polish clergy took three or four generations to emerge, and were supported by the monasteries and friars that grew increasingly common in the 12th century.  By the 13th century Roman Catholicism had become the dominant religion throughout Poland.

In adopting Christianity as the state religion, Mieszko sought to achieve several personal goals.  He saw Poland’s baptism as a way of strengthening his hold on power, as well as using it as a unifying force for the Polish people.  It replaced several smaller cults with a single, central one, clearly associated with the royal court.  It would also improve the position and respectability of the Polish state on the international, European scene.  The Church also helped to strengthen the monarch’s authority, and brought to Poland much experience with regard to state administration. Thus, the Church organization supported the state, and in return, bishops received important government titles (in the later era, they were members of the Senate of Poland).” (source)


Christianization of Poland A.D. 966, Jan Matejko, 1889.

Mieszko I, Jan Matejko, late 19th century.

Dobrawa of Bohemia, Jan Matejko, late 19th century.

Map of Poland during the reign of Mieszko I, c. 960-992.