Time for a change of scenery. Without a moment to loose, yesterday my wonderful host and Head of Collections Ela Cajzer and I were on the rails to Warsaw. We took the last train from Katowice (there’s a Beatles reference for ya), and wound up at the platinum towers on Grzybowska street just in time to crash in our rooms after a long day. I haven’t been to Warsaw in a few years, and after taking in the view from the balcony, I was reminded of how much I missed it! Though Ela was off early to attend a national collections conference, the medium pace at which I approached my leisurely awakenings was welcomed–my meetings weren’t until 10 am. :-).
Though our cooperation is chiefly with the museum, we operate closely with other divisions that support The Auschwitz Memorial. My main purpose for coming to Warsaw was to meet with my colleagues at the Friends of Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation on Twarda Street. From a cozy office near Plac Grzybowski, Jacek, Maciej, Anna, and I discussed important details and some great ideas for the coming years of our partnership. Nearby, the Palace of Science and Culture looms over the city: a distinctive scar of Poland’s days under communist rule. Nowadays Joe Stalin’s “gift” to Poland is less of an administrative monstrosity, and more of a hangout: now it’s a venue for theaters and musicians. Thankfully for me, there’s also a tourist bureau, so I was able to grab a map, allowing me to navigate through the city in a slightly less directionally challenged way. Those of you who know me can testify to the importance of this. In any case, I had to hustle to Senatorska street to meet with my friend and colleage at The Museum of Polish History Łukasz Kubacki to grab coffee before he headed home. Stay tuned…!