Building the Barricade: Warsaw Uprising Photographs

Hospital in PKO building at Świętokrzyska Street

Recently I interviewed translator Piotr Florczyk on his latest translation of Anna Swir’s poems, many of which come from her book, Building the Barricade, where with her spare and direct language she documents the Warsaw Uprising in Poland in 1944. The photographs of the Warsaw Uprising featured in this post were published in an edition of Swir’s Budowałam Barykadę (Building the Barricade) in 1984, a decade after the first printing. I am including several of these photos here as a companion piece to the interview.

Collecting bodies after the bombing

These photos allow us to see the aftermath of the Warsaw Uprising, which Swir re-creates in her poetry without romanticizing or moralizing. As Florczyk explains, Swir wrote these poems “as de facto little pieces of reportage— … and really attempt[ed] to cleanse the Polish experience of the war, i.e., the highly romanticized depiction of war that is so prevalent in Polish literature.” To see more photos visit the Wikimedia Commons page for Budowałam Barykadę.


Boys in the Solec district

Bomb explosion unearthed pipes with water at the intersection of Złota and Zielona Streets











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