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Joe Biden in Warsaw
The Royal Castle as a Symbol
Screenshot from Polish television TVN24. The caption says: attack on one NATO member is an attack on all of them, it’s a sacred oath.
Hello! This will be a quick’n’dirty commentary to the POTUS visit in Warsaw. If you watch the photos, the backdrop of Biden’s speech is a beautiful Renaissance castle, decorated with Polish, Ukrainian and American colours for this evening.
Technically, it’s no Renaissance. The Royal castle was razed to the ground first by the Germans during World War 2, then by the communist authorities, who were against reconstructing it, as a symbol of Polish independence.
The Royal Castle in Warsaw in 1945. Public domain (via Wikipedia).
For quarter of century, there was no castle in this place. The rubble was cleaered and this resulted in a weird square. At least the Sigismund column - the remains are in the foreground - was reconstructed.
In 1970 after violent riots one communist cabinet replaced another. The new one desperately needed to please the population, so in 1971 a decision was made - to rebuild the castle trying to make it as authentic as possible.
While the authorities were willing to pay for the reconstruction, Professor Stanislaw Lorentz (in charge of this endeavour) made a decision to gather most of the funds by crowdfunding, to make the Polish society the actual “hosts” of the castle.
Panoramic view of the castle and the Gothic inner city. Photo: Olaf1541, CC BY-SA 3.0
I believe this place was not chosen by random. There is deep symbolism here. When we see Ukrainian cities destroyed by Russian barbarism, we think of our ruined cities in 1945. We rebuilt them. We hope Ukraine will do the same and we will be glad to help.
Is it any wonder we root for Ukrainians, not for the invaders?