I am always amazed at how easy it is to go down the rabbit hole of the web. Here’s another adventure.
I just finished reading a fascinating, if disturbing, book: Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder, a professor of history at Yale.
The book is a serious piece of scholarship, much reviewed. In some of the chapters, he talks briefly about Polish individuals and families who helped save Jews. One of the families he mentions is that of Lucjan and Barbara Niemyski. He just mentions them in passing, but something about the name made me curious to know more about them.
The Niemyski’s lived in a town just outside of Warsaw, called Podkowa Lesna, which means Horseshoe Grove in Polish. The small town was a planned community, using principles of the English Garden City Movement.
I, too, lived in a planned community, influenced by the English Garden City Movement: Sunnyside Gardens.
I looked at photos of Podkowa Lesna, and it is easy to see the familiar patterns that characterize the Garden City Movement, houses with a uniform often vernacular architectural style, set in a “garden-like” setting, with a mix of residences, businesses, and agriculture.
Here’s some examples of Garden City Movement housing, the first from England and the second, an architectural drawing by Clarence Stein, who designed Sunnyside Gardens.
The architecture of Podkowa Lesna is in what is called Polish Manor Style. This style developed in the early 20th Century in Poland, using traditional Polish houses as an inspiration. I could not find a photo of Borowin, the name of the home where the Niemyski’s hid hundreds of Jews (and a radio transmitter), but here are some photos of homes in this charming town, set in the countryside outside of Warsaw. Unlike most Garden City Movement houses, they are mostly detached, but definitely use the Polish Manor Style as inspiration.
Lastly, they are still building houses in the “styl dworki” (Polish Manor Style). Here is a contemporary example.
Note the horse and carriage in front!
You can build this house for 267,728 zlotys or $69,512. It has 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths.
It is amazing what you can find when you start down the rabbit hole of the world wide web!