The Battle Scars of Podkarpackie [Kult America]


From time immemorial, Poland has been ravaged by foreign invaders who aspired to shape the land against its nature. Despite shifting boarders, times of absence and extreme hardships, Poles have courageously maintained their independence, traditions, and nationality. It everywhere you look, there seems to be
signs of former occupiers, eerie relics of a trying past. So on today’s episode of Kult America, we examine
the battle scars of Subcarpathian Voivodeship. There was no end to the cruelty of
German Nazi’s ambition. One of their nauseating technologies was in part developed here in the village of Blizna, out of range of allied bombers. In 1944 the first V2 missile launch took place introducing the world to ballistic missiles. Imagine in all the potential of humanity,
the first object that we launched into space, was intended for destruction. Naturally, the allies sought opportunity to reverse engineer this new technology, but considering the mammoth size of the weapon,
such a mission would have surely been a death sentence. On July 25th, 1944, Polish home army hero’s intercepted a defective missal and transported it to the allied troops who in turned were able to develop a method of changing the missiles trajectory – assumingly saving countless life’s. Today, The Blizna Historic Park preserves a dark history of the notorious SS missile testing site. Not only did German Nazis want to drop bombs,
they were also interested in avoiding them, resulting in some unthinkable structures built
at the hands of concentration camp prisoners. In 1941, a train bunker was built,
offering protection to the military elite. This site is extremely unusual as it hosted a meeting between Hitler and Mussolini. Both leaders arrived by train – with Hitler’s train staying in this bunker. The actual meeting lasted for several hours. Mussolini’s train engine waited in safety not far from here at a bunker called Stępina. And I think it’s interesting, the villages and
the surroundings were very primitive: no running water, no electricity, nothing. Yet, there were these advanced marvels of
military wonder. By the summer of 1944, the facilities
were abandoned because of Soviet advance. When the Russians captured the tunnels,
they were used as field hospitals. After the war, the Stępina bunker was used for mushroom production. Today, it is a state museum and among an extremely small count of such train bunkers globally. The atrocities carried out by German Nazis
are rather well acknowledged. However, when you speak to a Pole,
there’s a whole other side that gets them, I would argue far more emotional – the Eastern Front. After Eastern Invasion, the Soviet Union
established the Molotov Line between 1940 and 1941. This system of border fortifications was created as
a result of the German-Soviet Treaty setting up a new border between the two occupiers. The Line was significant for Stalin as
he planned a war against Germany. Hitler had planned the same thing and
when Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941, the line could not hold the Germans for long. The scars of the Second World War were harsh. Entire sections of the population annihilated. Major land masses lost. If this was only the beginning of a new type of horror, Poland as a satellite country of the USSR. The new post-war reality was a radical one. The Avant of ballistic missiles developed by German Nazis, compared with the nuclear war heads
developed by Americans, meant – no one was safe. Cold War paranoia was extreme here. Accordingly, officials set up bunkers around
the country to help insulate the concern. Here, in Subcarpathian Voivodeship, is one that particularly underlines the magnitude of worry that people had for nuclear attack. The “Marysieńka” atomic bunker was built
in the 1950s in Rzeszów. At nearly 400 square meters, the bunker
was equipped with a well power generators, over 60 dedicated phone lines and central heating. It could provide shelter for 58 people for 21 days
in the event of a nuclear attack. Very few such bunkers existed in Poland. This bunker also had a radio transmitter,
secret military codes on standby. From this strange place the government could run
the entire country. The absurdity being, this bunker was on standby until 2009. Today tourists can visit. This structure was built in absolute secrecy. In fact, the locals thought it was fishy that there was
a sudden military presence in a civilian neighborhood. There were truckloads of dirt being moved out on
a daily basis. They didn’t ask any questions. Questions back then could lead you into
a lot of unimaginable trouble. And although, this bunker was not
acknowledged officially until the 2000s, people here had their suspicions, most other houses
didn’t have a siren attached to the exterior. The list of military events having occurred in Subcarpathian Voivodeship is nearly endless. The former occupiers would have never imagined
that one day we would ever be allowed to walk freely in these places, let alone be Polish freely. I like to think that every footstep taken is
a symbolic reminder that in the end their conquest was unsuccessful.

5 thoughts on “The Battle Scars of Podkarpackie [Kult America]

  1. Więcej pamiątek po pierwszej wojnie by się przydało – cmentarze itp.

    Chodzę po Bieszczadach i Beskidach dopiero od kilku lat, i z łatwością znajduję na przedeptanych, oznakowanych szlakach łuski, naboje, kulki szrapneli, sprzączki itp. Tam historia leży pod nogami, nawet rozglądać się nie trzeba.

  2. Thank you. Your videos about Poland, the Nation history are great. Too bad TV stations do not broadcast them.
    Thank you for visiting those historical sites and telling us the history behind them.
    Not too many Polish know about them.
    I "use" your videos as a guidance to discover and visit many sites in Poland.
    Thanks again, and please keep refreshing or introducing Polish history to all of us.
    All the best to you and yours.

    Les,
    Toronto/Krakow

  3. The idea of some fortifications of scars of war was so "normal" to me since I was raised right near… Austrian battlements from WW1. They were literally right behind the fence. So we used to play there.

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