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The Wawel Castle and the Main Square in the Shadow of the Swastika

The occupier undertook to eradicate the Polish identity of Krakow by proving that it was an ancient German city. To this end, street names were changed, monuments were demolished, and frontages along streets were repainted. To this day, there are still many German traces in Krakow, which have permanently grown into the city's tissue.


Professors Andrzej Chwalba and Jacek Purchla discuss how German propaganda was used to change the symbolic landscape of the city. The Main Square was renamed Adolf Hitler Platz, the Mickiewicz and Kościuszko monuments were toppled, and several important Nazi administrative offices were placed in the Old City area. The Wawel Castle, renamed Krakauer Burg, was also to become a symbol of German civilization. For example, designs by the Polish architect Adolf Szyszko-Bohusz were used to adjust the appearance of Wawel Hill was adjusted to Hans Frank's monarchist ambitions.  In this episode, our guests will also talk about conflicts of memories of the actions undertaken by the occupying forces, which e.g. expanded the city's railroad infrastructure.  

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