If you’re interested in Jewish history and heritage in Warsaw, a good place to start is the Jewish Warsaw web site created by the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
Jewish Warsaw is a richly detailed, multimedia online resource, presenting Warsaw as seen through the history of its Jewish residents, past and present. We noted it when it went online in 2016, but want to highlight it again, as a reminder of an extremely valuable resource — for visitors as well as for armchair travelers.
It has three sections presenting different ways to “tour” the city, its history and its present-day Jewish life.
— one follows in the footsteps of nine individual Jews who historically were important for the city
— one follows in the footsteps of children’s right pioneer Janusz Korczak, the WW2-era Jewish orphanage director who was deported to his death along with the children from the orphanage
— one, “Past and Present,” is a multi-media exploration of Jewish history and heritage in Warsaw, from early days, through the Holocaust and the Warsaw Ghetto and its destruction, up until the present. Among other things, it explores how Jews have made a physical mark on the city, via architecture and the districts in which they lived.
One part of this section, titled Our Warshe: 1945-2016 , is devoted to the post-War Jewish experience, recounted in the form of blogposts and photographs by more than a dozen of today’s Jewish Varsavians — scholars, writers, activists, historians, researchers.
They are very varied — scholar and activist Stanislaw Krajewski, for example, uses photographs of specific places in the city to tell his own story of becoming involved in Judaism. The Jewish heritage researcher Jan Jagielski takes users on a tour of the Okopowa Jewish cemetery. The “slow fashion blogger” Joanna Glogaza gives a rundown on a variety of restaurant, cafes, shops, and other locales.
They all serve as guides to highly personal Jewish routes through Warsaw — routes that become threads that combine into a tapestry of contemporary Jewish presence (and absence) in the Polish capital.
There is also a smartphone app available to go with the online guide.