Highlights From Our Recent Central European Trip

This time I want to share few highlights from our recent trip to Central European countries including Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and Czech Republic.

national-theatre-budapest

An impressive National Theatre building lies on the bank of the Danube, between the Soroksari road, the Grand Boulevard and the Lagymanyosi Bridge. While I was sitting here I had this thought about the future Belgrade Waterfront project and what my people can learn from our neighbors.

house-of-terror

The chill-bone House of Terror is a museum located at Andrassy utca in Budapest. The museum contains exhibits related to the fascist and communist regimes in the 20th-century Hungary. House of Terror is also a memorial to the victims of these regimes, including people detained, tortured interrogated and killed in this building.

auschwitz-entrance

auschwitz

sculpture-from-auschwitz

Auschwitz. This museum stands in Poland to this date for all of us to remember how at some point in 20th century the civilization came to the lowest point in its modern history. In these two complexes Nazi Germans killed well over 1 million people. Approximately 1 in 6 Jews killed in the Holocaust died at the camp. Others deported to Auschwitz included 150,000 Poles, 23,000 Romani and Sinti, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, 400 Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, and tens of thousands of people of diverse nationalities. Many of those not killed in the gas chambers died of starvation, infectious diseases, individual executions, medical experiments and forced labor. A visit to this museum should be mandatory for all of us. I wonder would that change the way how we feel about a war or people different than ourselves.

poland

This was a special moment. I met Marko 20 years ago but for various reasons I have never visited him while he was living in Poland. There was always something in my way preventing me to go there when I should. Money, work, visas or just laziness. Wish I was there with you my friend, Poland is one beautiful place!

eros-bendato-cracow

Many years ago Marko sent me the postcard with this sculpture in Krakow. Among other Kraków’s (Cracow) most well-known landmarks, this sculpture in the corner of the market square is a popular meeting place. Affectionately referred to as ‘The Head’. The official title is ‘Eros Bendato’ (Eros Bound) and is the work of Polish artist Igor Mitoraj.

sokol-cracow

In the front of the Sokol building. The Sokol (falcon) movement is a youth sport movement and gymnastics organization first founded in Prague in the Czech region of Austria-Hungary in 1862 by Miroslav Tyrsh and Jindrich Fugner. Primarily a fitness training center, the Sokol, through lectures, discussions, and group outings provided what Tyrsh viewed as physical, moral, and intellectual training for the nation. This training extended to men of all classes, and eventually to women. The movement also spread across all the regions populated by the Slavic culture such as Poland, Serbia, Bulgaria, the Russian Empire (Ukraine, Belarus), and the rest of Austria-Hungary (places like Slovenia and Croatia). In many of these nations, the organization also served as an institution “above politics,” the Sokol played an important part in the development of Slavic nationalism, providing a forum for the spread of mass-based nationalist ideologies. In my opinion this was one of the greatest organizations of the late 19th and 20th century. My grandpa was shortly a member to this organization. Wish my Slavic people adopted some of these great ideas. We could compete rather that going to war against each other!

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