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    Warsaw: Workshop Producing Cutlery Found in Former Ghetto

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    During archaeological excavations carried out in the area of the former ghetto on Anielewicza Street in Warsaw, a craftsman’s workshop producing, among other things, cutlery, was discovered. This discovery is exceptional because the workshop has been remarkably preserved, stated archaeologist Michał Grabowski.

    The archaeological work was conducted in the area of the former ghetto and the former Gęsia Street 33, which was an exit street from Warsaw. In a tenement building located at the address of the former Gęsia Street 33, built at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, a craftsman’s workshop was unearthed.

    “This discovery is exceptional because the workshop is almost entirely preserved. The wooden floor and the bases of the machines have been preserved,”

    said archaeologist Michał Grabowski.

    He explained that the workshop was involved in the production of cutlery for the pre-war residents of the district, as well as during the war, as evidenced by the cutlery with the image of the German eagle. “In addition to cutlery, they also produced badges and emblems. For example, we found badges of Dror, a Jewish organization that operated in Poland. It was an organization that prepared young people for emigration to Palestine. Its members also participated in the resistance movement and took part in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising,” emphasized Grabowski.

    Among the artifacts found beneath the floor were packaging from pre-war Makówka candies and fragments of a book. “During the excavation, we discovered a fragment of a badge used by employees of the Fiat factory, which was opened in 1935,” he added.

    According to Magdalena Kruszewska-Polak, a specialist from the Collections Department of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum, the wooden floor and workshop furniture found during the construction work at Anielewicza underwent conservation. “The conservation process itself will take about six months. After that, we plan to incorporate these elements into our permanent exhibition. This is certainly not the end of such discoveries because the ghetto occupied a significant part of Warsaw, and in the future, we will have a chance for further discoveries,” concluded Kruszewska-Polak.

    Gęsia Street no longer exists today in Muranów. Before World War II, it began at Nalewki Street. Its extension to the east was Franciszkańska Street, leading to Nowe Miasto. Gęsia ran southwest to the gate of the Jewish cemetery at Okopowa. Its path partially overlaps with the modern Nalewki Street, and from the intersection with Karmelicka Street, it runs parallel to Anielewicza Street until Okopowa.

    From 1940 to 1942, the buildings at No. 24 housed the Central Prison for the Jewish district, known as “Gęsiówka” after the street’s name, which was later incorporated into the complex of the Warsaw concentration camp KL Warschau, together with the main building located at Zamenhofa 19.

    The former buildings on Gęsia Street were destroyed in 1943 during and after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, in which the street found itself within the ghetto’s boundaries in November 1940. The surviving burned buildings of “Gęsiówka” were demolished after 1960.

    After World War II, a new street was laid out along the path of Gęsia Street, and on December 31, 1955, it was named after Mordechaj Anielewicz, the leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

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