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Wednesday, July 10: Day 79 – Make Pierogies Great Again (That’s What the Ad Said)

We made pierogies today with another couple named Lauren and Matthew. Maria of Pierogies and More first showed us how to make the dough.

Each of us selected a spice to add to our dough for different flavors and to identify our works of art. Rob used tumeric, and it made a golden color. I had dill. We rolled the dough very thin. We learned different styles: the fork, the pinch, the rope, and the pig’s ear.

Maria is very clever. Here is her quote: “Aside from Madame Curie, pierogies are the Poles’ greatest contribution to humanity.”

Madam Curie

Even though we hear and hear about Chopin all over Warsaw, maybe even more famous is Madam Curie who was also born here.

BBC did a poll to determine the top 100 woman who have changed the world. Madam Curie was #1.

Marie Skłodowska Curie (1867-1934) was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, first female professor at the University of Paris, and the first person – note the use of person there, not woman – to win a second Nobel Prize.

Together with her husband, they identified two new elements: radium and polonium, named after her native Poland. She raised a small fortune in the US and Europe to fund laboratories and to develop cancer treatments. During the First World War, she helped to equip ambulances with x-ray equipment, and often drove them to the front line.

Uprising Museum

“A Pole surrenders but to God alone.”

Don’t you ever wonder: Who are the ones shooting these videos and taking these pictures?

Aren’t you amazed that the Germans took so many pictures celebrating their wartime atrocities?

As hard as the pictures are to see, Eisenhower said to take all the pictures at the concentration camps because in a generation, they would never believe what took place.

Polish photographers buried their films in tin cannisters in the hope that some would survive and retrieve them after the war.

So when you shake your heads and turn away, realize how important these artifacts truly are.

It is hard to say what I would have done if I were a Pole, but thinking about it today, if death was the ultimate fate for me, I would hope to put up a fight.

I learned that women volunteered during the Warsaw Uprising to be couriers. I could do that. Then I learned that they were basically sewer rats. I crawled through a sewer replica. It was so small and so dark that I couldn’t go through…and that doesn’t even take into account the putrid smells. One little boy had sugar cubes to help him. He wanted to stop and die but his courier said, “You are a man. You must keep going. You must live to tell of this.”

This statue is called “The Little Insurgent”. Children were invaluable. Young and old had a job to do.

It was great to see members of the Polish military learning from their brave predecessors.

Also, a man who looked the age of one who must have lived through it, tells a young girl his story…living history.

There were two Uprisings:

Jewish Uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto -1943

Objective: Fight and die.

There were 400 Jewish remaining. They couldn’t wait any longer to die. They chose to die with dignity. They thought that they would fight for one day. They were able to last one month.

Warsaw Uprising -1944 (This relatively new museum is dedicated to previously unknown battles.)

Objective: Fight and win.

There were 30,000 Polish who planned to win. They calculated that it would take three days. It took one month but they lost.

Poles were not allowed to talk about the Warsaw Uprising until after 1989. It is ironic that the statue was unveiled in August of 1989. This must have been one of the first things completed after the fall of Communism.

You would never know that Hitler decided to wipe Warsaw off the map. He did not succeed! It is hard to believe that this thriving city was once demolished.

Harpsichord Duo

We ended the day in a small concert venue of dueling harpsichords played by Nathan Mondry and Weronika Klosiewicz-Paine.

The harpsichord is a plucked instrument whereas a piano is a percussion instrument. The black and white colors on a harpsichord are reversed from the piano…at least on the instruments that they played.

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