Warsaw – the last glance. German aerial photographs from the time before the Warsaw Uprising, in August 1944

An exhibition by the Historical Museum of the City of Warsaw, the Union of Polish Curators of Monuments, the Foto Marburg image archive and the Herder Institute.

Warsaw – the last glance. German aerial photographs from the time before the Warsaw Uprising, in August 1944

The exhibition shows German aerial photographs of the centre of the city of Warsaw occupied by the German Wehrmacht - from the districts of Wola to Praga and from Zoliborz to Mokotów. The photographs were taken a few weeks before the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944; they were probably produced at the end of June or early July on a reconnaissance flight by a type FW 189 Eule aircraft. The good weather and the high-degree of professionalism of the photographers produced unusually good shots. The squares, streets and parks - full of people and vehicles - show a lively bustle in the summer sunshine. The architecture of particular districts and groups of buildings, as well as individual buildings, now lost, can be seen in the last days of their existence. At the same time, the extent of the losses that the Polish capital had already suffered in the German attack on Warsaw in 1939 also becomes clear.

The aerial photographs come from the Foto Marburg image archive, which received this series of 110 photos in 1983 in a private bequest. This small holding of valuable image sources, previously unknown to research, was "rediscovered" there on the occasion of a study visit to the Herder Institute, Marburg, by Dr. Marek Baranski in 2003. On his initiative, a presentation designed by him was initially realised for the Polish public in the autumn of 2004 in a collaborative project between the Union of Polish Curators of Monuments, the Historical Museum of the City of Warsaw and the Foto Marburg image archive, supported by the Foundation for German-Polish Collaboration and the Polish Workshops for the Preservation of Historical Monuments (PKZ).

A German version of the exhibition was created at the Herder Institute; this opened on 14 October 2005 in the rooms of the Institute. From the series of image boards created in Poland, a few examples have been selected from each of eleven districts and groups of buildings and these have been supplemented with explanatory boards with a city map, introductory texts and additional illustrations. In parallel with the exhibition and its printed boards, a bilingual Internet presentation has been produced in collaboration with Foto Marburg, which locates the entire holding of aerial images in an historical street map in a way that can be experienced interactively ("sensitive map"), enriched with additional photos and texts.

» Multimedia version of the photo exhibition
in collaboration with the Foto Marburg image archive and the Herder Institute

Dates of the exhibition

01.12.2017 – 02.12.2017
Deutsch-Polnische Gesellschaft Baden Württemberg, Ungarisches Kulturinstitut, Stuttgart
Venue: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Stuttgart
Info: Die Ausstellung wird gezeigt im Rahmen des Themenabends "City of Terror" am Freitag, den 1. Dezember um 19:00 Uhr.
27.06.2013 – 20.09.2013
Generalkonsulat der Republik Polen in München, München
11.04.2013 – 29.05.2013
Haus der Heimat des Landes Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart
09.02.2010 – 23.02.2010
Sächsischer Landtag, Dresden
10.07.2009 – 01.09.2009
Reichspräsident Friedrich-Ebert-Gedenkstätte, Heidelberg
28.02.2008 – 30.03.2008
Hessisches Staatsarchiv, Darmstadt
24.04.2007 – 01.06.2007
Polnisches Institut, Leipzig
18.01.2007 – 15.03.2007
Universitätsbibliothek der Christian–Albrechts–Universität, Kiel
18.08.2006 – 01.09.2006
Galeria Miejsce, Berlin
08.06.2006 – 31.07.2006
Oberverwaltungsgericht Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin
07.02.2006 – 28.04.2006
Europa–Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder
14.10.2005 – 31.12.2005
Herder-Institut, Marburg